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Too many of our spiritualist friends (as well as many excellent people of all faiths) seem to have the notion that survival and immortality are the same thing; once physical death is passed over, life runs on happily forever and ever. There's no logic in the idea, of course, and probably no authoritative teaching to that effect.
At the same time, a great number of spiritualists now accept reincarnation as highly probable, or at least possible. But reincarnation is the end of personality. That which is said to reincarnate is the higher Self, an entity functioning on a different plane of consciousness. Whether the reincarnation occurs after a short time, or after a thousand or ten thousand years, the effect is the same; the continuity of consciousness is broken; the memory and the personality-identity is destroyed.
Something persists, derived from the Ego and from the psychic material of the personality, but not John Doe as we know him; instead there is (maybe) Mary Smith, a different "person". She may have karmic effects from J.D., but "she" is not "he".
We're not arguing the "reincarnation question" pro or contra; we only point out that personal immortality and reincarnation are not compatible.
Conditional immortality, as we understand it, means that if the personality (John Doe his-earth-self) is to be immortal, he must contrive to escape reincarnation. Can this be done? Yes. When and Where? Now and here, in this life chiefly, not on the astral levels, not in Summerland or Devachan. At least so runs the teaching, the Esoteric wisdom.
There's a terrific impact to this idea. This earth life is more than something to be endured, more than an elementary school for the A-B AB of the cosmos, it's really the Main Chance. Take advantage of these first-grade chances, maybe the universe will tolerate you for ages and ages.
If this is true, or you think it may be true, then there's only one important question in the whole of life - HOW? How escape reincarnation, which is the death of the personality? The ancient wisdom has in essence only one answer. Integrate! Unite the brain consciousness with the Higher Self. Exalt consciousness, strive for Recognition, Illumination, the Divine Augoeides, "the knowledge and the conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel," the Egoic consciousness, first-born of the Monad.
And then, HOW does one do this? Most of all, by meditation. But it is not done in one step, seldom in one life. The preliminary stages are Service, Aspiration, patience, courage, desire, knowledge, the upward-thrusting will, the ordinary Christian virtues. Karma is the mechanism of reincarnation; it can be acquired - and NEGATED. And some merit too, we are told, can be gained by service and aspiration on the astral levels -- though the main chance is here and now.
We know there are many of good will, and saints upon earth, who are appalled by this eschatology -- and the gains of their good deeds are not lost. Survival, however, is not immortality; and it may well be true that immortality of the self is not a gift of Nature. But the power to attain it may be such a gift -- the ultimate beneficence of the Cosmos, bestowed upon every one of us. -- There is reason and wisdom in this concept, according to our own way of thinking.
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V-G DEPARTMENT - or WHAT ARE THEY?
Mrs C. Hayes (Palo Alto) sends us a note about Vitality Globules, which we think should be summarized for our readers. She was unable to see them for a long time, then noticed them "almost by accident." Here is her description:
"To me they are white with a bluish tinge of an ultra-violet light source. They appear rushing toward me like nothing so much as a skyrocket exploding . . from every conceivable angle, sometimes different groups coming from different angles in a very kaleidoscope of planes. They definitely flash toward me in curved lines, going so fast that the tail is seen as an after-image while the spot of light lingers, often as long as half a second... They are more numerous in sunny patches (of sky) than against cloud. Focusing about ten feet away is best. I don't see them right away, but only after my gaze has rested on the sky for a while."
Mrs. Hayes then mentions something we hope other readers will try to verify. She picked up a ground glass screen (plate) and looked thru it. "I was still focusing ten feet away with the ground glass directly in front of my eyes the v-g's appeared as vivid as tiny stars. When I changed my focus to the glass itself they disappeared. A magnifying glass gave the same results."
The present writer can see them thru a reading glass somewhat more clearly than with the unaided eye, tho' they do not seem to be larger, but has not tried the groundglass as yet.
Mr L.S. (El Cajon) tells us he sees the v-g's easily enough, but insists that the appearances described by him (in the last issue of the RR) are "something else", have definitely a curved path, U or V shaped. Data about the v-g's keep coming in to us, there are diversities of detail but the basic characteristics are about the same, and no one believes they are "in the eye." About 7-9 people out of ten, by our estimate, can see them readily or after a few trials. Eye defects that require glasses do not seem to interfere. There's quite a list of "appearances" which originate "in the eye" or from foreign matter in the eye, but the v-g's are very distinctive and need not be confused with anything else. We hope for further comments from readers.
We think vitality globules are paroptic and objective, and in the June RR we gave our conjecture about their physical nature. But we want to add a comment in a somewhat different vein. All our lives we look THROUGH space and AT objects; anything in between is almost ruled out a priori. But anyone who will begin a consistent examination of the empty(?) space close to him, and will be careful to allow for all entoptic effects, is likely to make some small discoveries. That's all we're going to say right now, for fear of Booby-Hatch and Dog House -- but we sow a grain of discord anyhow, on general Principles.
- THE MIRABELLI MEDIUMSHIP -
(The May & June issues carried reports on the mediumship of Kluski, as observed by Professor Pawlowski of the University of Michigan, and described by him in the Zeitschrift fuer Parapsychologie of 1927. They were also printed in part in the Jour. of the ASPR and in extenso by J. Greber in Communication with the Spirit World, translation published by Macoy, 1932. The following quotations and synopses are from the same source and describe the Mediumship of Mirabelli.)
In 1927 there appeared in Santos, Brazil, a book entitled "O Medium Mirabelli", containing a 74-page account of the phenomena occurring in full light, in the presence of some sixty witnesses of high repute. The editors of the Munich Zeitschrift made inquiry of the Brazilian consul at that city concerning these witnesses, and the consul stated that he was personally acquainted with 14 of them, and had complete confidence in any statements they might make. Mirabelli has further been observed by "557 persons, among whom were two university professors, 72 physicians, 18 druggists, 12 engineers, 35 lawyers, 8 translators, 22 dentists, 5 chemists, 20 writers, 89 public officials, 25 military men, 52 bankers, 128 merchants, 18 journalists, and members of many religious bodies.
In his normal state Mirabelli knows only his native language. In the trance state, he speaks 21 languages fluently, as well as a number of dialects; these include not only all the contemporary European tongues, but Chinese, Latin, and ancient Greek. He also discusses such subjects as medicine, jurisprudence, theology, history, philosophy, and the sciences - of which he is normally ignorant. His own statement is, that his words are those of spirits who speak through him.
In writing while entranced, Mirabelli has employed 28 languages and sets down the words at a great rate of speed. "In 15 minutes he wrote out five pages of Polish on "The Resurrection of Poland"; in 20 minutes, 9 pages of Czechish on "Independence of Czechoslovakia"; in 12 minutes, 4 pages of Hebrew on "Slander" ... in 12 minutes, 5 pages of Japanese ... in 22 minutes, 15 pages of Syrian ... in 15 minutes, 4 pages of Latin ..." (the account itemizes 11 languages and gives titles of the compositions).
All this occurred in full light and under close observation, The medium himself gave all the symptoms of "possession;" he wrote with mad haste, without looking at the paper, laughed, shouted, sang, spat, cursed, or would fall into apathy or appear enraptured. All this, says Greber, is caused by the spirits who crowd about in great numbers and struggle for manifestation; some are good, but others are evil and vile.
Physical mediumship: "At the Assis Pharmacy, Rua 15 de Nov. Num. 9 in Sao Paulo, the panes of glass suddenly flew out of the show cases while the medium was present. An articulated skull came out of the laboratory, remained suspended in the air, opened and shut its jaws, threw various articles about, flew backend forth, and finally fell to the floor without breaking." At another meeting, "all persons present, as well as those living near by, heard drums and trumpets playing a march. Glasses and bottles in the seance room clinked and gave out harmonious sounds in perfect time to a military march." Mirabelli played billiards, but the cue made the strokes "of its own accord" without his touching it. A skull moved its jaws, and raised a hat placed upon its head. "All these facts were confirmed by unimpeachable witnesses."
(continued in August number)
INEDIA - the PSYCHIC FAST
ASTING, we think is a good war-time topic -- or maybe vegetarianism would be better, if only there were plenty of vegetables. Probably a good many of us will remember Dean Israel Noe, who went 22 days without food, back in 1938. He was doing pretty well by himself, too, until the newspapers got hold of the story. But a little earlier there was Dr Tanner and his gastric ulcer. They didn't get along together, so the doctor went on a forty day fast and starved out his enemy. He kept up his normal activities, drank water but took no food, was carefully watched because a Dr Hammond bet $1000 that he wouldn't last a month. Tanner lost 31 pounds, which figures out at $32.25 each. If he had been fatter he might have made a living that way.
All that was quite useful. It gave the medical profession a severe jolt, always a good deed, and also inspired competition. One Zachar outdid Tanner by a good margin, but we haven't the figures; and later on one J. Das, Hindu hunger striker, went food-less for 61 days and Terence MacSweney, an imprisoned Irish revolutionist, managed 71 days. Both of these latter, however, died as a result. And we have a Ripley clip (for what it's worth) about a Florabelle Culbertson of Hollywood, Calif., who fasted April 25 to June 11, and July 25 to Sept. 17, or a total of 104 days out of 147, taking water only.
All this brings us to the cases of inedia, or estitia, or "psychic fasting," about which the medical profession conveniently knows nothing and which occultists recognize but find difficult to explain. Dr. Philip Haley has a discussion of these ("Modern Loaves and Fishes", pp 35-45), and we summarize a portion of it, because such data is little attended to, but is supported by good evidence and is very striking. Fourteen cases are listed.
1. Therese Neumann, Bavarian peasant, age 45 if now living. Case described by Msgr. Joseph Mesmer and Bishop Sigismund Waitz; English translation published in Chicago 1929. Also R.W. Hynek, M.D., in his book "Konnersreuth." The novelist Mary Borden, in an article in the Hearst newspapers, Jan 12, 1933, writes "I appears to be true, and no unbeliever has been able to prove the contrary, that she (Therese) has eaten nothing since 1927, and for the last year or more has had nothing to drink... She has been visited, questioned, and watched by many men of science." At that time, Therese was under observation in a Berlin clinic. She was robust and apparently normal, but was also mediumistic and a psychic sensitive. The fasting period covers more than six years.
2. Molly Fancher (Brooklyn), lived for 12 years, according to her physicians, without "enough sustenance to feed a baby for a week." Dr George W. Beard rejects this case, but a book by Judge Dailey (1894) refutes Beard's criticisms.
3. Marie Furtner, a Bavarian girl, lived on water only, for some 40 years. She was kept under observation for a time in Munich, in 1855. Monograph by Dr Karl E. von Schafhaeutl, 1885.
Janet McLeod, who took no food for five years; also Josephine Durand of Geneva, who took neither solids nor liquids for four years (Article in The Month, March 1921). Appolonia Schrier, Berne, Switzerland; no food or water for four years. Margaret Seyfrit, age 12, of Bodt, near Speyer, 3 years without food. Louise Gussie took no food for three years (1770-1773). Anna Garbero, of Raconegi; 32 months and 11 days without food or drink. Zelie Bourrian, of Perigord, under strict hospital observation for 125 days, took neither food nor drink. "A girl of Abruzzi", three years without food or water, owing to stricture of the esophagus.
We omit, for sake of brevity, the authorities for the cases cited in the preceding paragraph. They are drawn from Catholic sources but were under scientific observation. For reports by Protestant observers, there is an article on "Cases of Fasts in the Netherlands," by Dr A. P. Dietz (July 1931), Dutch periodical. This article (quoted in extenso by Dr Haley) takes up first a 14th century case (St. Lyda), and the 16th c. instance of Eva Vlieghen van Meurs. These fasts are said to have lasted 26 and 32 years respectively.
Angelina van der Flies (b. 1787), 35 year fast. Elaborate and long continued investigation, detailed reports.
Dr Haley then cites the case of a Hindu woman Papamma; the information comes largely from investigations conducted by editors of two Hindu newspapers at Dr Haley's request, but a number of other investigators were involved and the details are elaborate. It seems quite certain that from 1917 to 1932 (date of last report) she had taken neither food nor drink.
It is easy ( as always ) for the sceptic to enter blanket denials of all these alleged cases, and of course it is impossible to summarize the evidence for even one of them in this article. We can say only that these eases are selected precisely because the affirmative evidence is very strong and because there is no record of its having been controverted.
Suppose, however, that we accept, for the sake of argument, a single instance only. Here, let us say, is a healthy, apparently normal person who does not eat anything at all, perhaps takes no liquid either - and not for a few days, but for a year, five years, ten or twenty years. Just what, in that case, becomes of all our cherished physiological and biological concepts? What about the notion of food as necessary for cell replacement and nourishment, of metabolism generally, and of food as a "source of energy" (which is highly improbable anyway)? And what is this other source of life energy, which keeps the individual going whether he eats or not? And what - - what - - what - ...
We like data of this sort, because we do NOT like Finalists, or human cocksureness in any aspect whatever. Just because there are know-it-all-folk, pseudo-scientists for the most part, we think it's actually constructive to raise insoluble problems now and then.
If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it; for it is hard to be sought out, and difficult.- Heraclitus
In order to reach the truth it is necessary, once in one's life, to put everything in doubt - so far as possible.- Descartes
People used to think that when a thing changes, it must be in a state of change and that when a thing moves, it is in a state of motion. This is now known to be a mistake.- Bertrand Russell
MIND DIGEST for May (York, Pa.) has an article by V.H. Gaddis, called Science Meets the Supernatural. Among other matters it takes up cases of brain excision -- all or part of the pre-frontal lobes, right hemisphere -- and of complete disintegration of the entire brain mass. In all these cases the patient was rational, even normal. Our comment is, that Dr Gustave Geley was reporting similar cases in 1920, going back to 1915 for them. See FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS TO THE CONSCIOUS (Harpers), p. 78, ff. The most interesting point, to us, is that the theory of localization of brain functions fares very badly from such facts. So far as such localization exists, it's a kind of temporary psycho-physical set-up; once the brain is destroyed, some other organization takes over.
J.D. Beresford, who writes the Introduction to Geley's work, says he believes that in fifty years time the book will be looked upon "as bearing the same kind of relation to the discoveries of the 20th century that Darwin's Origin of Species bore to the 19th... I believe (Dr Geley's theory) must inevitably revolutionize our knowledge of biology and psychology" ...
It's the kind of book you can't quote from, simply because nearly every sentence is quotable. But if any one author has completely ruined the "classical" and "naturalistic" theories of evolution, and the classical psycho-physiological concepts of the individual along with them, it is Dr Gustave Geley. It's still the most thoroughly organized and formidable attack on smug-and-sapient-scientism, and every noteworthy advance since 1920 is fresh munition and armament for it. And it's a must-and-first book for the psychic investigator.
While we're on the subject of the Mind Digest article, we have something to add about the 2nd (June) installment.
It takes up the evidence for the existence of the "psychic body" (the etheric or astral form), and gives a good summary; nevertheless, it's popularized at the expense of accuracy.
We accept "astral projection", of course, as a demonstrable fact; it has been known for thousands of years (even before Mr Muldoon's useful contributions), and all the occult or magical Orders of the West have given instruction in it. And (as Occult Review recently pointed out) there has been a revival of interest in it, by both occultists and the public. But to parade it as "the greatest single advance in the history of psychic science ... for in it we have at last definite proof of survival after death" is largely nonsense. It "proves" nothing of the sort, for the simple reason that the physical body is still living and is in intimate connection with the projected form. It strongly suggests that survival is a fact, but PROOF is a very large word. Also, the practise is known by occultists to be very dangerous, unless under expert guidance, and we think it's a dis-service to the public to popularize such feats without giving emphatic warning at the same time. Fortunately, it's much more difficult than amateur experimenters realize.
As to the matter of "psychic" (paroptic) vision, the alleged probable connection with the etheric body is wholly conjectural; also, neither Labadie nor Rhine is the first-pioneer in this research. Louis Farigoule in his Vision Extra-Retienne (1919) collected much remarkable data, and Boirac also examined the subject in 1917. But the whole tone of this Digest article is that startling new discoveries are being made, and that a "spiritual revolution" and some kind of millennium is going to result from them. But all that is really going on is a gradual popularization of psychic facts, and a slowly spreading interest in some scientific quarters. Our own idea is, that public education in psychic matters is highly desirable --and the present flood of misinformation is likely to make it imperative. And most of the scientific data, and many esoteric teachings can be simplified to about a freshman level of intelligence. But it's not necessary to exaggerate them, and sensationalize and distort the whole picture, even for the sake of writing a popular article.
POLTERGEISTEN - HEIBER
The Hon. Ralph Shirley is exercised about Poltergeists (Occult Review); that's because they're somewhat like a two-headed calf, something you can neither explain nor explain array. No sense to the antics - but there they are! Every kind of noise known to man, and some hitherto unknown. And small animals (like the Wesleys "badger"), unidentified and popping in-and-out of visibility. Besides, one particularly obnoxious geist made off with a bottle of Johnny Walker belonging to the Hon. Ralph and set it on the book case and slowly poured it out onto the carpet. This was accompanied by a terrific crash, of unknown origin. The REVIEW article summarizes a number of historic cases, then concludes there is a "fluid", magnetism, some kind of energy latent in human beings (as, in electric eels); imps or morons of the Invisible use it to play pranks with.
Well, it's fairly certain that human energies are involved. Almost always there's a child, an adolescent, or some psychic or mediumistic person present at these performances, though the "explanation" by trickery isn't worth bothering with. And some of the phenomena are known in seance work also -- such as levitation, telekinesis, apportation, materialization. But a terrific noise that (say) three persons will hear and two or three others can't hear at all, is a real sticker. The mysterious small animals are an uncanny mystery. The heat or cold of apported objects, their penetration (?) of walls and roofs, the starting of fires (and so on and on) are specialized problems.
The latest book is POLTERGEISTS, by Sacheverell Sitwell, London, Faber and Faber, Ltd.
We are glad to call the attention of our readers to the WISDOM LIBRARY; their book-list runs to 375-400 titles, nearly all of them in the general field of Illuminism (occultism, spiritism, esotericism, unfoldment, self-culture, and the Ancient Wisdom) and most of them by well-known authors.
Voluntary contributions are accepted, but otherwise (as we understand it) there is no charge, and a book may be kept two weeks. This is a commendable plan, advantageous and economical for the reader even if he makes a generous contribution, both in cash and books; we hope people will use it and NOT abuse it.
Address Kenneth King, 724 South Mariposa, LOS ANGELES, 5, California.
Mathematics is an activity governed by the same rules imposed upon the symphonies of Beethoven and the poetry of Homer ... In their prosaic plodding both logic and mathematics often outstrip their advance guard and show that the world of pure reason is stranger than the world of fancy.- Edward Kasner
("Mathematics and the Imagination")
THE NOAH'S ARK STORY is a little out of our line, but we can't pass it up. The California Pension Advocate (Los Angeles) printed it in the May issue, stirred up all the Ark experts, then in the June number has to make explanations.
The article was a condensation of one which appeared in Bible News Flashes (Minneapolis). Before that it came out in Life Digest (Melbourne, Australia) and in the March number of Magazine Digest (Montreal). The story goes back to about March 1917 when two Russian airmen flew over Ararat, saw some kind of ship-like construction on top, reported it. The Russian government sent soldiers to explore it, and it took them a month to get up the peak. They found an old ship, big as a battleship, "long as a city block"; hundreds of small rooms, immense timbers. All the wood was oleander, which never rots, covered with a wax-like paint, and of course frozen up hard for ten months of the year; no wonder it was still there (whatever IT was).
The expedition made measurements, photographs, detailed drawings, sent them all to the Czar. Came the revolution of March 1917 - - and the rest is silence.
All this is said to be the late-written account of the airman, Vladimar Roskovitsky, a White Russian who escaped through Armenia, came to America. He insists that he personally saw the "Ark" and also the report made by the detail of army explorers. And it was he who (as we understand the Advocate) wrote it up at long last in the Bible News Flashes. He thinks the Bolsheviki destroyed the report, in their anti-religious enthusiasm - - - It's a good story, anyhow, and (like Huxley) we're too sceptical to disbelieve anything that seems improbable.
The January-quarter issue of THE HIBBERT JOURNAL contains an article by Laird Wingate Snell called My Mystical Experience, which we think merits very close and intelligent reading. The author maintains (along with other convictions) that the highest phase of Illumination retains the sense of Otherness, of immediate Knowing but without the mystical blending with the Cosmic Otherness. Those familiar with Merrell-Wolfe's insistence on "Consciousness without an object" will find the comparison and contrast of the two viewpoints well worth while.
(Hibbert Journal, quarterly. LeRoy Phillips, 178 Tremont St., Boston, L.P. Jacks, editor. $2.50 and 75¢ each.)
May-be useful information:
Macmillan & Co., Ltd. London, W.C.2, publish MIND, quarterly, 4/Sd (about $1.00); and PHILOSOPHY, quarterly, some price.
A.A.A.S. (Amer. Assoc. for Advancement of Science), Lancaster, Penna., publishes SCIENCE MAGAZINE WEEKLY. $6.00, & 15¢ ea.
The Smithsonian Institute, Washington, 25, D.C. (Smithsonian Institution Bldg.) publishes SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY. Address Secretary of A.A.A.Sc. Monthly $5.00 yr.
ANYBODY'S HALO -- and How To See It:
A good many people seem to be interested in the aura, reading books about it and trying to see it for themselves. Some eight or ten years back, one could buy the Kilner screens ready for use -- but not now, as far as we know. And Kilner's book, "The HUMAN ATMOSPHERE", also seems hard to get. Of course if you can see auras without the screens, so much the better, and a great many people are able to do this, in varying ways and degrees. But because of these facts, we summarize below the instructions given by Cannon in "THE INVISIBLE INFLUENCE" (p.155):
"To see the aura, have the subject remove clothing and stand against a black background. The observer should then look at some color (yellow, red, blue, or green) until the complementary color appears around the edge and is vivid. Then look at the subject, and one phase of the aura will be seen; the other phases can be seen by looking at the other primary colors in the same way.
"The middle aura is the best guide to a diseased condition. It may be spotty in appearance. In epilepsy it is lop-sided to the right; in hysteria it is increased over the small of the back. The aura of a woman does not follow the contour of the body very closely.
"The observer should sit with light shining on his face from an angle of about 50 degrees in front of, to the side, and above the level of the eyes.. Look straight ahead at the subject, three or four feet distant, who is against the black background. A sort of halo or mist will cover the surface of the body (or clothing, if worn). Relax the accommodation of the eyes and peer into space, rather than looking direct at the subject... Any electrified or magnetized object will show an aura... The aurae of the human body deflect the infrared rays."
This seems explicit enough, tho' a little experimentation will probably be required, to get the right conditions and the habit of relaxing the eye muscles. We would be very glad to have reports from readers on their success with this.
(A may-be useful note: If you sit at the center of an imaginary clock dial, with the subject at the "12"; then "1:00 o'clock" will be 50 DEGREES, or just a third of the way around to 5:00 and 90 degrees. Apparently this is Cannon's meaning, but experiment for yourself).
"Is anything of God's contriving endangered by inquiry? Was it the system of the universe or the monks that trembled at the telescope of Galileo? Did the circulation of the firmament stop in terror because Newton laid his daring finger on its pulse?
THE CLAIRVOYANCE OF EDGAR CAYCE
Thomas Sugrue's excellent book, "THERE IS A RIVER", has been referred to before in this bulletin. It is an account of some 40 years of clairvoyant diagnosis and treatment of disease, interwoven with much philosophy and metaphysic. The range and quality of this clairvoyance ranks Cayce with Swedenborg and A.J. Davis, and we think it will be of interest to extract a few passages, or summarize passim, to give an idea of the modus operandi of this remarkable seership.
- THE TRANCE STATE -
"Edgar lay down on the couch and put himself to sleep. His breathing deepened and there was a long sigh. L. began to talk to him in a low soothing voice, suggesting that Edgar see his (own) body and describe the trouble in the throat. He suggested that Edgar speak in a normal tone of voice. In a few minutes Edgar began to mumble; then he cleared his throat and began to speak in a clear unaffected tone. 'Yes', he said, 'we can see the body.'
"Diagnosis of the throat condition followed, and L. was told to make certain suggestions with regard to the circulation. He did so, and in about 15 minutes Edgar (still entranced) announced that the condition was removed. 'Make the suggestion', he said to L., that the circulation return to normal and that the body awaken. (The cure was complete). (Pp. 127-128)
"Two things were important; the attendant must not move away from the sleeping body during the trance, and he must give the suggestion that the body awaken. (166)
"The autohypnosis was no more than this; that Edgar decided he wanted to enter the trance (end not an ordinary sleep). (178) He passed into the trance almost immediately.
"Cayce did not need darkness, or prayer, or meditation, nor an ascetic life; he needed only normal health, 'and that his stomach have finished with its digestion of the last meal.' His habits were regular, he was married, had children, used tobacco. The trance state refreshed him, left him feeling hungry. (181)
"He had to be told by the attendant, where the patient was to be found. When a mistake was made in the house number, Cayce reported that the patient was not there, described the room to which he had been (wrongly) directed, and the occupant of the room. When the right number was given he found the patient at once. (208)
"A series of readings was taken on the sex of unborn children. Nine expectant mothers, patients of local doctors ... one of the children was born the day after the reading; the last, 5 months later. In all nine cases, the prediction was right. (159)
"He had no waking knowledge at all of what had been said by the trance personality. He read the stenographic transcripts and 'the stuff amazed him'. (187) He had very little schooling, knew nothing of medicine, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, physics; had little knowledge of history or philosophy; knew nothing of occultism and metaphysics until his trance communications brought him into touch with these subjects. (Pas.)
"The trance personality would give information on business affairs, mines, oil wells and the like, but it often warned against selfish and profit-making schemes. Whenever such knowledge was exploited for gain, the readings left a bad physical reaction on the clairvoyant. (Pas.)
"Where the attention of a medical doctor was prescribed, the doctor almost always refused to have anything to do with the case." (188). (The whole history of this clairvoyance is a lamentable commentary on the ignorance and intolerance of the medical profession).
When prescriptions were not compounded and administered exactly as prescribed by the trance personality, they were ineffectual or harmful. (213, and pas.).
"Reading check-ups (second readings) were sometimes given while the request for them was in the mail, not yet received; sometimes this was true for new patients (210). (This suggests that it was not invariably necessary to give Cayce the location of a patient, prior to clairvoyant diagnosis).
"What the readings have been saying is foreign to all I've believed and all I have taught others, all my life." (247) (This referred to the metaphysics and philosophy. pp. 361-382).
The trance personality was questioned as to the source of its knowledge, and stated: "Edgar Cayce's mind is amenable to suggestion ... and also has the power to interpret to the objective mind of others what it acquires from the subconscious mind of other individuals of the same kind." He described himself as a third person, saying further that his subconscious mind is in direct communication with all other subconscious minds ... capable of gathering all the knowledge possessed by them, and of imparting it to other objective minds. (170)
How far is this explanation consistent with (1) the concept of a "reservoir" of cosmic knowledge and life, and (2) with the doctrine of the Higher Self or Egoic Consciousness (the esoteric rather than the Freudian sense)? It seems to us that all three of these forms of statement are logically reconcilable and capable of integration. What use does contemporary psychology or religionism make of these concepts -- and how do they interpret the phenomena, not only of Edgar Cayce, but of Swedenborg, and A.J. Davis, and de Puysegur's Victor and his other patients, and of other notable clairvoyants also? We can only say in reply -- "It is as if these men and their work had never existed at all."
THE P K EFFECT -- AND AFTER
The JOURNAL OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY for June leads off with an Editorial on The Question of Practical Application of Parapsychical Abilities. The writer, Dr Rhine, refers to dowsing (water-finding), and to the functioning of the "hunch" or intuition in practical affairs, and thinks that if these two could be brought under control they would be very useful indeed; but unless or until control can be established, "applied parapsychology" cannot be taken very seriously.
We are a consistent admirer of Dr Rhine's work, and have followed it with close attention. This particular editorial, however, is the flatest of truisms, and the ne plus ultra of restraint on the matter of possible applications of parapsychic powers.
The final article in this some issue is entitled A Suggestion for a P K Test and its Bearing on the Question of Survival (Charles E. Ozenne). The author has two main suggestions: (a) the P K effect might be demonstrated, studied and utilized by means of scientific apparatus (b) It might (presumably thru similar apparatus) be a means of communication with discarnate intelligences, and so settle the question of survival.
One might comment here, that probably every psychic research student in the world has visualized these two possibilities many times, and that many types of apparatus have been constructed in the search for an instrumental means of spirit communication. Some of these are said to have worked admirably, but only (unfortunately) when operated by, or in the presence of a medium who supplied the necessary form or quantity of psychic energy.
The juxtaposition of these two articles is somewhat curious; their material should be worked into a single piece -- although there is nothing new or striking in either of them -- and then perhaps some uninhibited amateur with no reputation to lose (like ourselves) might go on from where they leave off.
In this brash spirit let us continue the comment.
Let us consider the psychokinetic (P K) effect as definitely established as a reality, in the rigidly scientific sense, by Dr Rhine's meticulous experiments. There is some kind of energy emanating from or associated with human beings, which affects material objects (such as dice), and can change their movement. The evidence for this bare fact is unassailable. To it, if we wish, we can add a great mass of testimony from other sources, from psychic research and from isolated individual experiences. This material is familiar to students and need not be specified here.
Very well! We have, then, a psycho-dynamism, an exteriorized energy producing objective physical effects. It can actually change the position, movement and fall of dice thrown by machine. How does it happen (if it does) that so relatively powerful a force cannot move the most delicately poised needle, disturb the incredibly delicate adjustments of modern scientific instruments of many types? If it can produce physical movement by a tenth of a millimeter, it can open or close an electric circuit, or produce currents capable of amplification, it should also be capable of a wide variety of atomic and molecular effects, perhaps affect the formation of minute crystals. Any skilled laboratory technician can devise a score of set-ups of the most extreme sensitivity. Devices of extreme delicacy of response are perhaps the chief triumph of modern science.
It seems incredible that P K effects cannot be detected by modern scientific means - - unless the throwing of dice may be so described. But are we sure that they can't be? But who are the experimenters on this problem, and what are their results? And if there are no experimenters -- why not?
We extend our brashness a little further, and suggest that this is an open field for the amateur. One does not need a degree in science to prove the existence of P K effects on objects or instruments -- any more than one has to have a PhD in order to make a die fall six-face up.
We point out, however, that we can take the P K effect as something already proved to exist. The next problem, and the first for the amateur, is to produce this effect at a distance - by which we mean, beyond our gaze and beyond the auric influences of the body. If you can affect the fall of dice in the next room, there is every probability that you can move a pointer or disturb the molecules of a gas at the same distance. It is likely that this energy (as Mr Ozanne points out) is independent of distance. If it will "work" on an instrument in the next room, it may work across the continent and around the world.
We offer the suggestion, that the development of ESP (as telepathy) may take this form. "Telepathic" communication may consist in affecting an instrument at a distance, by mental means, instead of conveying the message direct to another human mind. We even think this is the most probable development, as things now stand. We do not need to elaborate on the enormous possibilities of such an advance. The whole vast structure of modern communication systems might be modified by it, and the control-at-a-distance of every kind of mechanism might be possible.
This sounds like scienti-fiction with a vengeance. We may be much closer to its reality than was Galvani to the dream of the dynamo - had such a dreamer then lived.
We call on the amateur -- whose labors have always made the fame of other men -- to take part in this exploration. We think experiments should be made by groups, three, four, or as many as can profitably work together. We offer the hint, that there is some reason to believe that PK energy should be directed against rather large surfaces. Try the relatively crude experiment of directing the force against plates or disks, adjusted as delicately as possible, with electrical contacts. Try affecting the conductivity of various substances, and also the tensions of a magnetic field. Experiment with light rays, both as affecting selenium cells and when acting as electric conductors. Introduce the use of molecular films. "Soap" bubbles can be made to last for several hours; they have even been used for the sealing of apparatus in psychic experiments. These films, resting on terminals, or perhaps in close proximity to them, can serve to make or break electric circuits, and their delicacy should make them responsive to very minute forces.
We cannot elaborate on these suggestions here, and we do not presume to make them to the technician. We only hint at the almost endless possibilities within reach even of the amateur investigator.
The objective can be simply stated: it is simply to produce by conscious mental effort a physical and material effect at a distance. Remember that such an effect is known to be produced now, at close range and under uncertain conditions. The fall of dice is affected by wish, by desire, not by mere verbal command, and the mental complex involved is not well understood. But our grasp of this will be progressive as experiment ramifies. We must have instrumental verification of psycho-kinetic energy -- and we must know what role is played by the factor of distance.
In all this we have said nothing about that dearest concern of psychic research, the "proof" of survival. The developments we speculate upon are likely to answer that question, but we leave it to the reader's own reflections. We confine our seeming day-dream to the affairs of the world. We risk the assertion that the discovery of a controllable P K effect, in distans, on any instrument or material apparatus or substance, might be the most important event in human history. We think the data of psychic research support the possibility -- and we take respectful note that "occult" knowledge affirms it as a fact.
We add that, if this actio in distans (and outside the aura) can be factually established, it is not necessary (for practical utilization) that it be possible for every human being. If one person in ten or a hundred possessed the power, the Door would stand ajar. It is likely that when the psychological problem was grasped, the power could be developed in many who did not possess it naturally. In the hour when ESP, or some form of "psychism" or "mediumship" can be brought to utility-level of the telegraph instrument, dependable and under control, its future is assured. It is not a degradation of the higher powers of man that we envision, but their employment in universal human service.
Finally, we do not think that Dr Ozanne, or Professor Rhine, can be charged, au fond, with triteness or poverty of imagination. Those who sit in high places in the world of science, we well understand, must observe the commend of intellectual restraint! But for ourselves we take satisfaction in exploiting from time to time, as we have done here, the minor advantages of the inconspicuous.
"Doubt is a beneficent demon... But I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything... Nobody can say what the order of the Universe MUST be..."
"The whole problem of life consists in not turning one's back upon the Light."
"Our moral destiny turns on voluntary attention... The moral act consists in the effort of attention by which we hold fast to an idea."
"The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds by experience; the stupid by necessity; the brutes by instinct."
- - L'ABBE CONSTANT --
Since the writings of Eliphas Levi ( Alphonse Louis Constant ) deal with Occult subjects, they are little known outside the circle of those interested in such matters. But they contain passages of great power and beauty, not least among which we esteem the Prayers of the Sylphs, the Undines, the Gnomes, and the Salamanders. Whoever feels his own heart uplifted by them may well repeat them to his profit, feeling himself united in worship with these spirits of the Elements.
The PRAYER OF THE SYLPHS
Spirit of Light, Spirit of Wisdom, thou whose breath doth impart and recall the shape of every object; thou before whom the life of all creatures is a shadow which transforms and a vapour which passes away; thou who sittest upon the clouds and fliest on the wings of wind; thou whose outbreathing peoples the limitless immensity; thou whose inbreathing draws back within thee all that emanated from thee; unending movement in the everlasting stability, be thou blessed forever! We praise thee and bless thee in the inconstant empire of the created light, of shadows, reflections, and images, and we aspire without ceasing toward thine immutable and imperishable splendour. May the beam of thine intelligence and the warmth of thy love come down upon us; then shall the unsteady be established, the shadow be substance, the spirit of the air shall receive a soul, and dream be thought! No more shall we be swept away by the tempest, but shall curb with a bridle the winged steeds of the morning, and direct the course of the evening winds, that we may fly away and come into thy presence. O Spirit of Spirits, O everlasting Soul of Souls, O Imperishable Breath of Life, Creative Sigh, Mouth which dost breathe forth and draw in the life of all beings in the ebb and flow: of thine eternal speech, which is the divine sea of motion and of truth! Amen.
THE GOLDEN STRING
"Here is the end of a golden string. Wind it into a ball."
SHADOW AND SUBSTANCE --
Until we can distinguish between these two, we can lay no hold on Reality.
Until we can name the Shadow by its right name, It will continue to have power over us.
A Dream is vested with reality, until we perceive its true nature. This act of perception is our awakening -- and to attain to it is the whole problem of life, both here and hereafter.
The Awakening is the correct assignment of Values. It is the right determining of what things are "really worth while," or not worth while. It is rejecting the false coin for the true, and the elevation and correction of our ideals. It is discrimination and insight and right judgment.
The words REALISM and PRACTICAL are degraded in common usage; they are taken to mean an active attention to every common, material and unhappy circumstance. But the true Realist, while he does not avoid such things, knows them for aspects of the Shadow. They drew their power from men's own thought, and their life from the life which he confers upon them.
The Mind of Man builds ships and bridges, planes and guns; creates empires, cultures, and civilizations also, and destroys with wrath of war all that he has built. All this has reality of a kind, on its own level of existence -- but it is less real than its creator, less permanent than him who destroys it, weaker than the thoughts which brought it forth.
Strindberg said, the whole problem of life consists in "not turning one's back upon the Light." We can say this in another way also -- that the problem of life is one of values only. The first principle of living should be, to examine every ideal closely. We "want" this or that - money, property, prestige. Let us ask Why, and again Why - and not be content with a hasty and foolish answer.
We "want" things, as a rule, because they enhance our importance, exalt our sense of power, expand the ego, or perhaps bring comfort, security, idleness or luxury. Let us question these ideals carefully; there is sound worth among them, but also much folly. How far shall we devote the strength and days of our lives to them? How far are they real values, and how much of them is fiction, and dream, and stupid conventionalism?
When is a value real, and when is an ideal praiseworthy? That which seems best to you is perhaps too high for me; I have not grown to your stature, acquired your sight. We have been taught differently, live differently. Customs and moral ideals are constantly changing. The first commandment is not "conformity" but rather "Self-Discontent." It is "Aspiration" and "Enlightenment."
The LIGHT of which Strindberg spoke, burns within us. It is Discontent - with our ideals and knowledge and present values. And it is the honest search, and slow and real attainment which inevitably flows from this.
A to Z NOTES
Led on by our dog story in the June number, Mrs H.L. of Mass., sends us a clip from the N.Y. Times. It's about a performing dog named Boots, who knows how to add, multiply, divide, understands long sentences, knows a little French. Her "vocabulary", according to the trainer, adds up to 1,892 words; according to basic English experts, that's twice as many as most humans and any canine has use for. The trainer "turned his back" on the dog, and visitors could propose the questions; further conditions not given.
Mr. K.J.H., physicist, suggests that the Foo-Fire phenomenon might be produced by "a radar antenna mounted on the wing of a night fighter, in the rarefied air of high altitudes." Maybe he will amplify this; it's the only seeming intelligent comment we have heard so far.
The problem of "Vitic" or carbon force continues to attract attention, and Mr Erwin Krieger (U.S. Ordnance) makes a suggestion: maybe the carbon rod has an effect on some kind of energy flow or leakage thru the palms. That might explain the increased registration on the galvanometer, and maybe the left-hand or reverse effects too. In this connection we recall the theory of a "magnetic flow" from the right hand (and thru the left) in various forms of healing practise; also occultists have a good deal to say about energy intake thru the palms. We would greatly appreciate any references to the carbon-lodestone (or carbon-magnet) effect, by anybody anywhere, in occult literature or other.
PEAS FROM THE TOMB of Tutankhamen (the temptation to pun is almost more than we can bear) flourish mightily in both Rhode Island and Florida (according to Country Gentlemen).
There's something weirdly impressive about this display of latent life energy after 33 centuries. Mrs Graham of Ruidoso, N.M. sends us the clip; also another one about ball lightening. That's an argument that has as much vitality as the peas. One could fill a small book with the accounts from people who have seen the phenomenon, but its still optical illusion to orthodox scientists. (Pathfinder May 21).
About that Chinese egg-on-end experiment, discussed in our last bulletin, we have comments from several readers, and Mrs C.H. (Palo Alto) tells us from a reputable source that it's a stale Chinese joke; the egg has to be at the point of becoming chicken.
After the War we're going into retirement for a year in a warehouse full of eggs, and find out about this. But we still want to know about the float-on-air egg; we have gotten so sceptical that we hesitate to disbelieve anything. Besides, if a piano can float maybe an egg can too.
Some of our esteemed critics (much smarter than we are) think we ought to have a Purpose, stop playing around with the small change of psycho-scientism and become conscious of a Mission. Probably that means we should go in for "uplift" and "inspirational" writing, or else for controversy, or for technical studies. In the vernacular, could be! What do you think?
We think such problems as those of VITIC and the VITALITY GLOBULES are not fictitious, may be very important in their implications; we propose to raise other similar questions from time to time. They belong to the "damned" facts which Charles Fort championed by the book-full, and that's one thing the RR also stands for, in its small way. Only, we don't confine ourselves to the physical sciences, but emphasize the facts of parapsychology, spiritism, psychism, occultism or illuminism -- wherever these are ignored, denied, decried or distorted, and at the same time have the shape of corner-stones, for some temple of knowledge yet to be builded.
Contrarywise, the RR carries a hatchet, albeit a small one, for psychopathic smugness, smirks, and self-satisfaction with sappiness. If we had Revelations of our own to offer, doubtless we should soar like eagles; failing that we are under-brush choppers, because all the Paths are choked by it ... But there are plenty of folk who could do a better job, and we're always grateful for comments.
If you receive, along with your copy of the R.R. an advertising post-card or folder, will you send it to some one who might be interested?
We must have more subscribers -- not for profits, but to pay expenses.
FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS ( POSTAL ORDERS ) are issued by all post-offices. The office sends the order; you pay for it, and write the payee of your needs and that the postal order has been sent.
A Shilling is about 24¢ and the English penny is about 2¢. There's no other practicable way of sending small sums to English firms, so far as we know. But there are many book dealers who will order books, sometimes periodicals from abroad, on receipt of cash and instructions. This, because of numerous inquiries.
A Booklet on GEOMANCY (mimeographed) - the only separate treatise on this subject now in print. GEOMANCY is an ancient and curious mode of divination by the Element of Earth, still taught in the modern Esoteric Orders and highly esteemed by many diviners. Easily understood, and is interesting whether you "believe in it or not." Ready in August.
Published by "Talk of the Times", Box 128, SAN DIEGO, 4, Calif.
LETTERS TO A SOLDIER: (by the RR editor)
A specially mimeographed booklet, now in its 4th printing, reduced in size owing to wartime paper restrictions, but with nothing omitted from the original.
The FIRST LETTER is a very simple and direct explanation of what happens at the time of death, and what experiences to expect; it is an actual letter addressed to a son in the service, and adapted to his needs.
The SECOND LETTER is a simplified statement of basic ideas in Spiritism and Occultism, and was compiled in response to numerous requests.
This publication is not to be confused with a series of articles under this same title published in a national spiritualist periodical by a different author.
Published by "Talk of the Times", Box 128, SAN DIEGO,4, Calif.
Price $1.00 per copy or 3 copies for $2.00 post-paid.
To insure speedy return of your orders, please be sure to place the Zone No., as given above.
- 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>
- Mikulasch, Rodolpho H. O Medium Mirabelli: O Que Ha De Verdadeiro Nos Seus Milagres, E a Sua Discutida Mediumnidade Posta Em Prova. Brazil: Santos, Est. Graphico Radium, 1926. Print.
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- Schafhaeutl, Karl E, and Maria Furtner. Ein Physiologisch-Medizinisches Räthsel: Die Wassertrinkerin Jungfrau Marie Furtner Aus Frasdorf in Oberbayern, Welche 50 Jahre Hindurch Ausschliesslich Vom Wasser Lebte: Mit Porträt. ["A Physiological-Medical Enigma: The Water Drinker Virgin Mary Furtner From Frasdorf in Upper Bavaria, Who Through 50 Years Exclusively from the Water Lived: With Portrait."] München, 1885. Print.
- Romains, Jules (Louis Farigoule). La Vision Extra-Rétinienne Et Le Sens Paroptique: Recherches De Psycho-Physiologie Expérimentale Et De Physiologie Histologique. Paris: Nouvelle revue française, 1919. Print.
Romains, Jules (Louis Farigoule). Eyeless Sight: a Study of Extra-Retinal Vision and Paroptic Sense. London and New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1924. Print. <http://amzn.to/1kaVZ6o> [Digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/eyelesssightstu00jule>]
- Sitwell, Sacheverell. Poltergeists: An Introduction and Examination Followed by Chosen Instances. London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1940. Print. <http://amzn.to/1zDVnh1>
- Kasner, Edward, and James R. Newman. Mathematics and the Imagination. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/MathematicsAndTheImagination>]
- Kilner, Walter J. The Human Atmosphere; or, The Aura Made Visible by the Aid of Chemical Screens. New York: Rebman Company, 1911. Print. [Digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/humanatmosphere00kilngoog>]
- Cannon, Alexander. The Invisible Influence: A Story of the Mystic Orient, with Great Truths Which Can Never Die. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1934. Print. <http://amzn.to/1p2Hq5t>
- Sugrue, Thomas. There is a River: the Story of Edgar Cayce. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1945. Print. <http://amzn.to/1viCrC9>