IS PSYCHIC RESEARCH WORTH WHILE?
"The relation between the physical and mental," writes McDougall, (Frontiers of Psychology) "is the toughest of all problems that challenge the intellect of man." A real solution of it, he goes on to say, "would decisively change the system of the sciences." . . . "The sciences of nature and of mind are united by a region common to both, but as yet almost unexplored. The position of psychology is unique, in its reciprocal relations with all other sciences."
Psychic research and parapsychology (almost if not wholly identical) lie at the very center of this problem and this relationship. This is perhaps the major reason for their importance. The second reason, really implicit in the first, is that their data involve, ultimately, the sanctions of right conduct, of ethics and morality.
It should not be necessary to elaborate these propositions, for persons accustomed to thinking on such matters. Nevertheless, the utility of psychic investigation is often questioned by those who are less informed or unreflective.
On the one side, the role or psychology in the sciences, in physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, the Heisenberg principle in all its modifications, is now expounded everywhere, not more by psychologists than by physical scientists themselves. In pure mathematics we have not only the psychic puzzle of the "prodigy," but the basic problems of the nature of numbers, of extension, infinity, negative numbers, zero and unity, the "higher" dimensions and other concepts--all of which are psychological problems.
In addition, there are the concepts of time, space, causation, the qualities of objects, energy, power, force, potentiality, gravity, the ether, conservation of energy, all of them mental constructs and with a very doubtful correspondence to external "reality."
On the psycho-biological side, consider the enormous accumulation of problem-material in extended sensory perception (ESP), psychokinetic effects (PK) and mediumistic phenomena. Parapsychology does not concern itself with all of these, that is, with the whole psychological field, but more particularly with happenings of a paranormal or "super-normal" kind. But it is precisely these that very extend our concept of personality, and consequently build at the center and basis of psychology.
This recognition of the role of psychology thru the whole areas of knowledge may well be called the most important and characteristic fact of the 20th century. There are very few instructed minds which now question it.
In all this we have said nothing of the relation of psychology to Art-works, genius, inspiration, invention, discovery, the knowledge of the subconscious and superconscious as sources of conduct and achievement, and as proper fields of human development. Here again it is the extra-normal which must be studied, and that is the business of the parapsychologist.
Finally, the findings of psychic studies are deeply related to religion, religious philosophy, morality and ethics. This is because their data may yet establish, either as a proven fact or as high probability, the survival of personality after death, and something of the conditions of the after-life. And in this knowledge lie the true sanctions of conduct. Reward and punishment, authority and revelation have alike failed, but enlightened self-interest may yet prove the salvation of mankind.
To know with all reasonable certainty, that the selfish, evil or depraved act brings suffering and loss to the doer of it -- to really know this, we say, and not as a teaching of religious authority only, or of altruism, but in the same sense that one knows other natural laws, as of chemistry or physics -- is in a single moment a revolution of thought and conduct. It will not remedy all weakness, nor prevent all errors -- but it will mightily leaven the messes of human selfishness, indifference, cynicism and viciousness.
To make this knowledge, which is the only hope of humanity, real and acceptable to our western world, it must be put on a footing comparable to other scientific facts. This means that science must extend its purview. It is probable, and widely believed, that a great deal is known (to a few) and has always been known, about survival and after-death conditions. Science must consider this possibility, and do all in its power to discover, to verify, to interpret and coordinate.
This task can fall only into the hands of that science which has at the juncture of the physical and mental, which joins (in McDougall's comparison) like an isthmus the two continents of knowledge. It is the task of psychology, but more specifically of parapsychology or psychical research. We do not mean that its prime business lies in Ghostland; it deals first of all with the here-living, with the peculiar powers of the human psyche. But whoever touches this invades the invisible worlds also, whether he will or no.
ECTOPLASM — and HOUDINI
"....this streaky stuff, hanging like icicles from the chin, dripping down onto the body, and forming a white apron over the front, or projecting in shapeless lumps from the orifices of the face. When touched, or when undue light came upon it, it writhed back into the body as swiftly and stealthily as the tentacles of a hidden octopus..." (Doyle, Hist. of Spiritualism, vol. ii).
Houdini argued that the Ectoplasm could not exist. And why? Because "God Almighty would never permit the existence of such horrible stuff."
An eminent authority, not only on Magic, but on God's ideas!
THE JOURNAL OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY for March (Duke Univ. Press) is devoted, as usual, to the psychokinetic (PK) effect; also there is the second installment of ESP and Intelligence, a book review of Paranormal Cognition (Dr. L. J. Bendit, Faber, Lon. 1944), and a 15-page letter from an "English Physician" to Dr. Rhine, called "The Texture of Thought With Special Reference to Telepathy." We note several changes in Editorial staff, and a hint that technical reports may be put out in a less technical form. The Journal often contains material of great interest and importance, but only professional students of the subject can make much out of it; for other folks it is probably one of the world's dullest publications. The material can hardly be popularized, but probably something could be done to make it more readable.
Not to speak lightly of grave matters - but perhaps we should add something in the patois about this PKE. In our own far-off youth there was a pastime, now doubtless extinct, vulgarly known as "rolling the bones." And the "roues" of that day not only rolled them, but talked to them also; one could hear objurgations, imprecations, supplications, cries of seven-come-eleven, references to a horse or two horses and other mystic phrases, arising in alleys, barber shops, pool rooms and similar resorts. But the PK theory (now well established) is that all this talk, or rather the mental energy back of it, actually works on the dice and arrests their fall. It does this even when the dice are thrown by machine instead of by hand. There's a knack about it, of course, and much that is mysterious, but statistics are statistics and the proof is available for all who are interested.
We suggest that eventually this PK effect will be one more flea in the ear, or disturber of the peace of orthodox souls. For instance, there was a learned microscopist, years ego, who asserted that his will-and-expectation affected the formation of microscopic crystals, so that he could get almost any form of them he decided on. He suffered the fate of most heretics, of course, but PKE was unknown in those days. And what about the behaviour of molecules, atoms, electrons, positrons, neutrons, under PK influence? What about the aura, magnetic field about the body, emanations, radiations, and the alleged (and most probable) energy-effect of the human gaze? What about the Alreutz "will-board," and mental images registering on photographic plates, and a whole page-full of alleged experimental proofs of exteriorized energy? Our  simple-minded reflection is, that any psycho-energy capable of turning a die six-face-up can do innumerable other things too, maybe profoundly affect a whole area of scientific studies. Maybe the Heisenberg principle has some undreamed-of applications and extensions.
"No man has a right to be a member of any committee of investigation until he has put in at least a year of study and a course of reading, which should include Crawford's three books of his researches, Richet's Thirty Years of Psychic Investigation, Myer's Human Personality, and Crookes' Researches. People must realize that there is a science, that there are laws, and that it is as absurd to approach it de novo, as it would be for a tyro with no chemical knowledge to endeavor to test some chemical problem in a laboratory." - Conan Doyle
THE KLUSKI MEDIUMSHIP
The Zeitschrift fuer Parasychologie (Magazine of Parapsychology) is the title of a periodical published over a period of years by Oswald Hutze of Leipzig. Its contributors included many men of scientific distinction in various European countries. During 1926, a report was published on the mediumship of Kluski (of Warsaw), written by F.W. Pawlowski, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Michigan, and this was reproduced in part in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. Also, in 1927, the Zeitschrift investigated certain accounts of the mediumship of Mirabelli which appeared in a Brazilian book ("O Medium Mirabelli"), and printed a 12-page report. These two reports, on Kluski and on Mirabelli, are quoted in extenso by Johannes Greber, in a book translated from the German under the title "COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD," (Macoy Pub. Go., N. Y. 1932). In quoting or summarizing portions of the reports, we have made use of all these sources, checking the Greber translation against the Zeitschrift account.
This material is familiar to many students, but by no means as widely known as it should be, in view of the feat that it describes the most sensational and extreme phenomena of a spiritistic order, and is fully documented by distinguished and competent observers, under rigid scientific controls.
THE MEDIUMSHIP OF KLUSKI (report of Prof. F. W. Pawlowski, Univ. of Mich.)
As a preliminary to all sittings, there was a rigid examination of the room; windows and doors were locked and sealed with strips of waxed paper bearing secret marks and signatures; the medium worked entirely naked when so requested. The sitters kept their hands in contact. The table held luminous plates about a foot square, with handles, and in addition a red light was sometimes used. "From personal experience and from firsthand testimony given by trustworthy observers, I can state as a fact that the medium Kluski produces the following phenomena:"
(Pawlowski then devotes one or more paragraphs to each of the following: (a) Rappings or knocks (b) levitation (c) apparitions or phantoms, visible and invisible, but audible (d) spectres of animals, and of "pithecanthropus" (e) luminous phantoms (f) parafine moulds (g) apports (h) temperature changes (i) fog or smoke (j) conversation with the apparitions.)
(We should take note here, that all accounts in the Zeitschrift are factual and neither assume or deny the spiritistic explanation; for this reason Pawlowski uses the term apparition or phantom, to avoid the implications of the word spirit.)
As to Levitation, not only was the table lifted, but the medium himself and one or more of the spectators.
As to the Apparitions (materializations) they were both partial and complete. Phantom heads appeared, either above or behind the medium, or above or among the spectators. "After a few sharp raps, bright stars or sparks appear, floating up toward the ceiling. These are bluish, and vary in size from a pea to a hazelnut; they fly about in all directions, or form into groups. Some descend in pairs close to the spectators. When they came within about 16 inches of me, I could see to my great surprise that they were pairs of human eyes that looked at me. In a few minutes a perfectly formed human head appeared about such a pair of eyes, being clearly visible by the light of a hand, which was luminous and raised above the head... The face had a friendly and smiling expression." These heads flew about like balloons, and went from one person to another on request.
Those Phantoms which were invisible, could be heard walking about, and often touched the spectators, brought articles from different parts of the room at request, moved a bronze bust weighing 50 lbs., and an iron kettle containing 35 lbs. of melted parafine, and never fumbled or blundered. Other phantoms picked up the luminous plates and turned out the light on themselves; it was sufficient so that Pawlowski could see "the pores and roughness of the skin, the tracing of tiny veins and the texture of the garments. I could hear them breathe and feel their breath against my face." The eyes and faces were completely life-like in expression.
Concerning Spectres of animals, "We saw chiefly squirrels, dogs and cats. On one occasion a lion appeared, and on another a large bird, either a falcon or a buzzard... The squirrel hopped about the table, the dog ran around it wagging his tail, jumping into the laps of spectators and licking their faces." The lion frightened everyone and broke up the seance. The buzzard flew about, beating the walls and ceiling with his wings, finally perched on the medium's shoulder, and a flashlight photograph was taken of him in that position.
"Pithecanthropus" arrived only in complete darkness, and was a frequent visitor. It seemed to be a "hairy man or a large ape, its face being covered with hair, its forehead fairly high, its arms long and powerful; its behaviour is rough and boisterous. It tries to stroke one's hands and face, and generally breaks up the seance, as the spectators are unable to control the beast." It had a peculiar odour "like that of a wet dog."
(We may interject here, that this incident in particular has been very offensive to many spiritualists, who have in consequence hotly rejected it. But its a priori possibility, as well as all the details, are entirely consistent with the principles of materialization phenomena, so far as these are known to us. Ed.)
"Many Apparitions have luminous hands," giving a strong whitish glow tinged with green, not quite steady but vibrating, with bright sparks or rays running from the wrist to the finger tips in zig-zag courses. "The luminous palms diffused a powerful smell of ozone." One figure of an old man was entirely luminous, and lighted up the whole room clearly; the palms and the heart region were more luminous than other parts; "The phantom rose in the middle of the room; he wore a high conical head dress and a long robe" walked about, made gestures in the form of triangles, withdrew to the far end of the room and vanished, leaving a powerful wave of "ozonated air" behind him.
(Continued in the June issue)
"Thus understood, mediumship is a whole world; one that defies any partial and fragmentary exploration and is concealed from those who merely look into a few details....
To seek to explain mediumship, as some psychologists do, by a series of fragmentary hypotheses adapted to a few of its phenomena, is useless. None of these partial explanations on points of detail can have any value at all. Mediumship in all its prodigious diversity can be understood only by the knowledge of the actual psychological constituents of individual man, what the individual grouping consists of, and its possibilities of relative and momentary dissociation... In ordinary disjunctions, the secondary personalities behave as usurpers... they declare themselves to be the true self. In mediumship they declare themselves foreign to the self; they claim to-be distinct entities... and say that they only borrow from the medium the vital dynamism and organic elements which they need in order to act upon the material plane...
Gustave Geley, From the Unconscious to the Conscious
HAIL, BLITHE SPIRITS
The Portland poltergeist is throwing rocks again, another in Halifax throwing furniture, still another in San Diego going bang like a shot under the bed, only no shotgun findable. Or so the report has it (!). We haven't verified any of these, but we recall that the poltergeist is an ancient and well-established nuisance, 7-8 years ago, Hereward Carrington (Ph.D.) and Nandor Fodor (Ll.D.) put out a bulletin on this subject (American Psychical Institute Bulletin II); they listed 318 "typical" cases. 32 were considered fraudulent, 18 doubtful; that left 7/8 of the whole number (or 238 cases) unexplained. 141 of these occurred since 1900.
To do justice to this list, one should add that practically every case is really a series of occurrences, sometimes continuing over several years, so the whole of the data is more formidable than the enumeration suggest. Stones, bottles, furniture, clothing, dirt, excreta, vegetables, dishes, books, ink, buckshot, everything moveable thrown about; many fires started, heavy stones, barrels of lime tumbled around; sounds, voices, jets of liquid, grotesque tricks, levitations, lights, bell ringing, detonations, showers of oil, exploding coal, and so on for a hundred items more.
Oh yes, the police have been there, whole squads and companies of them sometimes, and magistrates and scholars, scientists and psychic investigators, butchers and bakers and candlestick makers also, and kids have been whacked and servant girls fired, and honest folk vilified, puzzled and terrified, but no one the wiser. Now and then some clairvoyant or medium had something to offer, but a bas and Ah Bah with that of course. And if Professor X could only get some of this devilment pinned down in his laboratory, he would soon discover all!! But the culprits are too slippery for that----
We don't know why we're repeating all this stuff. Probably because of smugness. Because there actually are people (about 4/5 of the commons, 9/10 of the intellectuals) who think we know something about the world we live in, about what can and does happen here, who (to use Hans Driesch's phrase) were with God when He made the world, hence au courant with all His purposes. And because, for a few people at least even mystery-as-mystery does some good, makes them temporarily uneasy, causes a few twinges of reflection. And consciousness of ignorance is the beginning of knowledge-----
Let's turn on Jack Benny, before we get too serious.
What is the moral of the Poltergeist? He himself (or it, itself) has no morals at all, so we mean, what is the moral of this unmorality? We suggest that it takes the wind out of the sails of everyone who thinks we live in an orderly, understandable, predictable world. If you  think a two-foot cube can't go thru a foot square opening, or stones thru walls, or that anybody can keep anything either out or inside of our three dimensions, try to sit in at a good poltergeist demonstration. Every known law of physics is violated-- that is a more serious matter, in our opinion, than the mere fact that there are tricksy spirits abroad. A red hot brick dropped from your ceiling smashes the whole cardboard house of the sciences, and a shower of camel dung from nowhere disturbs more than olfactory nerves. What dream world is this we live in, my masters? What figment of an order-making imagination? If Devachen and the lowe astral are "planes of illusion", what shall we say of this earth level, where every sense is mocked at and every law negated by some superior lawfulness? Even the poltergeist, perhaps, plays imp to some good purpose, if for the nonce he wakens in us some such reflections of humility.
MEET THE METEORITES
About 400,000,000 meteorites enter the earth's atmosphere daily, so the astronomers tell us. About 20,000,000 of them are large enough to form shooting stars. A few of them reach the surface of the earth.
They are of all sizes, from a few grams up to nearly forty tons.
They fall at all rates of speed. Some of them -- especially the big ones -- seem to come down about as hard as sofa pillows.
The speed of meteorites over the Mississippi Valley in 1860 was calculated at about 55 miles per second; one in Moravia in 1808 at 45 miles per second; one in Ohio was estimated to have struck the earth at about four miles per second; another in Connecticut was thought to be travelling about three miles a second at a height of eighteen miles.
Their apparent speed depends on their direction or angle of impact with the earth. According to Chambers, the Leonids, moving opposite to the earth, travel about 44 miles per second; the Andromedes, moving in the some direction with the earth, about 11 miles. Herschel calculated that the Yorkshire meteorite reached the ground at about 412 feet per second.
But sometimes, as in the case of the fell at Hessle, the stones which fell were so friable that they broke if thrown against a hard surface. They fell on frozen ground, and were not even scarred by the impact.
Others, weighing several pounds, fell on ice "a few inches in thickness" and rebounded, without breaking the ice or being themselves fractured.
The iron meteorite found by Peary at Cape York, weighing 37½ tons, fell on a bed of boulders. It does not even show conspicuous abrasion from an impact that would presumably have been terrific. There may have been snow or ice over the boulders -- if that is sufficient explanation.
An iron meteorite in Oregon weighed 15.5 tons. It fell in a forest on a surface of soft earth, but hardly buried itself. There is no evidence of its having been uncovered by erosion.
Another meteoric iron, in Mexico, weighing about 20 tons, fell in soft soil and was found scarcely below the surface.
But a 660 pound stone in Hungary, striking at an angle of 27 degrees, penetrated 11 feet. Another 71 pound mass penetrated 18 feet.
Some meteorites are said to be hot, even incandescent, others are reported to be icy cold.
The fall of the slow meteorites is said to be "retarded by the atmosphere." It is difficult to imagine a fifteen to forty ton weight falling even a half mile onto soft ground without making much more than a dent. Or onto a bed of boulders without scratching itself.
As to the origin of meteorites, you can take your choice.
According to Chladni, a hundred years ago, they are remnants of cosmic material, the stuff of which worlds are made. But some of the most common materials of the globe are absent from meteors, or present in very minute proportions.
They are thought by some to come from the dark nebulae.
Olbers, Lichtenberg, and others, thought that they came from volcanoes on the moon. "The moon is an uncivil neighbor, for throwing stones at us." This theory was also advanced by J. L. Smith, in 1885. Mathematical calculations show this notion to be highly improbable.
Others have believed them to be the remains of a planet which once revolved between Mars and Jupiter -- destroyed by an explosion. Others, that they come from the condensation and dissipation of a cometary cloud.
C. U. Shepard and C. Flammarion believed that meteorites were thrown out into space in primitive times by terrestrial volcanoes.
Meunier thought that they came from a disintegrated moon, a former satellite of the earth.
Daubree regarded them as resulting from the disintegration of asteroids.
Chamberlin has a similar view, but thinks the breaking up was caused by attraction of other bodies.
Pickering suggests that they originated at the time the moon was separated from the earth.
It is believed by some that meteorites ere fragments of comets, and thus belong to our solar system. Other astronomers have "positive proof" that some of them at least come interplanetary space.
Meteorites are valuable. Private collectors have paid as much as ten dollars a gram for fragments of them. Museums often purchase them outright. The courts have so far held that they are the property of the owner of the land on which they fall.
"If the data of the religionists could be scrubbed clean of holiness," says Charles Fort, "then we might have something."
Well, we're religious ourselves, and we think C. F. was too, and so is every mental adult (in the right sense of the word of course.) "Praise to the unfathomable universe," exclaimed Walt Whitman; and every awakened human mind echoes his words.
But Fort was right, in that the mess of "supernatural" phenomena in all ages is almost useless from a scientific standpoint, as contributory to human knowledge, except where it can be scrubbed clean of emotionalism, religious, doctrinal, and dogmatic interpretation. The invaluable data of spiritualism suffers in a like manner, and it is the business of psychic research to isolate it, to examine it under its phenomenal aspect only, tho without disrespect to its religionistic bearings.
As we recall, it was Professor C. D. Broad who complained that most *spirit* communications were *a mass of ethico-religious twaddle.* On the other hand, many worthy but uninformed people think that my commonplace and mundane spirit interests bring all spiritism into ridicule, and "provincialize Heaven." Our testimony is, all the spirits we have talked to have been ordinary people still interested in their earth friends. They know more than we do, because they are living in  a strange country, and usually we can't see them, but they're commonplace humans for all that.
Well, the Editor has a fat file of seance notes illustrative of this, and is going to make some quotes from it. The seances covered about 8 months, twice a week; they were NOT under "scientific control," but the conditions were often very good and the editor accepts most of the happenings as "genuine" (objective and non-fraudulent). Most of the communicators materialized, in varying degree, but there was also trumpet and direct voice. (It would take 2 or 3 numbers of the Bulletin to detail the seance conditions in full, and it would be pretty dull stuff.)
Reason for selecting these particular short quotes will usually be apparent on inspection - or with the aid of our interjected notes.
"C" means the communicating spirit. "S" means the sitter to whom the communicator is talking. "Mat" means materialization, and "Eth" etherialization (there's no sharp distinction.) The letter "V", means that inquiry was made of the sitter, and that the back-reference was verified; that is, the event or condition referred to by the "C" was actual. It is understood that all these paragraphs are fragments of audible conversation with visible forms conducting themselves like normal human beings, but certainly not (except for the moment) on our plane of existence.
|C.||I told you last time that you would receive a cash offer for your business.|
Have you had it yet?
|S.||Yea, I had an offer yesterday.|
|C.||I thought so. Well, we want you to accept it. (Mat. - V)|
|C.||I saw you crying over that letter you had from A. You must not worry any more, it will come out all right. (Mat. - V)|
|C.||You were frightened when I rapped on your trumpet last night. You must get over that. We never want to frighten anyone, and until you lose fear of us we will not manifest. (Dir. voice, and V.)|
|C.||You need not have the room so dark for slate-writing --- you don't need to hold the slates the way you have been doing -- put them on the table, we can write on them all right. (Mat. - V.)|
|C.||I've been told you have moved into a new house. I see you are thinking it will take a long time to magnetize it. But that is a matter of two or three days only. (Mat. - V.)|
|C.||(Mischievously, to a boy of 14) I saw you kiss Jane tonight.|
|G.||Yes, and you didn't want to, either--did you?|
|G.||Well, if I were you I'd kiss her just as often as I could. (Mat.)|
|C.||I heard what you said to that black man that came to the door last night. What you told him was exactly right. (This was addressed to the PP Editor and corresponds to the facts) (Mat.)|
These are selected, of course, for the back-references, from hundreds of similar ones -- and as illustrating the interest in our daily affairs and knowledge of them. But much of the best "evidential" material lies in just such trivia.
|C.||When one dies as I did, ground to death under the wheels of that street car, it takes a little time to recover one's faculties in this world. (Mat.)|
|C.||I was burned to death in a hotel room; it makes it hard for me to return to your atmosphere -- there is a sense of shock. (Mat.)|
|C.||(To a sitter going on a prospecting trip) When you get into the desert, try to get into communication with J... (excarnate.) He prospected all that country and knows it perfectly. Now, about two miles south of the town of...... there is a large dry wash.... go there first.... the conditions are splendid. (Mat.)|
|C.||I want to congratulate you on your speech the other day; I was right beside you all the time... (V) I'll make a speaker of you yet; I'll see that you get over that stage fright. (Eth. form) (V)|
|C.||Don't answer the letter yet; we want to think it over a little more on this side. (Eth. form) (V)|
|C.||I started to materialize to you last night, but when I saw you were frightened I quit. The next time you see a ghost, remember it's only me. (Mat. form V.)|
|C.||(Mother to son) How could you live thru what you have had to bear? Those terrible days when you were even hungry and cold, when everyone seemed to turn against you --- I don't know how you could bear it all. (Mat.V.)|
|C.||(Father to son) Your brother died in a strange and terrible way. I don't want to talk about it here, but he will come to you himself at your home and tell you about it. (Inquiry showed that this referred to a mysterious disappearance of the brother some 8 years previous.) (Mat.)|
|C.||What a good thing death is, "What a relief", What an escape and Freedom and Happiness! But I shall not advance; I shall never try to rise to the higher spheres until you come to join me. (Mat.)|
(to be continued in the June issue)
The first problem is, of course, the problem of "Factuality"-- in other words, the question: ARE THERE REALLY "FACTS" in this field? Many people some years ago seem to have decided this question, and there have been some who have maintained that so-called psychical phenomena never can be and never will be. Such people, who were with GOD when He created the world, and know what He was able to do and what not, never die out.
The Crisis in Psychology, p. 229
THE IDIOPLASTIC PRODUCTION OF FOODS
"Modern Loaves and Fishes"
(We offer a condensation and short quotations from "Modern Leaves and Fishes: and other Studies in Psychic Phenomena", by Philip S. Haley, President, California Psychical Research Society; Member, California Academy of Sciences, etc. Published by P. S. Haley, San Francisco, 1935.)
A series of seances for food reproduction by psychic means was held under the auspices of the CPRS, for about a year, beginning in the spring in 1935. They were under the direction of Dr. Haley, assisted by Dr. Earl Gilmore of San Francisco, and Milo A. Tucker, PhD., a psychologist with a background in psychic research. Many other persons were invited from time to time; "Between 75 and 100 have witnessed one or more of these seances. Among them have been jurists, lecturers, psychoanalysts, physicians and dentists."
Previously the group had been engaged in the study of "telekinetic occurrences, auras and forms proceeding from a fog-like psychoplasmic emanation, and the projection under the will of lights; and similar phenomena." Various mediums were employed, but Dr. Haley's own capacities seemed most reliable and the group finally decided to employ these only. "We secured many photographs of radiated psychoplasmic emanations; and in the process of directing these as lights, sensitives could receive an unspoken thought from me, as well as they could see the light."
"The next step was the securing of physiological effects, such as the relief of pain, the effect of turning water into wine (wherein the water has the smell and taste of wine to the sitter who has received the  mental suggestion); and the building of thought-forms, visible in the emanations. At times these forms were of the nature of foods, and the sitter could feel the weight of the form in his hands, and even transfer it to the mouth. If he was hungry, sometimes the hunger could be appeased in this manner.
"Such results as these naturally suggested the idea of an actual production of food, or increase of it from "samples." It had been clear to me for a long time that objective thought-forms could be created by thought. The entire history of psychical research teems with the proof of it. One has only to mention Darget, Ochorowicz, and Fukurai, who secured results in picturing thought-forms on photographic plates. We reasoned that portions of food, secured so many times under conditions leaving no doubt of their supernormal origin, and perfectly resembling the original pieces used, must be archetypally formed by subconscious faculties had noted the original pieces, their reproduction might be possible through idioplasty.
"The reaction of the organism to these pieces of food (ideoplastically created) was normal, as to taste, odor, digestion, effect on salivation, resistance to mastication. The kind of food is immaterial; we have used apples, pears, crackers, bread of various kinds, oranges, raisins, pastries, but have not tried meat... The starch foods give the characteristic iodine reaction, and slide preparations show no histological differences.
"There is no trance manifestation at these sittings... there have been failures on five occasions. Total number of experiments for actual food increase was 54 (up to 1935); the increases were 45, one was doubtful, and there were 3 instances of decrease. Total sittings numbered about 70. Except on a few of the earliest occasions we have sat in clear light, somewhat softened.
"The food containers have been of various sorts. We started with a plate or saucer, cut the food in small portions and removed one piece at a time, held it up for all to see, and each one kept count; in addition there was usually a tally-keeper with pencil and paper. This carefully counted food is then recounted and placed by some one in a container (severed bowl, or metal cocktail shaker with cap.) The food is later shaken out onto a dish, one piece at a time, and is eaten in successive pieces. We have used the greatest care in counting, recounting and checking each others counts after the eating was finished. One occasion Mr. H. A. Peters, a well-known San Francisco experimenter in psychic and physiological matters, placed the food in the shaker and controlled both its exit and its count, the results being a success.
Our percentage of increased amounts, as compared with the original number of pieces of food, have varied from slightly less than 2 to 66-2/3. This is unimportant tho interesting, since the percentage is greater as the original pieces are fewer. Thus, an increase of one piece, if the original number was 12, would give a higher percentage than an increase of 2, if the original number was 50.
(In the June issue we hope to continue with our summary of these remarkable experiments. The exact procedure will become clear from the record of the various seances.)
These are some of the sayings of
that cloudy but not uninspired genius, Qabalist and magician:
"Whoever pronounces the word Impossible, outside of pure mathematics, is wanting in prudence.
"Whatever we learn is wound off the reel of the Unknown, which is never wholly unwound, and this it is which produces all things.
"The supernatural is that which exceeds our natural intelligence and our knowledge of the laws of Nature.
"God Himself should not be regarded as supernatural by the theologians, since they reason upon His nature.
"Every word of blessing and love is the word of God, while every word of malediction and hatred is the cry of human wickedness, which men have personified under the name of the Devil."
THE OCCULT REVIEW for April is above average, or so it seems to us. Besides the Editic, one called Spirits Among the Divines, another entitled Thought-Forms. Others are: The Land Beyond the Sunset (Egyptian concepts of the after-life); American Zombie; Black Ashes (occult incident in a Carthusian Monastery); an article on Rosicrucianism; and Occult Metaphysics (review of the Outline of Metaphysics by Furze Morrish.)
This REVIEW is a small Quarterly, about 35 pages; Rider & Co., 68 Fleet Street London, E.C. 4, England, and costs 4/6 (four shillings and sixpence) per annum. It was founded in 1905, by the way, so it's probably the Methuselah of Occult magazines.
And while we're on the subject, there's an editorial in the Occult Review entitled "Retrospect"; its a backward glance over the last 40 years of Occultism and Psychic Research. About this letter, the editor says that, judging by the S.P.R. annals, it hasn't made an iota of progress -s-s. Those extra "s's" are there to represent our loud hiss. "What do you mean, no progress?" We don't read the Journal of the English Society, but apparently it has been missing a good deal.
But the, what the editor means by "no progress" is "no decision whatsoever," in spite of the fact that the SPR has had a "succession of distinguished members", some of whom have "achieved very definite conclusions of their own." But, he says, it does not even have distinguished  members any more. The only thing the SPR has really done, in his estimation, is to "popularize" psychic facts, and so contribute to the cause of spiritualism, which in turn vulgarizes the whole subject.
Now, in the U. S. A. it's the newspapers, the cinema and the money-grubbing cults that do the vulgarizing, along with the grade-D spiritualists and the "lunatic-fringe" fanatics. The genuine research publications, like the ASPR Journal and the Journal of Parapsychology, are too technical and difficult to vulgarize or popularize anything. And the general level of spiritualistic performances and belief, as we see it, is much better than formerly.
But looking at the whole field of Psychic Research, one finds a formidable mass of scientific work during the last 40 years, and most of it is so well-known that we don't need to itemize it in a publication of this kind. Maybe the English SPR hasn't done much officially, and maybe its "annals" are confined to its own work; but unless these two things are so, we don't know what the Editor of the REVIEW means. And it seems like a very naive idea, to us, that the only sign of "progress" is in official decision by the SPR that there be spirits who communicate with us.
With reference to Occultism, the REVIEW editor is a bit more cheerful, and thinks there has been "definite progress." There is now (he says) no Order comparable to the Golden Dawn, but there is steady diffusion of Occult knowledge, even of the more recondite sort. Astrology has been "debauched" but is wide-spread; the Theosophical Society has declined in membership, but the reincarnation doctrine has spread among the spiritualists, and these two groups are less at loggerheads than formerly. Astral projection has become a new interest and frequent practise among Occultists. Palmistry and Graphology are said to be almost extinct.
"The history of Science from say 20,000 B.C. until the present may then be summarized as follows. In the accumulation of knowledge there has been great progress; in true psychology of the scientific observer there has been no fundamental change since the Reindeer Age; in point of scientific ethics, the last hundred years mark a period of retrogression."
ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH AND ENLIGHTENMENT
Concerning the above Association (Cayce Foundation): Mrs. H. G. Allen, of Norfolk, Virginia, active in this work, recently met a group of San Diego people who are interested and gave news of what the Association is doing. Hugh Case is taking such leadership as his time permits, there is a board of three governors or directors, three persons employed as clerical help. No readings are being given, of course, since no successor to Mr. Cayce has been found, but an attempt is being made to classify the data from readings in some 30,000 case histories.
This situation is not unfamiliar. It has been pointed out many times that there is no paucity of data in psychical research; the trouble is, there are masses of it never properly studied, analyzed, and digested. The ARE does not commercialize its studies, hence, probably cannot employ more help even if available. Still, all this material should be worked over critically, not necessarily or wholly in the interests of any form of belief, but as PR or para-psy, Material. Many thousands of people claim to have been helped by the "readings," but apart from this, the values of the data will never appear until a digest and analysis is made.
We are interested, somewhat apprehensive over the reported attempt by Harvard University to get possession of most of this material. Whether they want it as an exhibit of dementia americana, we don't know; maybe they figure it would do for a PhD thesis or two. But the record of Harvard in PR studies is not encouraging, and the Margery Crandon "investigation" left a particularly bad odour. In fact (tho we may be wrong) we don't think there's a university department in the U.S., possibly excepting Duke, that can be trusted for an unbiased and competent handling.
FLOWERS IN MAY
Mr. Fred Gronberg (this city), bibliophile, artist, esotericist, sends approval of the Round Robin, says it strips the smug of their smirk, finds it colorful and interesting. Mr. Gronberg is an authority on Zen Buddhism --- Mr. Thomas Sugrue, author of "There is a River," is also commendatory, recommends the RR in many quarters. We understand his book (Holt and Cog, 1942) is going into another printing, with a revised final chapter. Professor John Adams (State College, San Diego), thinks the RR is a good idea and likes our approach. Dr. P. S. Haley (San Francisco), President, California Psychical Research Society, believes there is a place for the RR, recommends it to CSPR members. Dr. Milton Brunings, Optometrist, PR investigator (now of La Mesa, California), approves of our efforts; so does Dr. N. U. Jensen (this city); Mr. Ellis D. Guild., bookman (Los Angeles), formerly in educational work in Japan;  Rev. R. O. Wickham (Indiana), lecturer and investigator --- Mr. Whitney Genns (San Diego), bookman, Lincolniana expert -- and Mr. F. E. Rogers (this city), author, lecturer and publisher, has many useful suggestions, and is to be credited for the format, not easily turned out under war conditions---- As for the people who don't like us, they haven't said much yet, but when they do, we'll pass it along to you.
- Et Gratias Agimus -
AND, FOR YOUR INFORMATION–––
- Aries Press, 501 Plymouth Court, CHICAGO, Ill. (General)
- Brentano's, 1 West 47th Street, New York. (General)
- Church of Light, Box 1525, LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Occultism, Astrology, etc.)
- Dale News Inc., LILY DALE, N. Y. (Spiritualism)
- The Fortean Society (Doubt Magazine), Box 192, Grand Central Annex,
New York, New York (Tiffany Thayer, Secretary)
- The Gateway, 30 E. 60th St. N. Y.
- Macoy Publishing Co., 35 W. 52nd St. New York
- Occult Book Service, 300 W. 113th St., New York
- Psychic Book Center, 127 E. 39th St. New York
- Rider & Co., Paternoster House, LONDON, E.C.4, England. (Occult & General)
- Hillcrest Book Shop, Whitney Genna, 139 W. Washington, SAN DIEGO, 3, Calif. (General and Americana)
- Guild's Book Shop, Ellis D. Guild, 4435 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. (General)
- Association of Research & Enlightenment, Thomas Sugrue, Director of Publications, 11 Glendale, Clearwater Beach, Fla. (This is the Cayce Foundation)
NOTATION: As to above list, anyone desiring lists and catalogs of books on Esoteric or "Occult" subjects, should send a post-card request to the firms handling same.
The Journal of Parapsychology is published by Duke Press, DURHAM, South Carolina.
The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research is published at 40 East 54th Street, NEW YORK, 16, N. Y.
- McDougall, William. The Frontiers of Psychology. London: Nisbet & Co., 1934. Print. <http://amzn.to/1gcuzxv>
- Doyle, Arthur Conan. The History of Spiritualism. London: Cassell, 1926. Print. [Hesperides, 2008: <http://amzn.to/1gRBoj8>; digital: <https://archive.org/details/historyofspiritu015638mbp>]
- Crawford, William J. The Reality of Psychic Phenomena: Raps, Levitations, Etc. London: John M. Watkins, 1916; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1916. Print. <http://amzn.to/1ygCZZQ> [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011211122>]
Crawford, William J. Experiments in Psychical Science: Levitation, Contact, and the Direct Voice. London: John M. Watkins, 1919; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1919. Print. <http://amzn.to/1zBfWKW> [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006670376>]
Crawford, William J. The Psychic Structures at the Goligher Circle. London: John M. Watkins, 1921; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1921. Print. <http://amzn.to/1qzFUs4> [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011210906>]
- Richet, Charles. Thirty Years of Psychical Research: Being a Treatise on Metapsychics. New York: Macmillan Company, 1923. Print. <http://amzn.to/1ozjtAP>
- Myers, Frederick W. H. Human Personality: And Its Survival of Bodily Death. London: Longmans, 1903. Print. <http://amzn.to/1n1Ijh5> [Digital: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38492]
- Crookes, William. Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism. London: J. Burns, 1874. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/researchesinphe02croogoog>]
- Mikulasch, Rodolpho H. O Medium Mirabelli: O Que Ha De Verdadeiro Nos Seus Milagres, E a Sua Discutida Mediumnidade Posta Em Prova. Santos [Brazil]: Est. Graphico Radium, 1926. Print.
- Greber, Johannes. Communication with the Spirit World: A Narrative of Scientific Investigations and Experiences, of a Catholic Priest, with Practical Teachings from Spiritual Planes Clarifying the Sacred Scriptures. New York: Macoy Pub. Co, 1932. Print. <http://amzn.to/1lxJUFv>
- Geley, Gustave, and Stanley De Brath. From the Unconscious to the Conscious. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print. <http://amzn.to/1jTr8vT> [Digital (DjVu): <https://archive.org/details/FromTheUnconsciousToTheConscious>
- Carrington, Hereward, and Nandor Fodor. Historic Poltergeists. New York: American Psychical Institute, 1935. Print. [This bulletin is the basis for Carrington & Fodor's "Haunted People: Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries" (New York: Dutton, 1951) <http://amzn.to/W3nYww>]
- Driesch, Hans. The crisis in psychology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1925. Print. <http://amzn.to/1joGmJY>
- Haley, Philip S. Modern Loaves and Fishes – and Other Studies in Psychic Phenomena. San Francisco: Philip S. Haley, 1935. Print.
- Lowie, Robert Harry. Are we civilized?: Human culture in perspective. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929. Print. <http://amzn.to/1qKzQB2>
- Journal of Parapsychology. March 1945. Durham: Duke University Press, 1945.
- Zeitschrift fuer Parasychologie (Magazine of Parapsychology). 1926.
- The Occult Review. Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 1945)