Periodicals -- COMMENTS - -
OF MEDIUMSHIP - AND MORALS -
This is a delicate-difficult-dangerous subject. We shall doubtless be reproved for whatever we say, for what we don't say, and for trying to say anything at all.
It is believed by some, constantly taught by implication at least, that the "unfoldment" or "development" of mediumistic powers depends on the moral life, and an upright and godly character. This is the moralistic and religionistic point of view, and a most admirable ideal.
The severely scientific attitude takes no account of moral values at all, but only of the facts involved, their laws and significance for knowledge.
We have also heard it remarked, that just as the most dissolute poet may write excellent verses, or a degenerate genius turn out music or sculpture of high merit, so the most rascally medium may become a channel of true wisdom, provided only that his power itself is genuine.
We have seen examples of this. We remember, for instance, the Reverend Smake. That's not his real name, but he's a real person. He is a genuine medium, an undoubted crook, and a man of God. If that doesn't sound nice, remember that tho a man cannot serve two masters at the same time, he can switch from one to another with the greatest of ease. And brother Smake is a man of parts. He preaches a better sermon than most ministers, has been in jail oftener than most card sharps, lives decently in public, and is as lewd in his private life as many respectable citizens would like to be - which is saying a good deal.
Now, what about the spirits that undoubtedly communicate thru this reverend brother - at the times when he's not faking. Are they demons, degenerates, imps of the Perverse? Not at all. Are they angels of Light, or holy men and lofty intelligences? Not that either. Sometimes they are obviously liars, but again they are distinguished scholars, and persons of irreproachable ideals and sentiments. We have heard words of power and beauty from their lips. The run of these communicators, however, are common folk, butcher, baker, candle-stick maker, good, bad, indifferent, like most of us.
We respectfully submit, that the Problem of Spiritualism is, what to do with Smakes and Smakism.
Let's put it this way. Spiritualism (whose credo we can personally accept) claims to be a religion and science, or religion based on scientific facts, or scientific religion, or religious scientism. We think that's a beautiful ideal, and we're all for it. But it's an idea with no roots in Western civilization - it's an Oriental concept. Religion, in the West, implies emotion, sentiment, receptivity, authority, acceptance - it's not a body of knowledge. So far as these elements exist, they are incompatible with Western science.
But Smake is not incompatible with science, because he's half genuine. And Spiritualism is trying to be scientific and religious at the same time. Kick Smake out or take him into the fold - you're in trouble either way.
Can Spiritualism really affect this synthesis? We hope so, but it doesn't seem even to have analyzed its problems as yet, in spite of its vast loquacity.
And as a warning to all of us, there's the fable of poor Long-Ears, who starved to death between two hay-stacks, unable to decide which way to go.
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THREE CASES OF EVIDENCE FOR IDENTITY
The following material is forwarded to the Editor by Mr William Randall, attorney of Los Angeles and Pasadena. He has been interested in problems of psychic investigation for many years, and is critical, cautious, and thorough-going in his approach to these subjects. His associates in such studies, are, like himself, men of professional standing and unquestioned probity, who have sought "occult" knowledge for its own sake, and without prejudice either pro or contra.
One of these associates is the Hon. John C. Hamm, formerly a Judge of the United States Court in Wyoming, and for many years a practising attorney in Los Angeles, now retired. With him, too, psychic research has been a life-long interest. Within the last year Judge Hamm called Mr Randall's attention to the matters which are here summarized, and in particular risked his opinion on the identification of the "Katherine McGrew" signature. Mr Randall quotes portions of Judge Hamm's letters, and adds his own analysis of the essential facts, as follows:
"Under date of May 1, 1945 I received a letter from Judge Hamm, from which I quote in part. "You may recall" (he says) "the meeting in November, 1928, when Professor Leslie took a new and unopened pack of blank cards, which Mrs Stewart shuffled, and then actually THREW them around to the people there assembled. Upon examination there were many messages, one of them to Lillian" (the Judge's daughter, Mrs Lillian Payne, since deceased). "It was signed by a deceased cousin of hers. We tried for years to get one of her signatures for comparison, but were unsuccessful up to a few days ago" (when two postcards were obtained bearing the signature of the cousin, Mrs. Kathryn Kesterton McGrew).
Mr Randall remarks that Judge Hamm's memory was at fault in his assumption that he (Mr Randall) was present at the seance described. Mr Randall was not present on that occasion. He then goes on to say that these two cards (exemplars) and also the card given out at the seance by Mrs Stewart (psychic), were sent by Judge Hamm, and that he studied the handwriting: and gave as his opinion that the
Exhibit (the seance card) was written by a person familiar with handwriting of the Exemplars, "but whether they are in THE SAME hand-writing - Quaere?" (This exhibit, incidentally, was written in red ink).
Mr Randall made photostatic copies of the three signatures, and has sent them to the RR Editor. He then quotes from a later letter of Judge Hamm, which describes the seance in more detail. The Judge writes that Mrs Stewart did not "hand out" the cards, but that
"the cards flew from her hands in a veritable whirlwind of disorder as she cried out in a sort of frenzy, 'Here, take them! Take them!' Some caught at the cards as they flew from her hands, some falling on the table, others on the floor . . . they were picked up promiscuously and examined . . . someone found Lillian's card and handed it to her . . . one card, written in a bold Spencerian hand, was addressed to several people. All the cards I saw were in different handwritings."
And Judge Hamm goes on to say that in his opinion, tho there are fine points of difference in the chirography of the writings, and even in the spelling of the name (Katherine, Kathryn), no normal explanation can be found for the appearance  of the writing, the correct addressing of the cards, the handwritings closely resembling or identical with those of various deceased persons.
The photostat of the "Katherine" card reads:
Darling Lillian we will assist you in all good Your dear Mother will write to you soon by your own hand Lovingly Katherine Kesterton McGrew
Mr Randall then continues: "In this case the identification by handwriting seems to me relatively unimportant. The following facts are undisputed:
|(1)||Lillian Hamm Payne had a cousin, Kathryn Kesterton McGrew.|
|(2)||Mrs McGrew, living on Oct. 30, 1923, had died prior to the date of this seance, Nov. 1928.|
|(3)||The home of Mrs McGraw was at Humboldt, Kansas, (note postmark on the exemplar).|
|(4)||The exhibit was produced at a seance held at one of the small sub-urban towns in Los Angeles County in Nov. 1928.|
|(5)||The first knowledge we have of this exhibit, with its present contents, is when it was tossed from the hands of the medium during the seance.|
|(6)||Numerous other exhibits of the some general type were produced at the same time. The whole bunch of cards was tossed in the air together, by the medium, and scattered about the room. They were picked up by members of the company and many were recognized, or at least claimed, by persons to whom they appeared to be addressed; others remained unclaimed.|
Obviously, the only reasonably simple explanation of the matter is that Kathryn McGrew was still - up to that time at least - a living and self-conscious intelligence; and the card, addressed "Darling Lillian" was a production, by means to us unknown, from her consciousness, aided by the psychic powers of the medium. If any reader of the Round Robin has a different explanation which will duly take into consideration the six facts pointed out above, I shall await it with much interest."
Mr Randall adds that, so far as is known, the medium Mrs Stewart never was at the town of Humboldt, Kansas; that, if she ever visited Humboldt, she had no occasion or opportunity to become acquainted with Mrs Katheryn Kesterton McGrew; and that she had no means of knowing that there was either relationship or acquaintances between Mrs McGrew and Mrs Payne. It should also be considered that the card addressed "Darling Lillian" was only one of many similar cards produced at the same time and under like circumstances. Many others of these cards were identified and claimed by those for whom they appeared to be intended with equal readiness and assurance as in the case of the card to Mrs Payne.
In the next issue of the ROUND ROBIN, we hope to present attorney Randall's account of two other instances reported by Judge Hamm, in which the identity of the communicator seems particularly well established.
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Graveyard Ghosts. Mr. S.G.J. Ouseley handles this subject briefly but competently from the occult standpoint, in the Occult Review. He quotes Lester B. Hough, who described his experiences in the first world war. Many bodies of French soldiers had been abandoned on the slope opposite their trenches, and "on clear, still nights we would see luminous bodies the size and shape of a man rise up from the ground and float in an upright position a foot or so above the surface . . . One of them came over to our trenches, mounted the parapet and floated slowly toward the rear of the trench, passing about four feet from me . . . It went about ten feet and then vanished." In the hospital he would often see luminous vapors hovering over wounded soldiers when the lights were turned low . . . in every case where this was observed, the soldier soon died. This was not a matter of clairvoyant vision, but could be observed by anyone.
This apparition is known to occultists to consist of the etheric body, which is said to be composed of four principles: the chemical ether, the life ether, the light ether, and the reflecting ether. The gases and exhalations of the first produce the form; the residual life forces give it a kind of temporary vitality; the light ether makes the form luminous; while the reflecting ether carries the life record of all thoughts and actions. The etheric form is as "real" and "actual" as any other material thing, but it is not a permanent entity, and of course must not be identified with the spirit or soul.
The Draysonian Problem, or "Heresy". We draw the attention of readers interested in this controversy, to The Nineteenth Century for Oct. 1944 (vol. 136, p. 159), article by Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal, entitled The Draysonian Heresy - and to an acidulous rejoinder, Defense of Drayson, in the issue for Dec. 1944 (p. 263). Also, a synopsis of the entire subject may be found in The Drayson Problem, a booklet by A.H. Barley (48 pp.), to be had from the Fortean Society (box 192, Grand Central Annex, N.Y.C.).
Drayson was for some 15 years a professor at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, where he lectured on astronomy; he also spent two years at Greenwich Observatory. A student inquiry, at the Academy, led him to investigate the question: Is the path of the Pole a circle, or some other curve? If a circle, what is the center of that circle? His own reply, in brief, is that the course is a circle, around a point distant six degrees from the pole of the ecliptic; and that this movement is caused by a slow rotation of the earth, in a sense opposite to the daily rotation, about an axis fixed in space as regards the heavens, with a period of about 32,000 years . . . This simple little idea has been a bone of contention, a thorn in the side, a tack in the high seat of authority, and a stench in the noses of orthodox astronomers ever since, that is to say, for the last 80 years or so . . . Our guiding principle is, that every truth in diapers is called heresy, but we don't absolutely insist that every heresy is a disguised revelation.
Ignorance, which in morals extenuates a crime, is itself in
ARYAN PATH for July has a worth-while, 12-page articles on The Relation Between Mind and Matter - or rather, three articles under the same heading, the authors being William H. Roberts, Shri P. Nagaraja Rao of Benares Hindu University, and "A Student of Theosophy" respectively. Also an article Thoreau at Walden, which mentions his oriental studies and his influence on Ghandi - and 11 pages of book reviews. Aryan Path is published in India, but may be obtained from the London Branch, 17 Great Cumberland Place, Lon. W 1. (Monthly, $3.00 vr.)
THEOSOPHICAL FORUM for September has for lead article a lecture delivered by Dr. G. de Perucker, distinguished as a scholar, and Head of the Society until his recent death. What happens to us at the time of death, says Dr Perucker, depends entirely on what has been the dominating force in our lives; this is a matter of Karma, Destiny, inescapable law. But "No immortality for me!" exclaims the author - meaning thereby that he wants to keep on growing, from man into a god, and from the god to greater godhood. Immortality, as he uses the word here, implies a fixed and changeless state; therefore growth implies death. It seems strange that he nowhere introduces the concept of identity, or tries to define it, for it certainly does not imply a changeless and static condition - unless we are prepared to assert that no living organism has identity at all, from one moment to the next. Perhaps the semi-popular lecture form is responsible for this extremely loose exposition.
This same issue of Forum has an article entitled Edgar Allen Poe as a Seer, by H.T. Edge (B.A., Cantab.) This writer quotes from Poe's Mesmeric Revelation (1844), in which the operator "P" (Poe?) is questioning the subject "V" who is in a clairvoyant (mesmeric) trance, presses him for a statement of the nature of God. "V" finally replies that God is neither material nor non-material, and that "spirit" is a word which seems meaningless to him. But matter (says "V") is of all conceivable degrees of density, or fineness, and finally reduces to a homogeneous, non-particulate and universal Existent - and this Unity is God.
Perhaps we might add here, that Mme. Blavatsky also made use of the expression, "a homogeneous substance or root principle", equivalent to Space - and that Space differentiates into Spirit, and Spirit into matter.
We add that another name for this God is ether - which (as a scientific concept) is said to have been made in England (Lodge says, even in the Royal Institution); we are aware that some mathematical physicists assert they can dispense with it. The hypothesis arose, however, out of the need for some kind of plenum, or universal medium, for the transmission of light, gravity, electro-magnetic forces generally; and this need now is as imperative as ever. But from the standpoint of logic it is impossible to understand how the idea of motion can be imported to a non-particulate and universal existent (in spite of "rotational elasticity" and similar attributions). Stresses, strains, wave motions are conditions or functions of particulate matter; yet in such cases as that of a magnetic field there seems to be action at a distance. To meet this we postulate a non-particulate medium which is not "matter" at all, and cannot possess similar properties... Metaphysicians who interpret the objective world as a thinning of the plenum should, we think, reckon with this same difficulty.... But this subject is far too large for our comment here.
MIND DIGEST for September prints 35 articles, plus editorial, book review and suggestions, and excerpts from the work of Edgar Cayce. Finn Cormac writes on the color therapy of Auroratone, John Davis gives a historical resume of animal magnetism (third article in his series Science Discovers the Secret Doctrine), Hereward Carrington discourses on What is Mind, and there are several short accounts of psychic or occult happenings. As usual, it's largely "uplift" writing, but on a better than average level. (York, Pa.).
Re this same magazine, there's a short article by Morrison Colladay called Keeping an Open Mind. He remarks that in the middle of the last century spirit survival and communication seemed demonstrated (to many people), but that today an inquirer is puzzled because the spirit world has suddenly "ceased its efforts" to convince us of these facts. That's real news to the RR Editor, who has been following spiritistic studies for some 25 years and hadn't even noticed it. We thought there was an immense and steadily increasing accumulation of evidence, and don't understand how anybody who knows the facts could perpetrate such a betise.
Mr Colladay also states that scientists find "there is no such thing as cause and effect in the miniature world of the atom," and that this is "very unsettling because it suggests that many other" beliefs may be found invalid. Of course, no scientist ever found anything of the kind. It has been found that the behaviour of the sub-atomic units is not predictable, except in great numbers and by the statistical method which is an entirely different matter. The inference that electrons, neutrons et al. are free from law and causation is mere childishness. The statistical method is deeply rooted in scientific work, just as it is in sociological studies and business methods, and its implications have been fairly well worked out - tho' not according to Mr Colladay's interpretation.
The Medical Society for the Study of Radiesthesia is the name of an association of British physicians (all of them qualified doctors) who employ the pendulum for making diagnoses. "Organs of the body, and also the specific remedy employed are tested by this means, and the remedy is always prepared by the homeopathic system, according to which extremely small doses are given."
Physicians of all schools will probably agree, that diagnosis is seldom a mechanical or rule-of-thumb process only, but involves a trained intuition, or sensitivity amounting many times to a degree of clairvoyance. Some of them have also discovered that clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition are now widely accepted as scientific facts - as is also the study of the aura for diagnostic purposes. But our guess is that the pendula doctors are medical outlaws, in spite of their degrees and certificates. The active existence of this Society, however, is one more straw in the wind, or sign of the inflowing of the fresh air of tolerance where the need for it is very great.
PSYCHIC OBSERVER for September 10 has a review of the recent "psychic play", The Wind Is Ninety, also a front page article by Brown Landone (F.R.S.E.), whose deceased friend Gord frequently comes to see him, dressed in a gray tweed suit and entering via the mirror. Psychic Observer is a responsible magazine, and Mr Landone is a distinguished and responsible gentleman, otherwise one's eyebrow would certainly go up at the tale he tells. It seems the revenant Gord stays for hours at a time, converses long and fluently, mixes drinks for his host (fruit juices only); in between these visits he attends university classes and listens to lectures on physics. Dr L. spends most of this article explaining that materialization, according to Gord, is simply a reduction of vibration rates. He does not mention the common usage, which involves ectoplasm, and leaves the impression that all materialization is simply a slowing down to the rate of visibility.
One's natural impulse, perhaps misguided, is to ask why Dr Brown Landone doesn't ask his friend Gord to appear to some little group of witnesses, responsible people, maybe scientists or psychologists of sympathetic mind (there really are such) who would verify the alleged facts and also ask revenant Gord some worthwhile questions. Or perhaps submit to having a few photographs taken. There's no hint that this type of materialization requires special conditions; or that Dr Landone himself is clairvoyant. Or is there? Landone says this is Gord's 13th appearance - that he (Landone) always keeps things to himself until he is positive - then adds "I admit I may have imagined all this." From a psychic research point of view, how much is a story worth that ends with a remark like that? How much is it worth to the most devoted spiritualist, if he is capable of adding nine and five without counting on his fingers? Except for the alleged discovery of a half pack of Gord's cigarettes, there isn't a single twig of evidential matter in the whole article.
We do not wish to impugn anyone's honesty, we accept the possibility of such occurrences, and the substance of the alleged communication is rational and plausible. But we also point out that Psychic Observer has no definable position, is constantly insisting on the abundance of scientific evidence and testimony, and yet prints the most incredible yarns without a shadow of verification - and where the narrator himself sounds only half convinced of his facts. Articles such as this by Dr Landone are neither fish, flesh, fowl, nor good red herring; they may have a sales value, but under the aspect of intelligence no one knows what to do with them. We greatly question whether they are service or disservice to the cause of spiritualism.
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And having written the above paragraphs , we now wish to add that Psychic Observer is considered by many to be the best spiritualist periodical in the U.S., contains much useful material, good illustrations, and is well worth its subscription price. ($2.00, Lily Dale, New York. Publishers will send sample copy on request.)
Spiritualist Leader, Sept. 2, has an item about Houdini, interesting if true. One E.A. Macbeth asserts that Houdini's real name was Eric Weiss. Later on, Eric W. became known as Desmond Thornton, a "genuine" direct voice medium of Toledo, Ohio; the next sea-change produced Harry Houdini, stage magician and notable foe of all spiritualists.
As to the identity of this E.A. Macbeth (why wasn't it MacDuff?) the Leader says he is an independent writing medium of Rhinebeck, New York, is said to be the oldest medium in the U.S., sat with the Bangs sisters (spirit artistry), Farmer Riley (daylight etherialization), Ada Bessinet, has never been a "commercial" medium, and has worked in cooperation with many psychic investigators - all this, for some 67 years past. He claims to have been a regular attendant at the Desmond Thornton voice seances, and knows that Weiss, Thornton, and Harry Houdini were one and the same person.
Like many other students of psychic matters, we think it likely that Houdini was possessed of paranormal powers of some kind; however, it seems extremely odd that only now, after long years of contention with spiritualists, is this matter being brought forward. And why has medium Macbeth hidden his light all this time? The story, if true, could probably have been verified, and perhaps Houdini's character would now be somewhat less puzzling.
In addition to all the current social and economic perplexities, a fine rumpus seems to be blowing up with regard to spiritualist activities. For some years past spiritualism has been gaining much aid and comfort from scientific discoveries, study and proof of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and from the increasing tolerance and moral support of various distinguished persons. As one result it is (or is plausibly said to be) the fastest growing of all present-day "movements". Prompt and natural reaction is, that everyone who hates, fears or despises spiritualism, or who sees a chance for notoriety in a kept press, plus financial profit, has plunged hopefully into the fray. As the latest we instance the expose articles of Rose Mackenberg (Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis newspapers), and the uncritical diatribes of Lee Steiner's book. Orthodox brethren and sistern are also rallying against the geists, and so too are various law-makers in state legislatures who are at least intelligent enough to count votes.
It is known, of course, that in spiritualism (as in other "religions" also) there has been much fraud, and ignorance, and fanaticism, and delusion, and commercialization - and there still is, and spiritualists (always slack about house-cleaning) are not through paying the price for it. But its central doctrine, of survival and communication is age-old demonstrable truth - accessible, like any other truth, to those who are willing to employ right methods - and holds in embryo the religion and philosophy and science of the future. This is the main issue, the all-important fact, and the processes of time will establish it, and even the intellectuals are beginning to realize it. But meanwhile there is going to be a notable stir-about, distinctly worth watching with a most mordant eye - if one's eye can be that way.
In the same issue of the Leader there's a story by Dr Oskar Goldberg ("formerly professor at the University of Munich") about a London poltergeist, said to be creating a fine furore. The Society of Magicians rented the "haunted" house, set out to debunk the place or degeistize (!) it. But the geist threw a vase against the wall, made noises like a sack of potatoes (?), then slammed one of the investigators against the wall too - giving him, for once in his life, a truly magical experience. Our comment is, that the geist was a first class practical psychologist, who knew that the only way to get an idea into the heads of the hat-n'-rabbit fraternity was by force majeure.
And a Fortean item about FIRES, reminiscent of our Fire Over Almeria in the last Round Robin. AP dispatch from Fort Smith, Ark., Sept. 14, says that officials
are still without an explanation of a series of about 30 mysterious fires on a Sebastian County farm this Week. The mysterious blazes have occurred only at the home of Mrs Annie Bryan, near Midland. Curtains, wallpaper, clothing and other items have burst into flame apparently without cause. A barn was destroyed Wednesday. Nine strange blazes were found yesterday afternoon. The first fire broke out in a table drawer Sunday night. Fire Chief Maurice Brun is certain it's the "work of a firebug."
And what else could a fire chief be certain of? Well, maybe there was a small boy whittling a phosphorus stick, and we hope the Chief catches him - but until then we have our doubts - and maybe afterward.
(The clip is from the San Diego Tribune of Sept. 14).
On the Necessity of Inventing a New Devil. A thoughtful article on this distressing subject appears in The Nineteenth Century: its author thinks that the state of the world has to be blamed on Someone or Something, if mankind is not to become hopelessly foundered in an inferiority complex. We agree that this is first-class psychology, and that since M. Horns-n'-Tail is no longer believed in and we can't use the Jews instead (because we're not Nazis, laus Deo!), a new scapegoat simply must be found. The Century writer suggests women, the female sex as a whole, and points out a dozen or so prime advantages in making them responsible for our woes. A very powerful argument can be constructed in favor of this - but not by us. All high-minded readers will understand our reasons.
Paranormal Cognition is the title of a recent book by L.J. Bendit, M.A., M.D. This is an "ESP" study, but the author prefers P.C., and also the expression "Psi function", simply "Psi" for the faculty underlying supernormal cognition. The book is close-written and analytical, and the author believes in the possibility of direct knowledge, as as opposed to inference from sense data - and that Psi points in that direction. But this, in effect, admits the contention and goal of the mystic. "Straws in the wind!"
The CONTEMPORARY JEWISH RECORD (June issue) prints an interesting interview with Einstein, on the subject of some of the latter's philosophical and mathematical opinions. This magazine, now published every two months, becomes a monthly beginning in September (386-4th Ave., N.Y., 100-110 pages. $2.00 - .40).
FLOWERING DUSK is a book by Ella Young (formerly a lecturer at University of California). Contains a good deal of psychism, folk-lore and clairvoyant experience in connection with it. Theosophical Forum has a competent review. The book is by Longmans, Green & Co., N.Y., 356 pp. $3.50)
THEOSOPHY (Theosophy Co., 245 W. 33rd St., Los Angeles 7) describes itself as an "Independent Journal not connected with any Theosophical society or other organization." It represents the United Lodge of Theosophists, founded in 1909. About 38 pp. Scholarly in tone.
The September Round Robin gave an account of a particularly vicious and stupid attack on spiritualism, by one Fr. O'Neill, in a book prefaced by the Archbishop of Liverpool. Perhaps it was this book that gave the cue for a lecture published in the Buffalo News of February 19, and delivered by the Rev. Eugene B. Regan at Lenten service in St. Joseph's Old Cathedral. The Reverend Father asserted that "there never has been and never will be communication with our dead through the dark folds of seance life. Fully 90% of these seances are fakes and the few that may be real are inspired by the devil." . . . . "In spiritualism there is always one who impersonates . . . we type spiritualism as a present-day form of devil worship . . . if you want a direct trunk line to heaven you can have it by coming in piety to this great Church" . . .
That %90 fake, %10 devil estimate is Frere O'Neill's figure too, backed up by the Archbishop. The National Spiritualist takes the Rev. Regan apart in its April 1st issue, albeit with such restraint, courtesy, and saintliness of manner that we are filled with holy awe and bridle our own impulses. All we have to say is, that every intelligent spiritualist and competent psychic research man in the world knows that such statements, from whatever source they emanate, are either the result of gross ignorance and stupidity, or deliberate lies. That would remain true, even if the spiritualist interpretation were completely erroneous. If we forget about the devil hypothesis, and allow anything up to 50% for fraud, delusion, illusion, hypnosis, auto-suggestion, general nitwittedness and what-have-you, there's still enough left to gravel the whole Roman Hierarchy, Protestant pietists, and Popes of orthodox scientist - who like the Bourbons never either learn or forget anything, at least in the field of paranormal investigation.
The "outstanding quack" and "most polished charlatan of the century" in the kind words of the American Medical Association, was Dr Albert Abrams, who died in 1924. He made several important contributions to medical science, and these are now recognised, but his "quackery" of course consisted in his belief that the body is an electro-chemical apparatus which gives off vibrations of sickness or health, and that these vibrations can be utilized in diagnosis by means of an instrument called the Oscilloclast - something like a radio receiver. He also claimed that this instrument could detect lies, measure love and other emotions, and determine parentage.
Nearly everyone knows, that most of this is now "old stuff", and rather elementary at that, to present-day practitioners. The Burr micro-voltmeter was invented nearly a decade ago; it measured 5 millionths of a volt, recorded the instant of ovulation in rabbits, cats, and women; found differences between mice which will develop cancer and those which will not, and since that time has been modified and developed in a score of ways. At present we have lie detectors, and love and sex measurers, and practically anything the mind-body complex is capable of can be detected and graphed and maybe-analyzed. There is every reason to believe that Abrams was a true pioneer in all this, and that the A.M.A. and its devotees were simply ignorant, intolerant, abusive, and dictatorial - and not for the first or last time, either. There's one thing that the A.M.A. has never done, to our knowledge, and that is, to eat even the smallest shred of crow, publicly or otherwise, or make the slightest effort to correct any of its many injustices.
ASTRONOMERS are kindly souls; if and when they discover some thing headed our way, they say nothing until it has missed us. That's because what you don't know about won't worry you, even if it does bump you off when you're not looking. We note a casual item, that the asteroid HERMES missed the earth by about four hours, October 30, 1937. Of course, four hours is as good as four centuries, but it's something to think about.
About 25,000 meteorites have fallen in the continental United States in the past 140 years, and some of them have weighed as much as 800 pounds. That means meteorites from which specimens have been secured, and is supposed to represent about 1/10 the total; the other 90% fall in the seas or in uninhabited places, or are burned out by the atmosphere. But there is excellent geological evidence that the earth has been struck heavily many times during past ages.
Referring back to the asteroids, something more than 600 have been discovered, and the largest one, Geres, is about 500 miles in diameter. The "4 hour" miss by Hermes is equivalent to about 400,000 miles. The diameter of the asteroid is only about 1 mile, but if it had disintegrated in the atmosphere the damage might have been more extensive.
- V - G's AGAIN -
For the second time, in some 25 years of snooping among occultiana, we have found a reference to VITALITY GLOBULES (Spiritons, or Zo-ites). It's in an article by one Hamid Del Rey, called The Human Aura and Centers, in the May issue of The Spiritual Digest:
"The Life Force or Prana can be seen by the majority of people, if, on a bright sunny day, they will seat themselves in the shade and look out into sunlighted atmosphere for two or three moments without winking. It will appear as small luminous bodies in constant motion, shaped much like a common tadpole."
The Digest article also says that this Life Force or Prana "is the basic substance of the aura, is the vital force - neither mind nor soul, but the Force through which these manifest - is higher in vibration than mere matter, and is the substance of energy."
Several RR readers who have been observing these globules have reported a tail-like appearance. The only other reference we ever found, some two decades ago, described them as minute translucent darting globules, and said that according to Oriental lore they are units of vital energy derived from the sun. Dr Phillip S. Haley is the only consistent student of them we have heard of, but we suspect that some day, some inquisitive psycho-bio-physicist will explore, expound, and exploit the whole subject. So we're getting the Round Robin into the record while we can. It's an easily accessible visual phenomenon which no writer on optics (light, vision) even mentions (so far as we know), and we never found an oculist or optician or physicist who had heard of it, showed any interest in it, or had any explanation for it which is worth repeating.
But there's already quite an accumulation of observational data, and we still think it should be possible to photograph the globules by some of the recent techniques. The study of the aura is certain to involve them, eventually, and Hale's investigations indicate that they are deeply involved with certain seance phenomena. Tesla observed them and thought they were ionized particles (which is not necessarily inconsistent with the "occult" explanation); the RR has made bold to suggest that what we see may be track images of particles of a mass ray, possibly solar. (Cosmic rays, incidentally, are not of solar origin; but radiation physics is an obscure and immensely complicated subject.)
Also, we suggest that these globules, if they are "units of life energy from the sun" - or even if not solar in origin - may be an important factor in the study of solar effects. We have at hand a newspaper clipping nearly three columns long, printed in 1936; it's an article by G.K. Spencer, dealing with sun spots, the coincidence of the 1400 year and the 11.1 year cycles in 1936, the history and current theory of cycles, and the interest of scientists in possible effects on earth conditions (1). These numerous attempts to discover significant cycles in natural phenomena, as well as in human history, have
(Continued on page 15)
(1) Clipping from Mrs Helen Lotreck (Mass.).
A PSYCHIC COMMUNICATION
* * *
"The ordinary understanding of psychic communication is that a discarnate person 'comes' from some undefined locality, makes contact with a person, or group of persons, in incarnation, and proceeds to make himself known. It may be said, definitely, that except for excarnate spirits who are in the condition of those who have very recently passed over, who are at the very initial stage of their progress in the life hereafter, the above form of statement is entirely too material, too matter of fact, so over-simplified as to be misleading.
"When the spirit, or as we may say for present purposes the intelligence, passes out of incarnation it is (in most cases) very quickly released from its physical attachments. Its continuing state is less substantial than the perfume of a flower. Comparatively few of those who pass over from earth remain in that intermediate state which is commonly known as 'earth-bound' --- more correctly, matter-bound, for they are not so much tied to earth as to matter. It is to these that the grosser psychic manifestations appeal, and it is through them that such phenomena can be produced. In the investigation of materializations and like psychic phenomena, numerous incongruities are observed -- inaccuracies of statement, shifty and quibbling evasions, even bare-faced attempts to deceive -- all of which are all too familiar to every student of psychic research. Yet these confusing manifestations do not necessarily indicate that the communicating intelligence is intentionally striving to mislead. It may be, rather, that the communicator is making awkward and unskillful use of incongruous media of communication -- manipulation of matter by quasi-material means under the guidance of a semi-spiritual intelligence. These methods -- as clumsy in reality as they sound in the description -- are those which are utilized in the production of all forms of 'psychic phenomena' commonly obtained in the seance room.
"In the higher type of spiritual communications, transmission is obtained by the direct impact of the conscious thought of the communicator upon the sympathetic brain-cells of the recipient. In order to make this type of communication possible, there must be between Communicator and Recipient such a state of sympathy or rapport that the Recipient is impressible . . . .
"In the highest type of spiritual intercourse the difficulties arising out of the use of language die out almost completely. On that level, the communication, or intercourse, of soul with soul is in the nature of a direct intermingling of thought, without the use of the intervening symbols of language. Sometimes you will hear the Recipient of spiritual communications comment upon the difficulty of 'translating' the thought received by him, as if it were a matter of transfer from one tongue to another. That is not a correct expression. It would be more nearly correct to say  that the difficulty is in 'breaking down' direct cognisance of thought on the spiritual level into the language symbols which pertain to the physical phase of life."
(Certain personal questions and replies are here omitted. Ed.)
"Some of our finest Recipients -- those who are actually doing the greatest work in this field -- are not aware of their own powers or services. Among these, for instance, are those who are recognized as 'original thinkers' in the fields of science, mathematics, philosophy, social progress, etc. What these advanced souls are actually doing is that they are struggling mightily to interpret in terms of earthly mentation and language the direct cognition of truth which they are receiving from sources in the so-called 'spiritual world'."
QUESTION: Is genius, then, a direct inspiration from higher consciousness?
"Whence do you think came the term, 'Divine Afflatus'? It is a recognition of the Divine Light -- 'clear understanding', in modern terms. . . ."
(At another time, during the same session, the discussion turned on the methods of self-identification employed by discarnate persons when seeking to communicate with their personal friends still in incarnation.)
"When the spirit world wishes to be recognized, it presents itself always in the most recognizable form. In no other way can assurance be given when that assurance depends upon a visual perception. But when the limitations of the bodily frame have been laid aside, we shall know one another by the clear perception of those spiritual qualities which were crudely shadowed forth in the bodily characteristics. Physical appearances change from day to day, but the spiritual qualities are of the essence of life itself; and they are abiding. It is by these that the ultimate recognition will be made. It is to this that Saint Paul had reference when he said: 'Now we know in part, but then shall we know even as we are known.' Sometimes we hear people say: 'But I know those I love when I see them. If I cannot know them in the same way when we meet in a future life, how shall I know them at all?' Have no fear, recognition will be direct --- not through the uncertain and misleading medium of sense perceptions. You will know -- not hear or see or feel. Then, indeed, (to the limit of our own capacity to understand) we shall recognize our friends for just what they are -- not what they appear to be."
But if the characteristics, that is to say the physical outlines by which we identify one another through the sense perceptions, have ceased and they have no spiritual equivalents, what remains of the individuality?
"It is a fair question, but it can be answered. When you consider your own identity, you do not need to refer to the appearance which you see in the mirror. You know your own identity because you are -- not because you appear to be. You are aware of yourself, but you have no such awareness of any other person. Consider the most intimate of all human relations, husband and wife. Does the husband know his wife? No; nor does the wife know her husband. The most that either has is a memory, a picture, of the appearance of the other, coupled with memory of experience of the other's habitual reactions. Yet these reactions to the changing conditions of life are not uniform and unvarying. It is just these slight variances of taste and temperament that go to make up individuality. By these signs you know your friends on earth. The identifications of the senses are often in error. Cases of mistaken identity are of constant occurrence, but they are of slight importance. You recognize your friend when he begins to express himself."
- - - - - -
It is conceded that there is nothing evidential, in the technical sense, in the communications reported above. Their value lies in the subject matter, which may suggest profitable topics for reflection.
assumed the proportions of a "literature", without (it seems to us) any definitive results. But one basic fact, of solar influence on earth conditions, is well recognized. It is quite possible that an increase or diminution in the number or activity of the globules may correlate with sun spots, solar activity, vital forces, and have a bearing on epidemics and disease and health generally. We make these obvious comments by Way of indicating that the v-g problem is not trivial, or isolated and freakish, but may actually be a productive "lead" which has not yet been recognized.
Recurring to the clipping, scientific apprehensions about the year 1939 were abundantly justified. We'll call that a coincidence - with the reservation that coincidences need explanations. Most of our knowledge is derived from the "falling-together" of apparently unrelated factors.
"It is a pity" remarks Professor C.C. Pratt (in his Logic of Modern Psychology) "that transfer of training is not more effective." YES? INDEEDY! As it is, and because it isn't, we have tycoons and "magnets" talking about religion, religionists meddling with biology, physicists crusading against spiritualism, spiritualists turning out reams of pseudo-science, and newspaper columnists authoritative and wrongly informative on everything from baby food to national policies. Nine-tenths of all this, of course, is only cracker box oratory on a more pretentious scale, would be amusing and in some ways commendable (safety valve, anyhow), if it were not that the public attaches equal weight to everything said, on any subject, by any person of prominence. To be dogmatic on all possible questions should be the exclusive privilege of the nobodies.
Just to be trivial, EGG-ON-END controversy is still going strong, and Life gives a page to it, plus illustrations. On Spring Begins Day, the Chinese legend goes, there are two hours time when eggs will stand on end. Mr Yang and Mr Wei, Chinese officials, got into an egg standing contest (Feb. 4); then correspondents Rundle and Baker, experimenting on Feb. 11, stood two eggs on end, Feb. 17, at a dinner party, eight out of 10 eggs stood up. Feb. 21, Mr Wong, official, stood up 75. After that for a while everybody had good luck. Then appeared Dr Wand, DSc of Munich Technological, discussing temperature, center of gravity, and expansion coefficients; he also referred to hen food and especially to the liquidity of eggs. He could not, however, explain why empty egg shells, hard boiled eggs, and flash bulbs all stand on end tho' minus all liquids. Fresh or stale, shaken or unshaken, hot or cold, on stones, boards, glass, hard ground, any hour of any day (apparently, and so far) eggs either stand (on either end) or will not stand - maybe for the same reason the hen crossed the road. But we still lack reports on china nest eggs. (And thanks to Mrs H.L. for the clip).
MEN WHO WOULDN'T STAY DEAD is the title of a book by Ida Clyde Clarke. There's an excellent short introduction, then about 270 pages of famous ghost experiences, including the Wesleys', Andrew Jackson, Mark Twain, Napoleon, Byron, Charles XII of Sweden, Washington, and the alleged "return" of the spirits of Walt Whitman, Henry Ward Beecher, Lincoln, Oscar Wilde and others, the priest of Nippur who came to Dr. Hilprecht (Assyriologist), many short psychic experiences of famous people, ghosts in Parliament, ghosts at Cambridge, the discovery of the Edgar Chapel, Houdini's ghost story, and a brief appendix. There's no argument pro or contra, but the introductory quotes to the chapters are from such sources as Andrew Lang, Professor Hyslop, W.T. Stead, Dr Buckley, Phillips Brookes, Lodge, Hodgson, Begbie, Carrington, and other favorable and familiar authorities. Material is well chosen, well organized and very interesting. (Bernard Ackerman, Inc., 381 - 4th Ave., N.Y. 16, N.Y., $3.00)
ONE HUNDRED CASES OF SURVIVAL AFTER DEATH. Edited by A.T. Baird. Bernard Ackerman, pub. Index and bibliography. Said to be good reading for sceptics, and a "good cross-section of the field of psychic phenomena."
The one copy we have seen of SUNFLOWER (Oct. '45) carries a book list, about 100 titles, four or five short book reviews and various articles of the "uplift" type. 12 pages, mimeographed, 8½ x 14". Bi-monthly. 15 No. Maryland Ave., Atlantic City, N.J. 2 yrs for $1.00 . . . We note that this publication offers to locate out of print books without charge. It has been our experience that dealers and publishers who make this offer, usually find the book IF you give them exact title, author, date, and publisher - in short, all the information which would enable you to get the book for yourself, but for which you expect them to have superior sources of information. Given this, they will condescend to order the book and collect their commission . . . We do NOT imply that this is the type of "service" given by Sunflower, of course.
We are deeply gratified to learn that the Court of Appeals of New York State has by unanimous decision reversed the two lower Courts in the case of the People v. Caroline B. Strong. Rev. Strong is pastor of the Third Spiritualist Church, N.Y.C., was arrested for "pretending to tell fortunes" during a message circle at the Church, and was convicted first by the City Magistrate (without jury), and then on appeal to the Appellate Part of the Court of Special Sessions. The final Court of Appeal, however, disposed of the case summarily, without even writing an opinion; "Judgment reversed and complaint dismissed on ground of insufficient evidence." Committees of the N.Y.C. Bar Association, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York filed a joint brief urging this reversal. Everyone having the matter of civil liberties at heart should take satisfaction in this result, whether he is a spiritualist or not. This petty yet thoroughly vicious persecution of psychics and mediums, by city police departments, often egged on by orthodox religious elements, is a matter of public interest and concern. PSYCHIC OBSERVER for Sept. 25 has a full account of the Strong case.
HARBINGER OF LIGHT for May (rather old, but the last one received) has A Child Prophetess (reprint) - Did They Really Die, by Lord Dowding (interesting messages from airmen killed in the war) - a first rate article on Dowsing (reprint from Prediction) - and half a dozen shorter articles.
The ancient and respectable Art of Dowsing is now called Radiosthetics - in case you didn't know; also, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office have forbidden its practise, according to Catholic Times. The rod or twig is also used to locate metals, to test soils and fertilizers and the sex of eggs, and to locate disease in animals and humans. There's evidently a connection here with the Pendule, used for similar purposes and especially for diagnosis. Some years ago one Shrapnell-Smith, physicist, announced that photographs of living persons gave off some kind of emanation or radiation, which disappeared when the subject died - but that's the first and last we heard of that story . . .
At Stonehenge and in other stone circles underground water has been located at the exact center, according to the Harbinger article - and that's more than a coincidence, whatever the explanation may be. We're constantly impressed by accumulating data, apparently inter-related, in the radiosthetic field, and likely the study of aura belongs there too, and maybe some forms of telepathy and other clairsentience.
Radiation physics has become a vast and complicated subject, and our point is, that its counterpart is the field of such phenomena as we have been mentioning. The recognition and systematic study of these subjects is new and very difficult, but it is the science of the future in embryo. Some scholar with the combined equipment of a psychologist, physicist, occultist, and philosopher may yet appear, who will give this diversified but related subject matter a unitary treatment, integrate it under some workable concept. The material is almost chaotic, or organized only in patches, but many thousands of amateurs are picking away at it, and eventually it will find some kind of integration.
And it's not the orthodox scientists, orthodox religionists, smug intellectual sceptics who are doing the pioneer work, but a multitude of inconspicuous people sans orthodoxy of any sort, reasonably honest, sane, curious and adventurous, plus a minority of heterodox scientists (psychic research men particularly) who dig up most of the data, keep thrusting it under the unwilling noses of their soi-disant betters . . . .
And that historian of the 24th century envisioned by Houston Stuart Chamberlin: that Teutonized English savant wrote that he (the historian) would characterize the 19th century as the "century of philology" (of all things!). Well, our optimistic guess is, that he'll call the 20th century The Dawnlight, give ten pages apiece to the world wars and a volume to the Awakening. Egon Friedell, brilliant, individualistic, near-ostracised by his fellow historians, saw this clearly enough, said that the "Light from the Other Side" would give us the next chapter in the history of European culture . . . But his, like a score of others, is a Voice crying in the wilderness; most of us can only listen, try to distinguish these voices, try to learn, to understand what is going on under the surface of our perplexed and foolish life - try to awaken from our "hypnotic slumber" and "mesmeric dreams."
On the casual triteness of great minds: "I have attended a number of seances" (writes Madame Curie) "and have seen manifestations which might be attributed to psychic forces, such as tables being raised in the air, etc . . . . I might have studied these phenomena and have been able, perhaps - who knows - to form an opinion... But first of all I should have had to interpret the facts scientifically. A fact is scientific only when it, or others of the same nature, can be observed in a laboratory, produced at will, and indubitably. I have not had time to take up the study . . . But who can say what matter is?"
We agree with the words of this great physicist - only, we take them as she meant them, in a most general, inexact, and incomplete sense. For the phenomena of Nature, of course, are not reproduced in laboratories (tho' their constituent forces may be so studied) - shall we name earthquakes and volcanoes, the movements of heavenly bodies, geological and biological phenomena of a thousand kinds? And to the words "produced at will" we must add "by the reproduction of whatever special conditions are required" - for psychological experiment is not like the mixing of chemicals or the noting of weights and measures, and the experimenter is himself, so to speak, a part of the apparatus. And to "indubitably" we should add "for observers thoroughly qualified for the special task." We comment on these expressions, only because one hears them ad nauseam from the small fry of the laboratories, in whose mouths it becomes a kind of illiterate gabble, without logic or critical judgment. "Scientific interpretation of facts" is a fine phrase - but what and when is a "fact", and who decides, and interprets and how, and by what consensus of opinion, and who is qualified, and who judges qualifications, and who determines whether an interpretation is "scientific" - and is it true that no pain in the tummy can be a scientific fact, in spite of the "science" of medicine, simply because you can't even prove that it exists? --
And we are reminded of Malisoff's brutal realism "Facts which cannot be questioned are almost mythical" - and again "Science is characterized by technique of observation and by elimination of the personal equation" -- and of Huxley -
"Strictly speaking I am unaware of anything that has a right to the title of an impossibility, except a contradiction in terms. There are impossibilities logical, but none natural - a round square, a present past. But walking on water, or turning water into wine, are plainly not impossible in this sense."
We're presumptuous enough to say we agree with this too, though there's fuel enough in it for a four-volume argument to a draw - no decision. As a matter of fact (tho' it's a great and secret scandal) the logicians have not yet been able to agree on a definition of logic, or even (at last reports) on the definition of a definition of a definition of a . . . . . . . . So, until more news comes in from that front we're going to agree with Huxley, who said he was too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything . . . . . .
All of which we perceive to be slightly elliptical, or what we call kangaroo writing, moving by erratic hops tho' in one general direction - in this case from Mme Curie right down to the end of this page.
UNIVERSAL STATION by Beth Brown.
This is the story of one Johnny, who has already cracked up in his plane on page 1, gets out of his body and is welcomed by his grandfather on page 4, and so begins 585 pages of life history and other world adventures. Their first destination is Universal Station, which seems to be a magnificent half-way house, union depot and distribution center for departing spirits. But first they come to the Tunnel, and here Johnny has to pause for the necessary review of his past. We have his childhood and his love for Nancy - the "bond" that reunites them in the end - and then Johnny meets his old earth friends Duffy and Dixon, and a crew of fellow airmen, and they all get into the Station eventually. But the place is full of Nazis, and the Nazis are full of the devil, and there are airplane raids and fighting and killing even "there" - which appears to be lower astral. One unusual and prominent character is Tony, an intellectualish and sour-tempered dog who wanted to talk during his dog-days on earth, and has now gained his wish. The story, slightly confusing and somehow packed with both action and conversation, goes on and on to a violent but satisfactory ending.
If we follow the author's injunction to "be sure to look between the lines", we find most of the basic ideas of esotericism as the author conceives them. We reincarnate because we want to progress, and hence must have earth experience. And "All we have thought and hoped and dreamed of good shall exist" - the rest of the Religious philosophy is in the rest of Browing's stanza. There's a salutary emphasis on the power of the wish, which always brings results if it is genuine and persistent. God is the universal consciousness, and every human being is important to Him, but our life here, and on the astral planes also, is a kind of somnambulism, so that our chief business is to try to wake up. This process is not wholly a happy one, because we see all our wrong doing, stupidity and ignorance, and recognize selfishness as the chief evil, and service to others as the supreme duty, and also as the sole key to our individual evolution. But the resources of the universe are ours, once we come to understand, and trust, and so make use of them, putting aside all doubt and fear. And both here and in the life to come, the road to enlightenment is through the Silence - that is, through meditation and prayer and aspiration.
"You don't run round in circles no more," says Duffy the cab-driver, "you got everything - you got God working for you." All the fantastic happenings of the astral plane are, of course, explained by the creative power of thought on the astral matter. If you went a theatre, a cab, a piano, a fire engine, it will be "delivered" in no time; then you can figure out for yourself how to get rid of it. Every wish is granted, not merely one or three as our fairy tales have it, so the moral is obvious -- be careful and careful about your wishes.
We think this book will perform a useful service. To our own somewhat jaundiced eye it is too long, too sentimental, too obviously touched with the finger of femininity, and its underlying ideas have had better handling. But it has been widely reviewed and widely approved, has an excellent sale, and no doubt fills a considerable role in the education of the public along "psychic" and "occult" lines.
* * * * *
HE'S ON RECORD ANYHOW:
Canny reader of R.R. who signs initials only, reports a Psychic communication, concerning seismic disaster in Japan, November 15, 1945. Says he is clairvoyant and clairaudient ("home consumption only") and that previous predictions have been correct.
MAXIN 92, a "magazine of occult research" is published quarterly at 1345 No. Hayworth Ave., Hollywood, 46, Calif. David D. Dagmar, Editor. ($1.00 for 4 issues). The Oct-Nov-Dec. issue, now out, is No. 1, Vol. I. About 40 pages, 7x10, good type and paper, many typographical errors which no doubt will be corrected later on.
This is said to be a non-profit venture, and Editor Dagmar thanks the Editor of Amazing Stories and the Ziff Davis Publications for making Maxin possible.
The present issue prints letters, or excerpts from letters of readers (some 30 in all), withholding the names of the writers; most of them deal with Atlantis, Lemuria, Moon People, Mt. Shasta mysteries, and the "Dero Terror" - and similar alarming subjects. That is to say, they deal with theories, conjectures, dreams, and psychic or occult experiences of the writers, with reference to these subjects.
It's a unique idea, and people who like scientifiction, [A. Merritt] novels and the like should get a genuine "kick" out of it.
We don't mean, however, that these letter writers are fictionizing; they are reporting personal experiences and are full of strange, unprovable, maybe-true hypotheses about the whole range of mystical antiquity - long lost civilizations and submerged continents. We're impressed by the number of people with such interests, their pertinacity, and the wide-spread appearance among them of various forms of psychism. Scientifiction prospers because of them, but then, scientifiction has its uses. And it's a mistake to put aside all these divagations as worthless, on the ground that in a hundred pages there isn't a hundred lines that a scholar or scientist can make real use of. The fault for that is too often with the intellectuals as the psychic research man well knows from his own experiences.
A PIOUS ORISON
"Now we give thanks to the All-Father for the abundance of his gifts. It is true that we are too stupid to use them, but we have the power to learn. We do not always know how to serve Thee, but each of us knows some may to serve his fellow man, if only by our own decent behaviour. And if we can neither learn anything nor behave decently, we can still hope and desire and resolve to do so. Even the wild gourd vine grows toward the light - and there is a spark of Something in us which would turn toward its Light also.
"Mayhap this will move to be only a glow-worm or a jack-o-lantern, but if so, we shall discern the fact and seek further. It is for the upward springing of Thyself in us that we are grateful, and it is Thyself in us that offers thanks."
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We maintain, with all modesty, that Round Robin is different
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Round Robin stands for a sane ecclecticism -- for the truths of spiritism and spiritualism as it understands them -- for the fundamental concepts of the Ancient Wisdom, or esoteric philosophy -- for the intellectual and scientific approach so far as this is profitable -- for the validity also of mystic knowing and of occult processes -- and for the belief that science, philosophy, religion, and Art are convergent paths to a higher synthesis.
Round Robin keeps you in touch with the more important articles in some 30 other periodicals (it would cost you about $70.00 a year to subscribe to them).
And Round Robin is unique, so far at least, in that it pays no profits to anyone (if it did, we could make a better magazine out of it).
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The following mimeographed booklets are for sale by Talk of the Times, Box 128, San Diego 4, Calif.
GEOMANCY - The Art of Divination by the Element of Earth. Geomancy is an ancient and curious divinatory mode still employed in various occult Orders, easily learned, and highly esteemed by many students. Interesting, whether you believe in divination or not - and no other separate treatise now in print. Compiled by the Editor of the Round Robin. 8½ x 11", 24 pp. $2.00 postpaid.
LETTERS A SOLDIER - 4th printing, reduced in size but nothing but omitted. Despite its title, this is not a war publication only; it is a very simple and direct explanation of what happens at the time of death, according to the consensus of esoteric knowledge. The second part of the booklet is a simplified summary of basic ideas found in occultism and spiritism. No propaganda, but a good first book for persons unfamiliar with occult modes of thinking. By the RR Editor. 5 x 8", 35 pp., with reading list. $1.00, or 3 copies for $2.00
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- DOUBT (Fortean Society magazine).Quarterly. Box 192, Grand Central Annex, N.Y.C. $2.00 --- 25¢ ea.
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- THEOSOPHICAL FORUM.Monthly. Official Magazine of the Theosophical Society, Covina, California. c. 50 pages. 5x9. $2.00 --- 20¢ ea.
- VOICE OF PURE SPIRITUALISM.Tri-Yearly. 150 Belvedere St., SAN FRANCISCO, California. c. 50 pages. 8x11. Illustrated. $1.00 --- 40¢ ea.
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The BOBBITT AGENCY, 1609 - 10th Avenue, NASHVILLE, 8, Tenn., sells sample copies of nearly all psychic and spiritualistic publications (periodicals, not books) and accepts subscriptions. Write for their lists. (The RR has NO financial interest in this Agency.)
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- Barley, Alfred H. The Drayson Problem: In Astronomical Survey of the Whole Question, in the Form of a Reply to a Recent Article in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association Entitled the Draysonian Fallacy. Exeter: W. Pollard, 1922. Print.
- Poe, Edgar A. "Mesmeric Revelation." Columbian Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine. 1 (1844). Print. [Story included in Poe's "Tales" (1845); digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/tales00poee>]
- Bendit, Laurence J. Paranormal Cognition: Its Place in Human Psychology. London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1944. Print. <http://amzn.to/1oQ8e75>
- Pratt, Carroll C. The Logic of Modern Psychology. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939. Print. <http://amzn.to/1zPMctL>
- Jacoby, Annalee. "Eggs Stand on End in Chungking." LIFE 19 Mar. 1945: 36-37. Print. [Digital: <http://books.google.com/books?id=K1MEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA36>]
- Clarke, Ida C. Men Who Wouldn't Stay Dead. New York: A. Ackerman, Inc, 1945. Print. <http://amzn.to/1zPOiKe>
- Baird, A. T. One Hundred Cases of Survival After Death. New York: Bernard Ackerman, 1944. Print. <http://amzn.to/1hT1jai> [Digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/onehundredcasesf00bair>]
- Brown, Beth. Universal Station. New York: Regent House, 1944. Print. <http://amzn.to/1piaYvt>