* * * * *
The Motive of Right Conduct, we believe, is self-interest. The one great problem of each individual life is to determine just where its true and highest interest lies. If we think it lies in money, prestige, power, we continue to function on that level until we learn better. When or if we begin to grow up, we perceive that true self interest implies concern for other people and service to them. But how can the average person be made to understand this fact? The whole problem of ethics and morality resolves itself into this simply expressed question.
Students of esoteric matters, if they have obtained true insight, live as righteously as they can for a very simple reason - they are afraid not to. They know that self service on the lower levels, of selfishness, greed, ambition, is really self-destruction. They know that such actions run counter to evolutionary laws. They accept the highest ideals of Christianity, but not from fear of an angry God or hopes of an orthodox heaven. Their motivation is rooted in knowledge and common sense, and their aspiration has reason and objective.
Let us not, therefore, decry fear as an element in right conduct. It has always been employed by the secular authority in enforcing laws of the State, and by the Church in making converts and suppressing heresy. That is because the appeal to reason has ever been difficult and only partially effective. And we recognize the saying, that obedience based on fear is not moral. Yet the student of occult laws also clings to the Path partly through fear, though certainly he has no desire to abandon it. He has his hours of discouragement in which fear of failure is more powerful than any hope of success. "The Abyss lies behind" runs the saying - and to fall back into it is a disaster more deadly than the "sins" of the orthodox, or the breaking of rules and precepts.
There is an ancient saying, often attacked by theorists, that "to know the good is to do it". There are millions of people who accept, intellectually and formally, with lip service, the loftiest ideals - but whose lives are narrow, selfish, and vicious. We can defend the maxim only by saying that they do not "really know" the good or the evil. If they could "really" see and understand the effect, on themselves, of evil acts, they would be afraid to commit them.
It is taught, we believe rightly, that at an advanced stage of development the human will cannot act from debased motives; temptation no longer exists. Just as the normal human being feels no temptation to thrust his hand into the fire, so the evolved human feels no temptation toward selfishness. For him, fear has almost vanished. His knowledge is of course imperfect, but aspiration and right action are natural, normal, inevitable. But for all us lesser folk, fear of the wrong act is a legitimate and powerful motive.
The profound utility (both material and spiritual) of esoteric studies, is simply that they bring specialized knowledge, and this knowledge convinces us beyond question that the selfish act is stupid, and deadly-dangerous as well. The hell-fire theology frightened people - but by lies. Occult knowledge begins by frightening people with the truth. In our blindness we eat and drink vileness, telling ourselves it is the finest fare in the world. When our eyes are opened we put it aside with horror, feeling the wrench of poisoning within us.
- V I T I C -
(Increasing Interest and various correlations)
In the issues for March and April, 1945, the Round Robin carried articles on Vitic, or "carbon force". Most of this material was developed from the following sources:
- Origin and Problems of Life. A.E. Baines. Routledge and Sons, Lon. Dutton & Co. N.Y.
- Electro-Pathology, by White-Robertson.
- Articles by J. Horne Wilson in The Practitioner of June 1914, and in Medical Times of July 25, 1914.
- A summary of the above material, by Brian Brown, in his Dynamic Power of the Inner Mind, An Outline of Practical Psychology. Doubleday, Page & Co., Country Life Press, Garden City, N.Y. 1924.
We have not been able to obtain any of these except the last, but a few amateur experiments gave convincing evidence of the existence of this curious energy, apparently arising from the carbon when used in conjunction with a magnet, and stored up in the nerve ganglia. Remarkable therapeutic values were claimed for this, according to Brian Brown's summary, nevertheless the whole matter has been completely neglected for the last three decades. Our account of it in the RR awakened the interest of several readers, and especially of Mr E.C. Krieger (Indiana), who made many highly suggestive comments, some of which have appeared from time to time in this Bulletin.
The Round Robin Editor also contributed an article on the subject to DOUBT, the magazine of the Fortean Society. This resulted in considerable correspondence, and the whole matter came to the attention of Amazing Stories magazine, which has been conducting a sensational series on the so-called Shaver Mystery. Various readers of that magazine began experimenting and writing in about their results. And in our own recent mail we find a letter from author Vincent H. Gaddis, who is interested (like many others) in the possible relation of Vitic to Prana, life-force, perhaps solar energy. He also encloses extracts from two letters received by him, with permission to quote, and we give them below.
(Extract from letter by William Weaver, P.O. box 197, Kokomo, Indiana)
"Regarding the carbon and magnet experiment, after checking the increase in body current using only the magnet and carbon, generate an electric current of approximately 30,000 cycles at 1000 v. and about .001 m-a. Connect one side of this current to the current [magnet?] and the other to the carbon, then repeat the test. The galvanometer needle should throw over so far that you may have to use a small resistance to get a reading. I did."
We assume that by the expression "repeat the test" Mr Weaver means, disconnect the current, hold the magnet and carbon a second time, and note galvanometer deflection. Our own information and limited experience indicate, that the effect of the first "charge" on  the nerve centers remains for twelve hours or more, and that repeating the experiment within a few hours gives about the same result. If the application of an electric current to the magnet and carbon causes so remarkable a step-up in the galvanometer reading as is claimed by Mr Weaver, the phenomenon becomes even more mysterious. A series of systematic experiments should be conducted and tie results made available.
(Extract from a letter by N.A. Hemmendinger, S.P. (X) 2-c, USN MWTS, Barracks Z, Solomons, Marylard)
"I finally obtained a carbon rod and magnet and tried the experiment with what appears some success. After holding them for five minutes I just couldn't sleep that night no matter how hard I tried to. I was wide awake from the time I turned in until the crack of dawn. Then on the night following the same thing occurred. That is the only way I had of trying it out since I don't have a meter at all."
The Editor of the RR has made frequent use of the carbon-magnet effect for several years past, and has never experienced any wakefulness or nervous tension that seemed traceable to the practise. He does feel that results are very good in times of fatigue and nervous exhaustion, but of course realizes that such impressions have no scientific value, and cannot be kept clear of auto-suggestion. But some half-dozen other persons, exclusive of the two writers quoted above, have reported being made very wakeful (though not nervous) by this "vitic". Since no one has ever alleged (prior to these recent tests) that the stimulative effect prevented sleep, experimenters presumably did not have such an idea in mind, and auto-suggestion seems largely ruled out. If this effect of wakefulness actually exists (in some cases, obviously not in all) it is a new item and should be carefully studied.
In this connection we call attention to the following quotation from Dr J. Horne Wilson's article (quoted in Brian Brown's book): "The carbon charges the body with a force akin to nervous energy. Held in the left hand it acts as a sedative, in the right as a stimulant . . . the nervous system generally is benefitted; mental fatigue rapidly disappears, and morbid conditions such as neurasthenia, insomnia, and feeble action of the heart readily yield to it." It is emphasized that the magnet has a "kind of catalytic action" only, but there is very little effect from the carbon alone, when the magnet is not held at the same time.
In view of the above assertions, we urge that all persons reporting results be sure to state in which hand the carbon was held - and for how long, and also the galvanometer readings if these were taken. Persons who suffer from wakefulness after the experiment should try the effect of "changing hands" on the C and Fe. It has been asserted that the stimulative effect is in some way nullified by this. Please state in which hand you held the carbon. This is important. How long did you hold it? What effects, if any? Have you tried "changing hands", and what were the results? (Persons with scientific training of course have no difficulty in devising and reporting any tests they may make, but reports of amateur investigators are important, and in fact are the only ones available)
It should be noted that the true rediscoverer of the Vitic effect is Professor A.E. Baines; Drs. White Robertson and J. Horne Wilson quote him and add their own findings, and Brian Brown sums the latter up in his book. Baines was an Egyptologist, and was led to his discovery through his effort to discover the meaning of the small cylinders held in the hands of the Pharaohs, in statues and paintings. He believed that these cylinders might be symbols of virility and so set out to find some substance which would affect nerve vitality if held in the hands.
An effort should be made to obtain and study the book by Baines, the Electro-Pathology of White-Robertson, and the articles by Wilson, since they undoubtedly contain useful details not mentioned in Brian Brown's account.
Emphasis is laid by the last named writer, on the need for using hard carbon. We have not been able to obtain anything harder than the rods used in arc lights (naval search lights), and do not know that harder material is to be had. This kind of carbon, however, and also the carbon sticks used in dry cells, give strong galvanometer deflections when used as directed.
Why hard carbon? Refer again to the extract from letter of Mr William Weaver, quoted above. If the effectiveness of the carbon is increased by the passage of a direct current, the fact suggests a molecular re-arrangement similar to that said to take place in a permanent magnet - which might make hardness a desirable quality. Is such re-arrangement supposed to take place in a carbon conductor? Experiments should be made to determine whether the "vitic" energy of carbon is definitely affected by either an electric current or strong magnetic fields.
The possible relationships of this "carbon energy" are very extensive, at least to students of occult or quasi-occult problems - such as the aura, prana, vitality globules (spiritons), solar energy or rays, and the "life force". In addition, medical or therapeutic values may be highly important. There's a definite paucity of data, but what we already have furnishes almost innumerable leads, of so complex a nature that generalization is futile. But we point them out in the hope of stimulating many hands and minds to their exploration.
And we think that Round Robin has perhaps done a good deed, in disinterring this curious and long neglected phenomenon.
Sgt. Joe Sell, of Vancouver, is interested by our hypothetical brick (August issue). We haven't space for his whole letter, but Sgt. Sell doesn't think the brick would stay put, say 500 to 5000 miles up - and if not, where would it go?
Well, gravity decreases as the square of the distance increases, and at 4000 miles up a five pound brick should still weigh 1¼ pounds. (Even Science Digest seems unable to figure this, and has a silly item about German aerial fortresses). If it had the right velocity it would probably revolve about the earth as a minute satellite; if it had velocity and no weight (?) it would presumably go space wandering; if it had neither nor velocity maybe it would stay "put", but otherwise Sgt. Sell is quite right - only, our hypothetical brick stays anywhere we want it to, and we defy Sgt. S. or anybody else to move it an inch, even if it weighs less than one tenth of one barbicel of one pinfeather.
- "Field Theory and Survival" -
The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research for October has Field Theory and Survival, by Professor Gardner Murphy (28 pp) - Note on Plan for Securing Survival Evidence; Lydia W. Allison - Time and the Trianon, F.W. Leary - Notes on Carinton's Experiments - review of Rorschach Psychology - and a subject and name index for vol. xxxiv, 1945. All these articles deserve close attention, and we propose here a short review of the first one, Field Theory and Survival.
Dr. Murphy takes his start from the generally acceptable thesis that the first problem is the discovery and exploration of the paranormal powers of here-living persons - if we are to differentiate their effects from those produced by spirits of deceased persons. Our first discovery is, that these powers do not seem to imply a transmission of physical energies, such as light, heat, and electricity; they do not fit in with either physics or biology, and seem to stand outside the scheme of evolution; nevertheless they are real, specific, and useful. They therefore suggest some system of life activity different from the time and space routines of ordinary consciousness.
A further characteristic is, that these powers seem to involve relations between individuals - "interpersonal" powers. In clairvoyance, telepathy, many trance phenomena, there is this interplay and blending, and a blurring of the outlines of the brain-personality - a negating of clear-cut personal consciousness. Subject and experimenter often become identified in part, and both are factors in the results. In mystical exercises the personality is still further merged with some kind of "outside" factor.
Paranormal capacities often come out of an interpersonal situation - and may not occur otherwise. This situation is a partial blending (sympathy, rapport, feeling-with), as of mother and child, or between lovers. And "the one thing that prevents paranormal contact is our psychological insulation."
Further, there seems no barrier against travelling to a past point, or a future point, "provided the subject is not completely absorbed in the physical or biological present." (This means the direct actual perception of past and future events, though the author does not develop the time concept implied by this). Groups of individuals working in harmony (rapport) seem to function as an interpersonal entity, and to develop cognitive powers greater than those of any separate person.
A medium, a sitter, and a discarnate entity probably interact, and this helps to explain the difference between "good" and "bad" sitters - some permit material to come through the medium, others block the flow.
The close analogy of this point of view to the field theory as applied in the sciences is obvious. Field theory in physics, for example, may deal with electro-magnetic activity as a whole, as an organized area of energy. When conditions are right, the electrons emerge, but the basic fact is the field itself. In biology, tissues removed from an embryo and transplanted to another embryo or to a test  tube, may become either skin, or muscle, or nerves. The tissue and the embryo are a unit, a structural whole, a single energy field. And growth is the expression of a field. In psychology, colors and shapes are not really discrete, but interacting parts of a unitary field of individual consciousness. And it is inevitable that this principle be extended to include crowds, social groups, the group mind.
In telepathy, mediumship, psychokinesis, it has almost certainly been an error to assume an absolute cleavage between individuals; it would be better to postulate a profound natural capacity for interpersonal response - a deep-level psychic interaction constituting a field.
This field concept in psychology must be extended also to cover retro- and precognition. It neither affirms nor rejects the participation of discarnate spirits. But it suggests that personality is an aspect of a field - and that after death of the organism the field must be very different. Personality, in short, must be redefined. A field is not simply environment; it is the pattern of individual-in-environment. Every personality exerts some interpersonal influence, and receives some effect from others.
As to the effect of ordinary psychological processes on the deeper field of which the paranormal is an aspect - it is possible that all such processes are "assimilated to or organized within a single great context." Impressions made by us on the cosmic matrix may be both personal and impersonal, both active and passive. Probably the deep-level self is always interpersonal. Dying probably not only integrates the surface self with the lower levels, but also favors intercommunication and psychic sharing.
We come out, then, at the point of view that there is no "complete identity" of the post-mortem self, but rather a continuity of certain elements of self. Personality is fluid and complex. The question should not be "Is this Myers?", but "What are the similarities between this communicator and the old Myers?"
Three types of evidence are of great importance (1) evidence concerning paranormal powers of here-living people, and of any activity by "spirits" not attributable to the here-living. (2) Contact with spirits who appear as they were several years prior to their decease. If this is found, retro-cognition must be reckoned with as a probability. (3) Evidences of post-mortem planning. If Smith, Jones, and Johnson, who did not know each other or have common acquaintances in this life, meet after death, and discover that they all collected Ming vases, and if they can report this, and means can be found to verify it - such facts, unknown and unknowable to anyone, "would be worth almost any amount of labor."
This article by Dr Murphy is certainly very provocative, and we would particularly like to see a critique by some scientifically trained occultist. We regret that space does not allow us to add our own comments, inadequate as they might be, but if our readers feel disposed toward criticism we shall try to print any communications.
With regard to the Field Theory, we call attention to Mr. E.C. Krieger's summary of Dr Stromberg's article, in this issue of Round Robin.
- The Occult Teaching Concerning Spiritualism -
(We offer this synopsis of Sinnett's exposition as informative and interesting. It does not necessarily reflect the precise views of this publication.)
The Kama Loca stage is that succeeding death, and it is followed by the existence in Devachan. It is with Kama Loca that spiritualists are most often in contact, but this stage must not be taken as representing the whole of the future life. Here there is a struggle between the higher and the lower aspects of the individual nature, which may last for many years.
This struggle is not the second death, or separation of the spirit from the astral body or shell. It is the whole life of the spirit while in Kama Loca. Neither is this struggle one of choices between good and evil, or higher and lower actions? For Kama Loca is a world of effects; in it the spirit is governed by the various affinities and tendencies it has built up during earth life.
The struggle consists in this; that the various tendencies are here asserting themselves or exhausting themselves. The latter are those which have to do with material feelings and desires. The Kama Loca entity is on his way to Devachan, and it is the lower forces which are wearing themselves out. (This corresponds to the spiritualist idea of constant evolution.)
This upward tendency is not constant; the spirit oscillates between the two kinds of force (just as it did in this life. The difference is that in earth life there is choice, and causes are generated; in Kama Loca there are only the effects). Not all the earth impulses are being exhausted; the better ones are purified and retained - such as love, and desire for the good.
One objection to spirit communication (in some cases) is that the spirit is turned aside from his higher development and his attention again directed earthward. But in some cases the communicating will be of benefit, from the sense of good done to the here-living.
The new experiences are of an order which cannot be described to us on this plane; hence the difficulty of getting information about Kama Loca conditions by seance methods.
Another difficulty is this; when the soul comes into the region of earth memories, a veil seems to be drawn over its understanding, and it is equally difficult for it to speak of former earth experience, and of Kama Loca experience. For this reason communicating spirits often seem more stupid than when on earth.
The more frequent and clear-cut the communications are, the worse it may be for the spirit, who is becoming more or less earth-bound by having his attention constantly held to the earth. This is one reason many occultists disapprove of seance work.
The manifesting spirit will never show any higher intelligence than he did during earth life, and will show less and less as time goes on, for the reasons indicated above. He is steadily evolving out of earth-plane conditions, but cannot "put across" his new knowledge and as he evolves higher in finds more trouble in adjusting himself to memories of earth.
When a spirit desires to communicate it may be helped by doing so, sometimes. But when such wishes come from persons dead a long time they must be viewed with suspicion, as being probably an echo of some old desire, not entirely cast off - but not a new and present wish originating with the spirit at the time.
When souls are about ready to pass into Devachan, they will appear to an earth observer as being vague and unintelligible. All their more vivid consciousness has been transferred to the higher soul-principles, which do not manifest on the earth plane.
The lower principles are called shades. They may be drawn into the "mediumistic current" and then act like astral mirrors. The thoughts of the medium and sitters are reflected by them. They are a kind of fading residue of the Kama Loca spirit, when the spirit is passing on into Devachan.
The astral shells may also give back the thoughts of the medium, who may thus be deceived as to their source. The astral shell is the discarded astral body, and its discarding is called the Second Death. It is an astral corpse, which disintegrates after a time. There is a subtle connection between it and the Devachan spirit for a while, just as there is between the Kama Loca spirit and the corpse left on earth. (This last communication is kept up by the "third principle" or Linga Sharira.)
Astral shells are sometimes seized upon by earth-bound spirits or even by Elementals, and may appear at seances.
It is unusual for a Kama Loca entity to be able to manifest after more than 25 or 30 years. A degraded human, however, may remain much longer in Kama Loca. Also, some very spiritual and intellectual entities may remain there for a long time, for reasons of a special sort. Again, the passage through Kama Loca may be almost instantaneous.
The average spirit who has reached Devachan does not communicate with the earth; but an Adept who has chosen to remain in the higher (arupa) state of Devachan is able to return, and may be seen by high types of mediums or by the seer.
The Kama Loca region is just as much in and of the earth as the astral body is in and of the living man. The matter in Kama Loca is probably as real as on this earth, and is perceptible to astral entities and to clairvoyants. The astral shell returns to this matter, just as our bodies here return to the earth.
In the foregoing resume from Sinnett, we fail to find a single item which would be rejected by well-informed spiritualists, though some statements might be questioned or rephrased. Neither do we know of any advanced Theosophical students who reject what is called the "higher spiritualism", though they may question some spiritualistic practises. On the doctrine of reincarnation, not mentioned by Sinnett, Spiritualism has no official utterance, but many spiritualists accept it, and it is undoubtedly gaining ground. We believe it is a useful service to repeat from time to time these grounds of approximate agreement, since they are more important and extensive than the alleged differences which have caused so much useless controversy. We do not, however, carry on propaganda for these teachings, or express any personal opinions concerning them.
THREE CASES OF EVIDENCE FOR IDENTITY
(Cases II and III)
The October Issue of Round Robin, under the above title, carried "Case No. 1"; the material for this, and for the facts described below, is supplied by Mr William G. Randall, an attorney of Los Angeles, Calif. It consists of experiences of his friend, the Hon. John C. Hamm, formerly Judge of the United States Court of Wyoming, and of Mr Randall's own comments. Both Judge Hamm and Mr Randall have long been close students of psychical and spiritistic phenomena, and accustomed to the critical evaluation of evidence. The following incidents, while of a minor sort, are typical of a great mass of evidential occurrences.
It was Thomas J. Hudson, if we recall rightly, who many years ago jeered at Spiritualists (and not without cause) for reasoning in this fashion: "What causes this phenomenon? - We do not know. - Therefore it must be a spirit." Today, however, most P.R. students, would, we believe, recast this reply:
|Q.||What causes these phenomena?|
|A.||We cannot reply with finality. But there is the spiritistic interpretation of them, supported by a large accumulation of evidence. Since there is no other hypothesis equally plausible, and no counter-evidence in disproof, we support the spiritist opinion. The burden of proof has shifted to the negative.|
We are, of course, stating only a general principle, and not affirming that every strange happening is subsumed by it. We also recommend to both parties in this controversy, the principle cogently elucidated by Gerald Massey, that "Lack of proof is not disproof." The second and third evidential instances now follow:
"Some thirty years prior to the seance of November 1928," (writes Mr Randall), "while Judge Hamm was on the Federal bench in Wyoming, he was one of a group of congenial spirits who were wont to meet at intervals to play whist (this was before contract bridge had superceded the older game). Another member of the company was one Charles Baker. It was a habit of Mr Baker, in playing whist, to greet the first lead of trumps with the expression 'Raus mit 'em!' (a mongrel German American phrase, 'out with them!' - I am sure I have heard the saying elsewhere but feel safe in saying it is not in common use). Of this incident Judge Hamm says, 'That is just what Charley Baker did say through Mrs Stewart (the medium) to me one night, when I was having a rendezvous with the old gang, all of whom had passed into the Beyond, and I asked if they still played cards over there!'"
"The peculiar significance of this communication," Mr Randall continues, "seems to me to lie in the fact that not only was it an expression characteristic of the purported communicant, Charles Baker, but it also carried, as coming from him, a special and peculiar associational significance that would be promptly recognized by the members of that long past club of whist players, of whom Judge Hamm was one, and by them only."
"Please note the enclosed picture of a young lady, dressed in the quaint garb of  (I judge) the late 80's. Of this picture Judge Hamm writes me:
"A few weeks ago I removed from the album portion of my old family Bible a small tin-type picture of the mother of my two daughters, taken when she was a girl of about twenty years. This picture had never been removed in half a century. Some members of my family had never seen it; others only once or twice in that long time. Certainly no one but myself had seen this picture for many years, including the period of our psychic investigations of the 20's; and I am equally certain that I had not described it to anyone during that long period."
For the benefit of his grandsons, who never saw their grand-mother, the Judge had copies made from the tin-type above mentioned. The enclosure is one of those copies.
"In all the seances where materialization took place, when Mrs Hamm appeared to me it was invariably with the little cape or shawl about her shoulders. Whether Joe Johnston, Mrs Tomson, Mrs Allen, or a medium from Pennsylvania whose name I cannot recall but whose mediumship I was privileged to witness at the home of Mr Baker about 1933 or 34, it was always the same. In clairvoyant descriptions given by Mrs Stewart, John Francis, and more than a half a dozen other spiritualist ministers who gave messages, she was described in like manner, always with that little cape or shawl. Even as late as within two years past, a Mrs Sexton, a spiritualist teacher at Temple City, one evening after the regular services, said to me: 'A fine looking woman with a little shawl about her shoulders comes to you, and brings you good tidings.' Whence came that knowledge to a stranger whom I had never seen before that evening, and had not met?"
"It appears to me," writes Mr Randall in conclusion, "that here we have three cases in which the evidence of identity is sufficiently clear to call for very careful study. It is this sort of thing, in multiplied doses, which sooner or later will compel our supercilious scientific friends to 'come to their milk' and get to work in earnest on the solution of the greatest problem of our age."
very truly yours,
(Signed) William G. Randall
* * * * *
THE NATIONAL SPIRITUALIST
is published monthly by the National Spiritualist Association, at 765 Oakwood Boulevard, CHICAGO 15, Ill. Jos. P. Whitewell, Editor. 10 x 13", about 16 pages. $1.00 per year, single copy for 10¢. This publication is largely devoted to Church affairs, but nevertheless contains much useful material of general interest to students of psychic matters.
* * * * *
- The Autonomous Field Concept -
The Journal of the Franklin Institute for January, 1945, has an article by Dr. Gustav Stromberg on The Autonomous Field. Dr Stromberg is associated with the Mount Wilson Observatory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Pasadena, California, and he writes about new ideas which "have made it necessary to revise our classical concepts about the causal relationship between matter and its associated field. This revision, which entails a complete reversal of old ideas, has made it possible to apply the field concept to a number of biological phenomena . . . . We now begin to see not only the world of matter but also the world of life in a new perspective."
In an interesting confirmation of these remarks, Professor Gardner Murphy has an article in the last issue of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, under the title of Field Theory and Survival, and we have attempted a short review of it elsewhere in this Bulletin. We invite the attention of readers to these very important applications to the psycho-biological field and tire concept of personality.
Under these circumstances we particularly welcome the following comments by Mr E.C. Krieger (Cincinnati). Mr Krieger was until recently an Ordnance Inspector for the army, and combines much technical knowledge with a lively interest in quasi-occult problems.
Comment on the Autonomous Field Theory
(by E.C. Krieger)
Stromberg develops and correlates the concept that (e.g.) electricity in the wire portion of the electrical circuit does not generate or maintain the associated electric and magnetic field - but that the field precedes the current in exactly the same sense that will or desire for action precedes action. Atoms do not create fields, but a field favors the appearance, on a statistical basis, of the atom, electron, or other energy. "The field element defines, for different regions, the chance of observing an electron in action." Since a stationary field has only one point where the probability is a maximum, we may picture the associated electron as emerging, if it emerges at at all, close to but not necessarily at the geometrical center of the field.
After summarizing and exemplifying the reversing effect on thinking that the priority of the field has, Stromberg goes on to link the concept with biology and the growth and development of living forms . . . The fact that the human organism has associated with it an "electric" field has been well established by works dealing with the aura, and by the discoveries of such men as Burr at Yale. In the case of the effects known as "Vitic" ("carbon force") it may be that the energy involved is not electric, though observable by electrical instruments. In discussing the properties of fields of living organisms, Stromberg says.
"The fields studied are called electric, but they obviously must be of a type quite different from those associated with a combination of atoms of the chemical elements."
But in postulating the concept of the priority of the field a very natural question arises. "In searching for the cause of force fields we realize immediately that an important element is missing from the theory . . . The missing element is furnished by the introduction of the non-physical world."
To me this article was a welcome expansion of Merrell-Wolfe's picturization of matter as being relative emptiness, and the Eastern concept of matter as being non-physical. Further, the thought that a field precedes an energy or matter display evolves, following Stromberg's ideas, into the greater thought that shape and structure are patterned by the prior Field. In previous articles Stromberg has studied the living fields responsible for the structure of the optic ganglia of the retina.
This concept of dense matter as being a relative emptiness of space is emerging into contemporary thinking, and of course is familiar to esoteric ways of thought. "Our most dense and rigid matter is force to beings in the hierarchy below us," writes Dr de Purucker. And Cordelia Williams comments on this in the Theosophical Forum for November:
"From below, looking up, matter is subjective. From above, looking down, matter is objective. Spirit and matter are one; it is only a question of density. Our physical bodies are less dense than our finer, subtler bodies."
All the dense forms of our physical world are said to pre-exist in astral matter, either as plans or models, or as full scale existents; and back of these lies the creative world-mind or cosmic energy. But this does not assure us that there is an increase in density in the earth-plane materialization - which is probably a comparatively loose accretion of atoms.
Furthermore, density refers to comparative weight of equal volumes. A cubic centimeter of tin (7.3 grams) weighs 7.3 times as much as a cubic centimeter of water. The smaller the atom or molecule, the greater the density, and the density of a cubic centimeter of free electrons would be enormous. The suggestion is, that there must be a well nigh infinite series of substances (combinations of energy units) all of which are more dense than any substance now known to us.
All matter known to us is particulate (electrons, waves, quanta). If we go on, in theory, reducing the size (mass) of the units, we approach a homogeneous continuum as a logical limit, with an increase of density all the while. But if we assume such a homogeneous ether, we are no longer dealing with matter, and it is well known that it cannot possess the properties of matter, though its density and rigidity have been calculated, at almost unthinkable figures. There are excellent reasons, in both science and occultism, for believing that matter in its more finely divided states is responsive to the energy of thought, but this plasticity of matter is quite compatible with a high density. It is on our own plane, rather than on the astral, that matter exists in a highly attenuated state. Neither do visibility and tangibility, for the narrow range of our present sense apparatus, necessarily attach to substances of greatly increased density - nor do we know what new properties might inhere in such substances.
- PSYCHOLOGY FOR EVERYBODY -
Let us say "I am reading my book".
The words and ideas are here at the FOCUS of consciousness.
That is where my attention is, and I use my will to hold it there. I try to shut out sounds in the street, conversation, other distractions.
This shutting-out power is the First Censor, or "sieve". I can adjust it to let in only the things I want. But it doesn't work perfectly, as a rule, because I am still dimly conscious of sounds and my surroundings. So we say that these exist in what is called the FRINGE of consciousness. If we cannot shut them out we say our concentration is poor.
The Focus and Fringe constitute the conscious mind.
The next "level" is the Pre-conscious or Fore-conscious. If I am reading critically and reflectively, I keep referring mentally to other books, other ideas, making associations, selecting stuff from memory. I get this material from this fore-conscious region.
This power of selection is called the Second Censor or "sieve". I have control of it and can adjust its meshes to let through what I want. It works exactly like the first censor.
So far our diagram represents the part of the mind to which we normally have access. We can lift ideas from "E", bring them up into "A" and examine them.
We now come to the Third or Chief Censor - the one psychoanalysts talk about. It lies "above" the unconscious or subconscious mind. It is not controlled by the will, but by character or psychic make-up. The health of the conscious mind depends on it. If its sieve is too coarse, the subconsciousness gets through into regions where it does not belong. If it is too tight, we cannot make use of a subconscious energy and power.
The region below it (G) contains (probably) the memories of everything we have experienced, and all the ideas and emotions to which we have no direct access.
The lowest area (H) is the automatic part of the mind. It controls the spinal level of the nervous system (not the brain), the involuntary muscles, the blood supply, the glands. It is not normally in touch with consciousness, but is affected by states of consciousness, and by emotions in the "G" region. It is the first part of the mind to be organized in evolutionary development.
Into "H" flow the life forces (libido). They take the form of three basic instincts: self-preservation, sex and the herd instinct.
This is perhaps, the simplest possible outline of our psychic make-up. From it we shall easily understand what is meant by a complex, and how the psychoanalyst tries to operate. We hope to give a page to this in a later issue.
- THE AKASHIC SCREEN -
Jack B. Tate
(Member of the Board of Trustees, Association for Research and Enlightenment)
The Akashic Screen, in my understanding of it, might be summarized in this way: Man, since the beginning of his existence on this planet, has been thinking, materializing his ideas into concrete objectives, and has quietly passed over into the higher dimensions, leaving the results of his earth life indelibly imprinted on the ethers as a landmark to those following him. The fact that the wilderness became a trail, the trail a village, the village a city, has only been because Man, the thinker, has continually added to the work and thought of his predecessors. What man finds in his visible world to support his ideas is only that which he discovers, in his meditation, as he reaches the mental planes where a blueprint exists, to be the thought of some great soul or group of souls, who in some age and some dimension blazed the trail for him.
Man progresses primarily because some part of his being is part of that which created him, and so in turn partakes of this power to create. His progress from then on could only be because he uses this power of intelligent creation to continually add to his accomplishments. What men call death cannot in any way prevent him from eventually reaching his goal. The infirmities of old age may dim his vision and even dull his mind; yet with the casting aside of what is then truly his useless body, he awakens in the morning refreshed and eager to continue his work. Eternity could be only duration in time - a project started today must eventually become a finished product.
What then do we have here - the Akashic Screen, or the Universal Consciousness? I believe it is both in one - not interchangeable, but one. It was taught in Atlantis, and is taught now, that the universe originates from Universal Mind, and that mind is superior to time and distance. Levi in his introduction to the Aquarian Gospel says that Akashic as meaning primary substance is not the ether but is really spirit, sensitive to the lightest vibration anywhere in the universe:
"This primal substance is everywhere present, and is in very fact the universal Mind . . . The imperishable (Akashic) records of life are wholly in the domain of Supreme Intelligence, and the Akashic reader must be in such close touch with it that every thought vibration is instantly felt."
And Collison says that the Akashic Record is a "kind of cosmic motion picture, everything that happens lies reposing in it, and it is for us to waken it to life. When we do this we become, for the time being, one with the picture on the Record and have a true experience  of the event." (This is exactly my own impression of the Records, and exactly the way certain experiences of mine have impressed me) . . . And Violet Tweedale in her Cosmic Christ says, "Roughly speaking, the Akashic Records are the indelible history of the world . . . the memory of God . . . not a sparrow falls without our Creator knowing it."
Mr Tate's article, given above, has special reference to an article in the August issue of RR, entitled "How Do We Know", and dealing with apparent contradictions in clairvoyant revelations.
Mrs M.H.H. (Alexandria, Va.) also writes to us on this and related subjects. She reminds us that "those who wrote through Nancy Fullwood, in Sano Tarot, spoke of the Timekeeper . . . no doubt the Keeper of the Records might change from time to time .... If it is true that Spinoza and Disraeli (for example) were different incarnations of the same Ego (v. The Twentieth Plane) there is no doubt a record made of each life, and they could be read separately . . . But I cannot see why Mr Cayce should say one thing, and Andrew Jackson Davis or Swedenborg another, if we ask only for the truth of the matter . . . . In my husband's life reading there was given a historical fact which is not true according to history; we asked for a check reading, and Mr Cayce went to sleep for it, but the reading was not given . . . . I'm glad so many people are thinking about these things.
We find Mr Tate's article and the comments of Mrs M.H. very interesting and instructive, but we restate our original question. Suppose we consult two clairvoyants, of undoubted integrity and powers about a historical fact; and that the answer is sought in the Records and not from any particular spiritual Intelligence. In theory, the personal equation should be eliminated, for the facts are supposed to be automatically recorded. Nevertheless, we get (sometimes) answers which are contradictory, mutually exclusive. We can allow for varying interpretations, different degrees of insight by clairvoyants, but on the assumption that the Records are actually read by both, we should expect only one answer to a yes-or-no question. It may be alleged, and it may be true, that such instances do not occur - but they seem to occur, and the question raised is worthy of consideration.
"A warped mirror reflects back to us a distorted image of our face, but our vanity refuses to credit the caricature. Yet we demand the cosmos accept our caricature of it as its own true likeness. When we magnify a microbe's image with a microscope we don't delude ourselves about its true size. Come, let us consider the Cosmos, as worthy of true consideration as a microbe - no more, no less - for even the microbe is a complete cosmos, as good and important as any other."
Orthod Oxen of Science)
- TELEPATHIC EXPERIMENTS -
LIGHT for August publishes Telepathic Experiments, 7 pages, by E.C. Skill and J. Paget. These tests were conducted at the laboratory of the Sheffield Society for Psychical Research during 1935 and '36, and the article consists of extracts from the full Report, which has not yet been published because of "the war and other circumstances." Some of these results seem so them here.
Impression of Action: The percipient left the room while the agents (two in number) decided on the message to be transferred. He then returned, and each agent held one of his hands. He then went to the seance room, opened the door, entered, turned the light switch off and returned. These were the actions decided upon by the agents, except the turning off of the light. This act had been suggested by the agents in deciding on the message, and had then been abandoned; nevertheless the idea was received by the percipient, along with the intended message.
Impression of Material Objects: The object was the hat and umbrella stand. The percipient first saw partial shapes, as of a trumpet, bowl, or circular dish. On making physical contact with the agents he saw the stand very vividly. Aura contact (sitting close to agents) seemed to help in developing the first vague impressions.
One Agent, Two Percipients: The agent concentrated on the image of a vase of flowers, on top of a cabinet near a fireplace, in his own home. It was only the vase which he wished the percipients to see. One percipient saw the vase, the flowers and something colored BLUE beside it. The other percipient saw only a clock.
From the place in which the agent imagined himself to be standing, he would have had the vase, the flowers, the clock, and a blue ginger jar all within his field of vision. But he was not thinking about anything or trying to transmit any image except the vase.
Impression of Touch: The agent left the room, rolled up his handkerchief, and held it in his hand inside his pocket. The two percipients stated they felt something soft within their hands. The agent then left the room a second time, wetted his hand under the water tap, and put his wet hand into his pocket. The percipients felt coldness on the palms, which faded away after a few seconds (as the agent's hand dried?).
Impression of Thought Upon Matter: Agent selected a steel tool handle, washed it in running water. While holding the steel by the extreme end, he caught sight of the laboratory clock, thought of using it as an impression and then rejected the idea. He then grasped the steel firmly and visualized the form of a Greek Cross. He returned to the experiment room and gave the steel handle to the two percipients, who took hold of it, one at each end. In five minutes, he asked for impressions. One percipient said, "I get the clock, but nothing else." The other percipient saw (a) a figure 7, (b) another 7, upside down, (c) the union of the two in the form of a cross.
The end of the handle which the agent held while noticing the clock (which he did not try to transmit) was the end held by the percipient who saw the clock. He (agent) had held the other end while thinking of the Cross, and this end was held by the second percipient, who saw two 7's.
Test for Sound Impressions: The agent fastened a folded sheet of note paper against his head, and then extemporized at the piano for half an hour. About 24 hours later he gave the paper to the percipient, who reported later, that by holding the paper in his head he was able to see  a violin in a horizontal position, then the front of a piano with the violin resting on it, and finally, musical notation. The impression of sound was not conveyed.
There was a violin on top of the piano, and a sheet of music on the rack, in front of the agent, and these were conveyed. The time lapse after the agent gave out the impression until the percipient received it was about 52 hours.
Varying Impressions: The agent hesitated between a square white box, the same box and the chair it rested on, and a large white jug, but finally decided on using the box alone. He made a drawing, put it in his pocket, and returned to the experiment room. In about 10 minutes one percipient described a square white "building"; another saw a chair; and a third had an impression of a water jug; a fourth received no impression at all.
We hold that these experiments are extremely interesting and suggestive. They do not lend themselves to statistical analysis, and so are much less satisfactory for scientific purposes than the long series of Card experiments conducted at Duke, or the PK experiments with dice. But they awaken associations, stimulate the imagination, and give glimpses of an unexplored world.
What is the role of intention, purpose and effort on the part of the agent? Incidental objects in the visual field, even if not attended to by the agent, were sometimes transmitted as clearly as the object chosen.
What is the psychological meaning of a gradual building up of the parts of an image? By what principle of selectivity does one percipient pick out object A, another object B, or C, or D and so on, from the visual field of a single agent? Again, it is most curious that when the agent only imagined himself to be in his own room, looking at a single object, the percipient received images of other objects he might have seen, had he been at the spot imagined.
A casual mental image by the agent apparently affects an object held by him (the tool handle); also, this effect acts as if localized at the spot on the object which the agent touches. And this effect is received by the percipient as an image; there is some obscure relation to psychometric feats, in this phenomenon, tho the psychometrist often reads natural surroundings, landscapes and the like, where no agent was involved . . . Such facts also suggest, that the great mass of readings by psychics and mediums, in "message circles", may be telepathic phenomena. The articles from which such readings are made may establish a telepathic rapport with the sitter (with-out the aid of spirit intervention) . . . And why does physical contact, or auric contact, often facilitate reception?
Mr Paget (one of the authors and experimenters) makes only two modest deductions: (1) The telepathic law may, for the present, be taken for a vibrational one; (2) the agent and the percipient must be on exactly the same vibration rate, or "in exact ratio". Presumably this implies that there is a transmission of energy. But in cases of telepathic communication over long distances, this energy concept is new discarded by many, since there is no evidence of any decrease in the effect with increase of distance. Mr Paget's deduction tends to strengthen the dualistic theory, of energy transmission for short distances, but of some other factor for long range effects.
It is not necessary to repeat, for readers of the Round Robin at any rate, that "the factual question no longer exists" with respect to telepathy, or, for that matter, with regard to a long list of para-normal phenomena of a psychic and mediumistic type. There are very few serious students of these subjects who will waste time in debating the existence of the facts, and people who question them "require not an answer but an education" along these particular lines -- however accomplished they may be in other studies. But the interpretation of these facts, the discovery of  their laws, and their integration with other aspects of knowledge, is a task like the exploration of a new planet.
The scientific worker is aware of all this, and he is resigned to writing a line in a decade, a paragraph in a century - if he can do no more - in this conquest of new knowledge. But the spirit of science can remain uncorrupted while its methods change or extend, and in this fact lies the greatest hope of our time. We mean that clairvoyance, psychometry, telepathy and other paranormal modes of cognition will become (and are now becoming) means of investigation as well as the objects of it -- instruments and objects of research at the same time. We use our eyes, but at the same time we study them, and all the laws of light and vision; we use our muscles, but make them the subject of biological study. And sooner or later the observations of trained clairvoyants will be reckoned as scientific data in both paranormal and ordinary research.
As a matter of fact, no phenomenon is explainable on its own "plane" of manifestation. All the "realities" of science (gravity, light, heat, magnetism, all energies and forces, life, consciousness) belong to the realms of the invisible and super-sensuous. Our senses perceive their effects, and science studies them and deduces their laws. Its handicap has been, that it has not accepted any extension of the powers of perception except by instrumental means. But along with its instruments of incredible delicacy, lie also the powers of extended consciousness - of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, retrocognition, and astral projection and exploration. All these will some time be employed in the service of science, which is the service of mankind also.
* * * * *
I knock on the door of self to find
I am unanswered as the wind.
I pick at the keyhole futilely;
Only my picking answers me.
Inside there is a rhythmic stir;
Outside I am a trafficker.
Answer! Answer! self and sell
Diving mind your citadel.
Give facts to conscience that demands
The heart released to the body's hands.
Break down the wall and let me be
Mind's and body's entity.
Let this subconscious self be wide
That mind and body be satisfied
And not be knocking, knocking you,
On a wall that I cannot enter through...
I knock again ... and again the wind
Blows ... and the wind and I are blind.
(For this is the truth we hold in doubt:
Who is walled in is also walled out).
-- Howard McKinley Corning
* * * * *
This -n- That
THE MOON imparts a 28 day cycle in the rise and fall of voltage given off by maple trees - with peak at new moon - says Dr H.S. Burr in Yale Journal. (Other work of Dr Burr (Yale Medical School) deals with electrical and magnetic conditions of the human body in health and disease. On the question of the electrical nature of the aura or body-field, see E.C. Krieger's comments on the Autonomous Field Theory, in this issue of RR). ............ Mrs E.D.F. Graham (Ruidoso, New Mexico) says that Howell Vincent's Lighted Passage should be read in the light of Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness; it gives a good explanation of reincarnation (Mrs Graham is anxious to locate, borrow or buy several of the books of ex-Governor Osborne).
TIME gives a column to Professor Petersen's theory, that great men are often conceived during periods of sun spot disturbance; same issue notes the "first clear proof of the existence of a planet outside the solar system." A true sense of proportion would spread that out in front page headlines . . . Boston Post records a very mysterious fire . . . eccentric genius Roy Beebe has a "cosmic ray rectifier", treats 3000 patients a day (free) at Long Beach (Calif). No wonder doctors lack patience sometimes. (These clips from Mrs H. Lotreck, Mass.)
Remarkable performance with divining rods, in locating gold and silver, by police of Peninsula, Ohio (Muncie, Ind. Bve. Press) . . . Line-man in Goshen, Ind., takes 12,500 volts, is uninjured except for a slight burn, previously took 33,000 volts that melted his ring and watch (clips from Mr Krieger) . . . Henry C. Robert of New York filed affidavits in 1942 predicting that the war would end August 9, 1945 and surrender be signed in Japan September 1; missed it in predicting that Hitler would be found alive during last September . . . A Miss Cross of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, was bedfast 16 years, had influenza, periodic comas, paralysis, partial blindness, deafness, a back injury and a broken neck vertebra. September 28 last she had "a vision that looked like pictures of Christ"; she got up immediately, says she is "completely well" (Sorry, but we don't know who sent these items) . . .
The famous ecstatic, Theresa Neumann, scared the wits out of Nazi thugs. She bears the stigmata on hands, side, and head, and blood comes from them on the first Friday of the month. She is six feet tall, weighs 210, has not eaten for 17 years. Yes, we know you don't believe it, but for other cases of inedia (psychic fasting) see our RR No. 6, where we summarize data collected by Dr Philip Haley. We have no a priori objection to "miracles", since everything in this world seems equally miraculous, but we do object to uncalled inferences from the "miraculous" facts - particularly religious or theological inferences. We can find "miracles" and so interpret them as to support any theory or dogma ever conceived. (Data from San Diego Tribune-Sun).
Regarding epidemic of mysterious fires at Almeria, Spain - the inevitable has happened and the fires have been "explained"; some teenage brat says she spread kerosene around. The brat gets publicity, may-be a candystick, newspapers get one more "expose", the orthodox of all doxies save face and peace of mind. Of course, whoever compares the reported facts with the alleged explanation finds no connection whatever.
Lake Stefanie has dried up again (not that anybody cares, but it's 40 x 15 miles in size, fairly large puddle to act that way) . . . Nomius Pygmaeus is a waste product and should be exploited commercially; it's a high-powered stink-bug - one in a house and the family moves out. Portland was gassed by the N.P. in 1904. Almost any intelligent bug could run mankind off the earth . . . Dr Edward Weiss, Temple University, says a third of a doctor's patients do not have any definite body disease, and symptoms of another third are due to their emotions; "failure or frustration can mimic almost any disease". Of 1500 persons admitted to Columbia Presbyterian Center, 80% were diagnosed as suffering from psychic factors in addition to the physical. But it would be easy to fill a book with data like that. Geley wrote, decades ago, that "the organism is the idioplastic product of the subconscious psychism." That was a basic concept for the future of medicine and biological sciences generally, the drift of medical theory is toward it and the idea itself is thousands of years old - but many doctors think they're discovering something new. We do not gibe at the achievements of medicine and surgery, which are very great, and the fact that diagnoses now often include mental or psychic factors is a very encouraging sign. . .
We read that a Michigan woman has been growing marijuana for chicken feed, with very fine results; now at last we may have a clue as to why the hen crossed the road . . . That reminds us, that Emperor Shen-Nung, China, wrote the first book on marijuana and started its culture, about 2800 B.C.; second and latest book is Marijuana by R.P. Walton, University of Mississippi School of Medicine, published by Lippincott . . .
The Genealogical Society of the Mormon Church has a theoretical membership of 750,000. It seems that the M.C. is highly organized in the "next world"; husbands, wives and children are not separated in Summerland. But if Hon. Ancestors are to enjoy these post-mortem Church advantages, they have to be identified. That's the job of the G. Society referred to, which has compiled records of more than a million names. After identification of the ancestor, three Ordinances are performed for him - the Baptismal, the Endowment, and the Sealing; then he's in good sound Church company in all the Worlds, tithed or tithless.
Mrs H.G.M. writes us that she "and surely many others" would be greatly interested in any of Dr Haley's work at clairvoyant investigation of spiritons (vitality globules, zo-ites). We feel that she is quite right in this; the RR editor has a lively interest in anything Dr Haley reports, and we feel certain that most of our readers are of the same mind . . . Mr J.W. Kyle (Cathedral City, Calif.) has a maybe-useful suggestion: how about testing the recognition powers of dogs by taking them to seances? If Fido's deceased master shows up by materialization, or only by good voice, maybe Fido will give him high welcome. It is commonly believed that dogs have clairvoyant perception, but no use has been made of the fact, so far as we know.
We read with profound regret of the (probable) suicide of William Seabrook, brilliant and well-known author, with an active interest in occult subjects. His death occurred at Rhinebeck, N.Y., September 20, by over-dose of sleeping tablets.
(We must omit mentioning, but do not forget, the kind communications of many other readers).
- Periodicals - Items - Notes from Readers -
Rosicrucian Magazine for November has an article of the type more often found in spiritualist publications - When the Veil Lifted, by Katherine H. Poor; it deals with her telepathic or clairaudient communication with her deceased son, Lt. Rocklane. Also in this issue are Change in the Earth's Surface (unprecedented earth movements in Maine); What Price Utopia, by Kittie S. Gowan; Power - God in Manifestation, by Edna Hollister; The Wheel of Life, by A.R. Bomar (fiction); excerpts from Max Heindel; In Defense of Magic, Meade Layne; Astrological Department. (Oceanside, Calif.)
Hamid Del Rey, whose English often suggests a linguistic handicap, nevertheless wields a sometimes trenchant pen. "It is only tolerant people who are really intelligent. No one man, religion, or organization has a monopoly of beautiful gestures, nor are any perfect. According to I.Q. tests there are few indeed whose minds have registered above eight years of age . . . . The ordinary person knows almost nothing about politics, religion, history, or true education, and cares less. Give them a cigarette, a cake, a beer, a shot, a filthy magazine, a ball game, a prize fight, or a burlesque show - that is the life, they think. You commit murder every time a prisoner is executed in your penal institutions . . . Is there one of the Commandments you haven't broken in thought?" These and similar thoughts shine forth in his article in Spiritual Digest.
A poem entitled While on Earth, in this same magazine, purports to come from the pen of William Wordsworth - a very great name indeed. But "while on earth" he wrote nothing like that. We think it's good verse and we don't mean to be insulting - it's only a kind of text for an old grievance. Never yet have we read a post mortem production, attributed to a master of English verse or prose, that even ran close second to his earthly work. Keats, Shelley, Browning, Tennyson, Swinburne shine like stars of first magnitude in our literature. But now, alas, to judge by the alleged labors of their spirits, Edgar Guest out-tops them all. We have heard all the so-called explanations, and they do not satisfy us, but neither do we issue any blanket accusation of fraud. Honest mediums receive and report what comes to them, though there are tricksy liars aplenty on the "other side." . . . We only say, with our expressive Latin neighbors, hay un gato en eso, there's a cat in it somewhere!
Probably the most vicious attack on spiritualism ever made by a man of great literary distinction, is Browning's Mr Sludge the Medium. His victim, Daniel Dunglas Home, was and remains in history as a psychic of remarkable powers and unblemished reputation. There are misguided people (even among our Theosophical brothers) who openly assert that Browning was an Initiate. But Browning, though a mighty poet, knew nothing whatever about psychism, mediumship, or genuine occult practises, was too much occupied with "marching along, singing  a song", the bravuras of life generally, an enormous, ecclectic and pedantic erudition, attended only one seance in his whole life and boiled over with antagonism forthwith. Haddington Bruce (ASPR Jour., July '45) excuses the poet on the ground that psychic research was not even in its diaper days at the time, and we admit the point. But seers and initiates do not depend on Messrs. Janet, Hall, Crookes, Lodge, Rhine, the SPR Reports et al. for their information. Initiate? BAH!
My Greatest Story, by Hannen Swaffer. This is a new book, we haven't read it, but the reviewer in John O'London's Weekly (September 7, '45) says he is absorbed, shocked, and exasperated. The book appears to consist of accounts of life of the "next world" as given by "scores of celebrated people" (deceased); the exasperation and shock come from the mixture of noble doings with the most trivial details of a life much like our own. Lord Northcliffe, for example, still goes to the conferences at the offices of the Daily Mail, keeps shouting "You're all wrong" even though no one hears him. "The most arresting passage is perhaps the description of the suppression of the Church of England's report on its investigation of spiritualism. Sounds promising, and we crave more information on this last item. Publisher is W.H. Allen, London.
We don't know whether psychic research specialists read spiritualist periodicals - but if they don't they ought to. The data is of course very uneven in quality, but some of it is seemingly so evidential as to deserve close examination. There's a page of this kind of material in the October 1 issue of The National Spiritualist, under the heading of Spiritualism Abroad. One item is the Lady Nona case, where the communicator claims to be an Egyptian woman who died some thirty-three centuries ago. She has given details about Karnak which have been confirmed, and gramophone records of ancient Egyptian speech were made under test conditions and studied by persons said to competent. A second item is the case of Sergeant LeRoy, who felt and plainly saw a spirit doctor operating on his injured ankle. A medical examination is said to have confirmed the operation and subsequent cure . . . We admit, of course, that we live in a very dim-witted age; but we are still gravelled by the fact that though there is a library full of facts, and millions of witnesses, our intellectuals and scientists as a class remain untouched and untouchable by any ray of illumination . . . . What we are hopefully awaiting now is some move by the American Medical Association to make every spirit doctor take his medical examination and get a M.D. degree - either that, or else. . .
Accounts of "spirit music" in Light for September. Records include accounts of complete symphonic orchestration, choral music, voices added to gramophone records, playing of instruments (untouched by any person), "death-bed music", "healing music" (heard by all present). This account could be greatly extended - and when (for example) an invisible military band marches by, drums and bugles at full power, there's not much question about the objectivity and reality of the phenomenon . . . . But for some reason the "spirit music" has had little attention from students of psychic matters.
- THE INVOCATION OF THE HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS -
From the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
(Modern Esoteric Qabalism)
* * *
(Prior to this Invocation, the Ritualist has drawn the Circle of Art, and has inscribed the Pentagrams at the Four Quarters, vibrating the Four Names of God. He has also named the Archangels in their Stations, and the Hosts of their Companionships. He then makes the sign of the Qabalistic Cross, and again invokes the Higher Consciousness, to Whom the entire Ritual is in fact dedicated).
This Ritual as a whole not only possesses power and beauty, but is of much psychological interest, and is not easily accessible to the average reader; for these reasons we think it worth reproducing here in its concluding phases.
(The Ritualist faces the East and makes the sign of the Qabalistic Cross, saying),
Yechidah, Yechidah, Yechidah, Thou Holy Guardian Angel and Diving Augoeides, be here notably present!
Before Thy face coming, and before the Gold Countenance of Holy Raphael, and in the presence of the other Archangels and their attendant Companies, we utter first the Prayer of Thanksgiving, saying: For all the manifold blessings of earth life we give thanks to all Beneficence, knowing ourselves unworthy even of the least of these.
Utter we then the Prayer of Compassion, saying: Upon all who are in the East, in the West, in the North, and in the South, upon all who are above and all who are below, upon all beings in all worlds afflicted we send forth Compassion - in the Name of the Master of Compassion, Jesus the Christ (X)
O ye Compassionate Ones invisible, send forth the strong Ray of your wisdom and pity into the hearts of men, that they may seek War no more. Comfort the afflicted - comfort them in all lands, ye Compassionate Ones. And stay the hand of the Oppressor - stay his hand everywhere - that the will may be done even of Sanat Kumara, to whom be praise - yea, even the Will of
HIM OF WHOM NAUGHT CAN BE SAID
before whom we cover our faces in silence, saying only:
Sub Aspectu Spiritus Sanctus Te Adoramus.
Yechidah, Yechidah, Yechidah - be Thou here notably present, for great is our need of Thee, and without Thee we are as naught! Thou who didst decree in ages past to take thy pain-pleasure amid the here-living! Thou who art me as I am Thee, save as the far-off shadow of Thy Splendor - be notably present!
DA ROBUR! FER AUXILIUM!
SANITATEM CORPORIS ET MENTIS DA!
NUNC FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA!
TIBI SUNT GLORIA ET POTESTAS PER AEONAS!
IN MANUS TUAS, DOMINE! FLAT VOLUNTAS TUA!
ATOH MALKUTH, VE GEBURAH VE GEDULAH
LE-OLABM - AMEN!
Remember Me for Laughter
And for these motley harlequins
§ Submit to Necessity with joyous heart
- Baines, Arthur E. The Origin and Problem of Life: A Psycho-physiological Study. London: G. Routledge & Sons; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1921. Print. <http://amzn.to/1qyOMhG>
- Robertson, Alexander White. Studies in Electro-Pathology. New York: Dutton, 1918. Print. <http://amzn.to/1rk47nD> [Digital: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010849809>]
- The Practitioner, June 1914 (Vol. 92), article by J. Horne Wilson
- The Medical Times, July 25 1914, article by J. Horne Wilson
- Brown, Brian. Dynamic Power of the Inner Mind: An Outline of Practical Psychology. Doubleday, Page & Co, 1924. Print. <http://amzn.to/1kaVRnB> [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000583053>]
- Murphy, Gardner. "Field Theory and Survival." Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. 39.4 (1945): 181-209. Print. [Issue may be available from aspr.com directly; article is also included in ASPR collected edition, "Three Papers on the Survival Problem" (1945) <http://amzn.to/1nYqc9V>]
- Dowling, Levi H., and Eva S. Dowling. The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ: the Philosophic and Practical Basis of the Religion of the Aquarian Age of the World and of the Church Universal. Transcribed from the Book of God's Remembrances, Known As the Akashic Records, by Levi, with Introduction by Eva S. Dowling. London: L.N. Fowler & Co, 1911. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/aquariangospelof00levirich>]
- Tweedale, Violet. The Cosmic Christ. London: Rider, 1930. Print. <http://amzn.to/1nTuyAv>
- Fullwood, Nancy. The Song of Sano Tarot. New York: Macoy Pub. Co, 1929. Print. <http://amzn.to/1nTvlBl>
- Gillette, George F. Orthod Oxen of Science: Synoptic Conspectus of Author's Unitary Theory. Utterly New and Different Basis for Cosmology, Replacing Present Orthodoxenic Fairy Tales. Cosmics-Allplane Physics. A Rational System of the Cosmos in Its Entirety. No "Hi-De-Hi" Mathematics. New York City: G.F. Gillette, 1936. Print. <http://amzn.to/1oTY713>
- Vincent, Howell S. Lighted Passage. Philadelphia: Dorrance & Company, 1943. Print. <http://amzn.to/1zRakfK>
- Bucke, Richard M. Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York: Innes & Sons, 1901. Print. <http://amzn.to/1sy1gKo> [Digital: <http://sacred-texts.com/eso/cc/index.htm>]
- "Science: Weather as Destiny." TIME 2 Aug. 1943: n. pag. [Digital: <http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,777947,00.html>]
- The Shennong Ben Cao Jing [Shen-nung Pen-tsao Ching], or "Divine Farmer's Materia Medica", said to have been composed by Emperor Shennong [Shen-Nung], the legendary founder of Chinese herbal medicine, between 2800-2500 BCE. — Modern English ed.: Yang, Shou-zhong, and Bob Flaws. The Divine Farmer's Material Medica: A Translation of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press, 1998. <http://amzn.to/1oRunC5>
- Walton, Robert P. Marihuana, America's New Drug Problem: A Sociologic Question with Its Basic Explanation Dependent on Biologic and Medical Principles. Philadelphia, London: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1938. Print. <http://amzn.to/1pjWrPP>
- Browning, Robert. Dramatis Personae. London: Chapman and Hall, 1864. Print. [Includes the poem "Mr. Sludge, 'The Medium'"; digital: <https://archive.org/details/dramatispersona00browgoog>]
- Swaffer, Hannen. My Greatest Story. London: W.H. Allen, 1945. Print. <http://amzn.to/1jY4Zi8>