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HO W T O S P E A K

W IT H T HE D EAD
A PRA C TI CA L HA N D B O OK

OF RE COG NISED S CIENT IFIC T E #


T BOO KS
-

N EW YORK
E . P . DUTTO N CO .

6 8 1 FIFT H AVENUE
C ON T E N T S
PA GE

V11

I . D O T HE D E A D S TI LL LI VE ? 1

S OU L AND LI F E
T E LEP A THY AN D T E LE -
MN E MO N I KY

DISC ARNA T E S P I RI TS 57

V . MED IU MS 77

C O MMU NI CA T I NG 90

PR A C TI CA L I N S TRU CT I O N S FO R S P EA K

IN G W I TH T HE D E A D 1 03
#
L
SP I RI TUA I SM AN D
c
T NA L I S M
RA I O
P RE F AC E

P RA CTI CAL ins truct ions for s peaking with th e


dead are given in C h apter VI I of this book .

Inasmuch however as rational men and wo


, ,

men do not care to enter upon systematic pro


c e e d in s of any kind without ha ving s om e
g
reasonable a ssurance that a c ommensurate re
sult will follow it has been thought desirable
,

to add in C hapters I t o I V a general outline


, ,

of the scientic facts and arguments on whi ch



the certainties of s urvival and commu ni ca

tion are based In Chapter s V and VI s ome
.

n ecessary information as to mediums and com


mu ni cating is given And in C hapter VIII
.
, ,

the distinction between S peaking with the


D ead on the one h and and S piritualism faced
,

by Rationalism on the other is made clear , .

The book is strictly im partial from all point s



of view whether Religious S cientic Agnos
, ,

tic S piritualistic or Rationalisti c It is im


, , .

p erson l It set aside writer s occult



a . s th e ow n

experience which in the cour s e of a l ong life


,

devoted mainly to scientic pursuits has hap ,


vi ii P RE FA CE

pened to be very con siderable I t is a mere .

co l d n e utral text book


,
-
Th hard fa ct s of the
.

ca s e are alone responsibl e f r the circ um stan ce

that i t show s S cience to be a sponsor for th e

reali ty o f speaking with the dead .


A few words which many persons w ill read

wi th amazement mus t be added here on th e
subj ec t of 0 252 b ono ? Multitudi nous vials o f
'

scorn h ave been p oured out on the inanities o f


ordinary s p iritualistic s ances ; and all re s ear ch
i nto su ch matters i s rigidly boycotted i n s cien
ti c c ircles a s ng unworthy of any i ntelli

notice E ven when th e


.

P res i dent o f the Royal S ociety h imself and ,

other s wh o are entitled to write F R S or . . .

D Sc a fte r their names have been known to


. .
,

touch the accursed and d egr ad mg thing they ,

have been either ostracised or half pardoned -

contemptuously Thi s attitude is based on the


.

bel ief that occulti sm I s an idle and v aln form


of mental activity and cann ot with any reason
, , ,

be exp ected to add anything to the s tock of


human knowledge or to produ ce results of
service to mankind Cm b one ? Why waste
'

rm in t omfoolery that can never be u s eful


an d may possibly lead feebl e p er s on s i nto the

ab ys s of insanity ?
P RE FA CE ix

Th e defect of the at ti tude i s that it is u n


s cientic The proudes t cl a im o f S cience i s
.

that she deal s with the F acts of the uni vers e


and gives her allegianc e to Truth rather than
to O pini on But the se features are the char
.

a cteri s ti cs of every well conducted sitting for


-

the development of psychical manifestations .

The search is for facts ; and the obj ect pursued


is the attainm ent of tru th If then a leader
.
, ,

of s cience denounce the sitting as bein g ne ces


s arily futile he doe s one of two things : either

he di sallows the proudest claim o f S cience ; or


he declares the limits of hi s own per s onal
knowledge to be those of Fact and Truth .

I t h as often happened that researches which


appeared at the outset to be a mere waste o f
time have in the end been found productive
of much prac tical and useful knowledge The .

modern inquiries into the feasibili ty of sp e ak


ing with the dead are a case in point They .

have already brought th e world of S cienc e and


Industry face to face with the possibility and
near pro spect o f a command over Matter and
P hysical Forc e su ch as men have never b ith
erto en oyed and such as must lead inevitably
to the greate st advance of material prosperity
that mankind has ever experienced Thi s may
.
x P R E FACE
best b e made c lear by dealing with s ome con
crete example .

T h e lesson s of th e Great W ar th e utt er


,

ance s o f exper t authorities like L ord Mon

tagu of Beaulieu and the newspapers gener


,

ally have taught the public that the na viga


,

tion of the air will be the great and dominat


ing factor of the world s progress in future

.

This need not be enlarged upon here E very .


one admits that the comm and of the air will


solve the problem of i ntercourse between all
the regions 0 globe and will bring in its
,

train a vast r ov em en t in all the arts of

living and a greatly widened dis tribution of


-

natural wealth .

N ow the whole ques ti on o f aerial navigat ion


hinges absolutely and completely on that o f
gravitation . The great desideratum is a
y weightless weightless in e ff ect ) aero
: plane with o course a virtually weightless
( , f ,
crew virtually weightless passenge rs and a
, ,

virtually weightles s cargo ) which can move


fast or slowly a s required which can come
,

to a stop in the air and which cann ot fall .

S ci ence and indu s try are now wi thin meas


u r able di stance of such v irtually weightless a l r

craft ,
th ank s to the i nve s tigator s who have
P R E FAC E xi

not been deterred by obloquy and o stracism


from speaking with the dead .

It is usually assumed in s el enti c circles


that gravity is a n unsolved mystery and is eu
tir ely beyond the scope of human contro l in
the present state of knowledge The assu m p
.


tion 18 well founded if by knowledge is
meant merely that which is p o s s e s e s d by liv
Ing hum an beings and derived solely from nor
mal sources But if there be in reality cer
.
, ,

tain intelligences other than ordinary men and


women they may possibly be better informed
,

with regard to the facts of the universe ; and


i f intelligent commu nl catl on be feasible as b e
tween the better informed personalities an d
their cou s1ns In this life it is conceivable that
,

s ome of the latter may thus ac quir e informa


tio n which would otherwise be unattainable .

This has ac tually happened with regard to


gravitation Sir William C rooke s more tha n
.

forty years ago entered i nto communication

certain laboratory experiments that showed


the control and modication of gravity to lie
within the co mpass of human ability when
guided by the intelligences in que s tio n And.

many more exp erle nce s of a similar or of an


.
xii P RE FA C E
analogous kind are on record T h e f ac t s are
.

well e s t ablished and cannot b e s ucces s fully de


n ied or explained away .

Mo re r ecent research e s h ave led to s ome


eluci dation of the knowledge a t which discar
nate s p irit s have arrived with regard to gravi
tation They hold that human s mence i s crip
.

pled needlessly by its non recognition o f Mo


-

tion as being in itsel f an entity distinc t from


Mas s They hold that Matter i s j us t as much
.

a c ompoun d of Mass and Motio n a s co mm on


a con p ou n d of sodium an d chlorine

.

en further that gravitation is due


to the fact that Motion like heat m ay wher e
, , ,

human observation is concerned exist in either


,

a latent or a sensible form ; and they assert the


practicability of adding to or s ubtractin g from
the quantity of Motion in any gl ven bulk of
Matter In p r oof of the truth of this assertion
.

th ey point to the p henomena of what is b y



,

p s ychic al en qu l rers call ed levitation
, phe
n ome n a which have been ob s erved and record

ed over and over again an d may be seen by


any p erson wh o t akes the troubl e to attend
ev en an ordin ar y table sitting
-
And they oc
.

c a s mnally rally the human personalitie s wi th

wh om they are communi cat ing upon the dull


P R EFA C E xiii

ness o f apprehens i on wh i ch h a s hither to s tood


in the way of a broad induction from the myri
ad everyday facts o f weight coiled s prings, ,

drawn bows artici al jumping frogs j ack s


, ,

in boxes c losely touching billiard balls in a


-
,
-

row proj ectiles at the moment of terminating


,

their upward ight cricket b alls at the mo


,
-

ment of meeting the stroke of the bat and all ,

other examples of latent and sensible Motion .

These v iews entertained by spirits who have


been spoken to on the sub ect have o f late been
borne out very markedly by D r C rawford s .

experiments referred to in C hapter I of the


,

present book D r C rawford himself s eems to


. .

be regardin g his tes ts from the point of view of


Mass alone and to be thinking that he is on the
track of a n ew kind of Matter ; but his result s
t i n st ill better with the long established fact s
-

of levitation and with th e new doctrine of Mo


tion that is fast being accepted in P rogressive
C ircle s It i s difcult to believe that a living
.

woman can be deprived o f a considerable por


tion of her Mass without sustaini ng serious
physiological injury I t is also di fcult t o b e
.

lieve that th e removed Mass when laid on the


oor or on the drawing board can be invi sible
-
.

But there is not any difculty at all in su p


xiv P R E FAC E
pos ing Motion t o h ave been removed fr om th e
medium the chair the drawing b oard and the
, ,
-

platform without any change of either vi sib il


,

ity or appearance in any of the ent ities con


cerned When water at 70 Fa hr is cooled
.

.

down to 5 0 Fahr it loses a something we call



.

heat but the human eye cannot detect any dif


,

ference in the li qui d When a bowled cricket


.

ball is arrested by the bat it loses a s omething


we call sensible moti on bu t its ou tward ap
,

p e a r a n c e r e m a l n s unvaried W e
. need not
therefore e xp g ct a hu m an body or a chair to

look otherwise than as usual simply be cau s e i t


loses some or all of its latent Motion .

That the knowledge here discussed may be


applied practically an d th at materi al sub I

stances may thus be rendered weightless and


s o removed from the in uence of gravitation i s

not a mere theory I t i s an actual fact : levi


.

tation occurs What now remains to be done


.

i s to harness the ac quired knowledge a n d ex


p e r i e n c e into the service of aerial navigation .

C ertain P rogressive C ircles are at work .

Whether success will be achieved rst by D r .

Crawford in h i s G oligh er laborat or y or by ,


Mr E dison In hi s spook factory where th e
.

workmen agree to become reclu s e s for a p erio d


P R EFACE xv

of many months or by the capable director of


,

the still more mysterious establishment s in


Florence where many a medium has been
passed under review during the last two years ,

or by haply s ome other investigator of whom


, ,

the present wr iter has not yet heard is a matter


,

that must for the time being be allowed to rest


on the knees of the gods What has already
.

been accomplished in public and the remark


able advances now taking place privately are
a suf cient answer to the question Cm b ono ?
'

S peaking with the dead is a practice that is


provi ng of benet to E ngland and th e world
at large .

SCIEN s
.
HO W T O SPE A K W IT H
T HE D E A D

C HAP T E R I

Do T H E DE AD STI LL L IVE ?


IF survival after what is called death be not
a fact the idea of communication with the dead
,

becomes n onsen srcal The rst question there


.
,

fore that h a s to be asked in any consideration


,


of the subjec t is D o the D ead still live This
?

enquiry may be addressed both to Religion and


to S cience ; and in both cases it will be found
that an afrmative reply is given .

S o far as Religion is concerned the ca s e is


simple enough It I s a matter of common
.

knowledge that ne arly all the inhabitants of


the world in cluding a great maj ority of its
,

scientic men accept and p rofess some form


,

of religion It is also a matter of common


.

kno wledge that all religions teach the doctrine


HOW T O S PEAK W IT H TH E DEAD
of survival ; that is to s ay they teach that in
,

every individual human being there exists a


soul which becomes separated from the body at
death and continues to live on in s ome form
of ex ISten ce While the body decays The b e .

lief accordingly o f the great maj ority of man


, ,

kind is now and always h a s been in h i storl cal


,

times that the answer Y e s must be given
,


to the question D o the D ead still live ?

This is a hard fact t h at cannot be glossed


over or explained away Where a belief is
.

practically uni e rs al reasonable men may well


infer th at it is not altogether unfounded S uch .

an inference however falls a good deal short


, ,

of actual proof ; and when Religion is asked to


supply such proof the response though satis ,

factory enough to religious believers is not ac ,

c e tab le from a s cientic poi nt of vie w The


p .

Bible for example and the sacred books of


#
, ,

religions other than the ewish and C hristian


faiths c ontain an abundance of te stlm ony to
,

show that life after death is a reality ; a n d his


tory in general both ecclesiastical and secular
, ,

narrates many occurrences of such survival .

The body of evidence thus availab le 1 3 equal in


quantity and quality to that which is com


mo uly accepted as s ufcient to establish h i s tor
4: HOW T O S PE AK WIT H TH E D EAD
speeches and books that the doctrine of sur
v iv al is a mistaken one it becomes nece s sary
,

to make the ea s e clear by an appeal to fully


r e co gm s e d facts that no one whether survival

ist or non survivalist can dispute , .

The rst of these facts I s that S cience adm its


the existence of living individual personalities .

Whe n a man is made a Fellow of the Royal


S o ciety or when a P r e si dent of the British
,
.

A ss ociation for the A dvancement of S cience is


elected the choi ce falls upon more than a mere
,

bulk of matter d with a certain amount


o f force and e ed to these there is
a something characterised by knowled ge ,

memory consciousness will cons cience moral


, , , ,

ity a perception of good and evil a capability


, ,

of lo ve and hatred and all the other qualities


,

that go to the making up o f what people m ean



when they speak of a soul If non sur -


v iv ali s ts prefer to u s e some other word well ,

an d good D isputes about names are a mere


.

beating of the air Wh at is o f moment is that


.

all parties are agreed as to the real existence


of the something to whi ch reference has h ere
been made .

The second f act is that S c i ence admit s the



s oul and body of a human being to be dis
DO T HE DEAD S TILL L I VE ? 5

tinct and separate entities even though they ,

may be closely associated This is not s o clear .

ly obvious as the rst fact ; and some though



not ma ny scientists may feel disposed to
challenge the accu racy of the assertion It is .

necessary there fore to substantiate it in a de


, ,

tailed fashion .

It is a matter of common knowledge that if


a man s body be deprived of an arm a leg an

, ,

eye etc the soul is not a ffected thereby in
, .
,

any essential way O ur hair may be shaved


.

o ff our nails cut our teeth e x tracted and our


, , ,

souls a re none the worse for the operations .

A lung may be put out of action by tu b er cu



lo s i s and the soul lives on unaff ected A .


hum an being may be apparently drowned
or may become ent ranced H is breathing may .

cease his very heart may stop be ating The


, .

ordinary bodi ly mechanism by means of which


the soul makes its presence known may


cease to be operative and as actually hap ,


p ens now and again the individual may be s o

de ad in the judgment of physicians that he
or sh e is laid out for burial aye and is some , ,

times buried in real earnest while all the time ,

the soul is as full of life as ever it was E very .

p er s o n o f e duc ation is aware that these are


6 HOW T O S PEAK WITH T HE DEAD
matters of frequent observation and e xp eri
ence They cannot be denied They are not
. .

consistent with the idea of th e existence of



the soul being limited by the existence of
the body .

The case may b e put even more strongly In .

war it often happens that a man 1 8 shot through


the arm in such a way that a part of a nerve
controlling the muscles of certain ngers is
destroyed The ngers thereupon become
.

paralysed ; but when a surgeon lls up the gap


in the nerve by ns er ting a piece of nerve taken
'

g
freshly from a lau gh tere d calf the brain nds
itself once more able to send its messages to
the muscles and the man nds he can move h is
,

ngers Absolute proof thus exists that the


.

brain and the ngers are distinct and sep arate


entities ; an d it would be utterly unscientic
to infer th at the observed paralysis indi cates
necessarily a ny disappearance of or change in , ,

the brain What really occurs is merely that


.

the brain is deprived for the time b e m g of


, ,

one of the tools it is in the habit of using for


the purpo s e of exercising its authority over the
body .

C onsider too what takes place when a man


, ,

has a stroke as it is termed an apoplectic
,
D O T HE DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 7

t the breaking of a small blood vessel in the


,
-

brain T h e exuded blood forms a clot which



.

presses upon some of the b r aIn cells and int er


feres with the normality of th e lr action In .

some cases the cells a ff ected are those that


influence the organs of speech The man b e .

comes dumb or cannot pronounce correctly .

H e has the will to speak in his ordinary m


ner and he makes desperate e ff orts to do s o .

These remain un availing unt il the blood clot -

becomes absorbed and ce a ses to interfere with


the brain cells ; and then the man s will is once
-

more able to ex ert its authority over the lat


ter which in their turn are once more able
, , ,

to organise and send forward the desired im


pulses to the tongue lips etc Absolute proof
, , .

thus ex Is ts that the will and the brain are dis


tinct and separate entities ; and it w ould be u t
terly unscientic to Infer that the observed
pressure on and p aralys IS of the brain cells
, ,
-

indi cates any d Is ap p e aran ce o f or change in , ,

But the Wl ll is comprised in the something

then that the exIs ten ce of the s oul an d body


,

as disti n c t a n d s e
p a r a t e ent ities is a d mit t ed
8 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD
b y S c i ence and demonstrated by the everyday
e xper i ence o f mankind .

I t is desir able however to add a word or


, ,

two respecting a phrase and an I dea correlated


thereto which have long exercised a m i s ch iev
ou s in uence in psychics and psychology The .


phrase is that thought may possibly be a se

cretion of the brain The idea is that although
.

body and mlnd ( or soul ) are separate entities


neither o f them can exist separately from th e
other.

To speak 0 thought as a secretion of the



brain is to m the word secretion and
to render it meaningless in which cas e the
,

famous phrase becomes nonsens i cal A secre .

tion 1 s a material substance organised from ,

and by some other p are nt m ate r i al substance


, , ,\ .

It belongs to the domain of phy si cs and can


b e expressed in terms of statics a n d d yn am l cs .

N othing of al l this is possible with regard to


though t which belon gs to the d om aIn of meta
,

physics and 1 s Immaterial To speak of some


.

thing immaterial being organised from some


thing ma terial i s a n abuse of language and ,

reduces dis cu s smn to an idle j angle of articu


late sounds .

There IS not anything similarly non s ensical


D O T HE DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 9

In the idea of body and soul being interdepend


e nt entities . The question is one of sim ple fact
and observation It is a matter of common
.

knowledge that human bodies continue to exist


long after their separation from the something

that is called soul This continued existence
.

may even be unacc ompanied ( as in the case of


mum mies ) by ordinary decay and in some ,

c ases may involve a prolong a tion of partial

vitality such as for instance the well known


, , ,
-

phenomenon of the growth of hair and na ils



after d eath . But that the soul has ceased
to be u ni ted as before with the body is in all ,

cases a matter of certainty H ence the idea


, .

now being discussed obviously requires amend


ment It is not permissible to s ay that body
.

is per petually dependent upon soul And the .

question remains whether it is permissibl e to


s a y that the e x istence of an in dividu al soul 1 s

dependent upon its r em amm g attached to the


body it accompanied d uring life .

This leads to the third of the facts to be


c onsidered the fact namely that S cience a d
, ,

mits th e possibility of soul s continuing to
e x ist when detached from the bodies with
which they ar e usually as s o cIate d The word .


detached do es not mean necessarily s epar a
10 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD
t ion by any considerable interval of space or ,

the complete absence of every means of com


m u nicatio n . A man who speaks and a man
who hears are Spoken of as being detached
from each other notwithstanding that they
ar e connected together by a sound conveying -

a tmosphere . Bricks stacked in a pile are de


tach e d separate entities even though in pop ,


ular language they are said to be touching
,

one another S o in the case of a paralysed


.
,

man the a ffected portion of h i s brain is no


,

longer under the control of his will and to that


,

extent there is a severance of his body from his


soul ; while in cases of complete trance the de
ta ch me nt in question extends to th e entire ma
teri al organism and also to the entire p s y
,

chical entity The soul b e com e s for the time


. I
,

being wholly separated from the body which


, ,

no longer is actuated by consciousness sensa ,

tion memory thought or volition All th at


, , .

serves to distinguish the state of things from



death is the absence of bodily decomposi
tion together with one or two other physical
,

peculiarities such as the response of the


,

muscle s to electrical excitement and the oph


th alm o s cop i c appearances of the fundus oculi .

Y e t when the tranc e comes to an end th e


, ,
12 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD

is al so held that in natural dee p sleep all the
higher brain centres are mo re or less out of
-

action together with the sense s of sight touch


, , ,

taste smell and hea ring though in varying de


, ,


grees . A n d with regard to dream ing the
, ,

explanation g iven is that the gradual passing
of the h igher n erv e centre s ~
th e highest

centres of the cerebral matter from normal t o
subnormal activity or rest removes from the
, ,

lower centres a certain inhibition and these ,

respond more readily both to external stimuli


and to alt er internal stimuli or tension of
-
?
the blood v e sels A ccompanying this func
.

ti onal dissolution of the higher centres there


is in varyi ng degrees dissociation of con
, ,

s ci o u sn e s s or obstructed assoc iati o n The .

re sult of such dissociation 1 s I nterference with


judgment resulting 1n false perception illu
, ,

sion hallucination and perpe tually altering


,

variations of these .


What is meant by the phrase dissociation of

c on s cl ou s n e s s ? It cannot very well signify
anything other than that consciousness during
sleep becomes detached from the brain some ,

t imes to a partial ex tent and sometimes c om


p le te ly This. is the same thing as say ing that
soul is found by universal experience to exist ,
DO TH E DEAD S TI LL L IVE ? 13

time an d agai n in a state of independence To


, .

that extent the scientic view is well founded -

and acceptable When however dreams are


.
, ,

stated to be nothing more than mere physical


states of the lower bra in centres a doubt -

creeps in D reams are not material They


. .

a r e intangible thoughts and b elong to the do



mai n of consciousness Where the removal .


of a certain inh ibition from the lower centres
comes in is by way of explaining that owing
to temporary physical conditions attending
sleep various brain cells are out of gear as
,
-
,


it were and work I rr egularly the case being
,

analogous to that of the man who is dumb or


speaks badly o wm g to a blood clot in his brain -
.

But at the back of the fantastic or imperfect


appearance are the Conscious n ess and other
e lements of the soul marshalled in r egu lar co

ordination It is more probable therefore


.
, ,

that dreams are di stortions of realities per


c e 1v e d by the soul th a n that they originate in

disordered cerebral matter .

W e s ee then that S cience is faced by and


, , ,

a dmits three fundamental facts namely


, ,

1 . The existenc e in this world of human


, ,

souls as well as human bodies .


1 4: HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E D E AD
2 . T he existence of such souls and bodies as
separate entities .

3 . The possibility of souls c ontinuing to


exist when separate d from human
bodie s .

Wh at has nex t to be considered 1 s whe ther


s uch separate existence i s lim ited to the case o f
temp orary detachment du rIng the life of the
body or whether it is also possible when the
,

separation i s brought about by de ath .

Reasoni ng by a nalogy may not be t anta


mount to direct proof but it is none the less , ,

cogent When we ree ct that the loss of an


.

arm a leg etc is really the happening of


, , .
,

death to the missing parts of th e body and yet


that the soul is not thereby a ff ected we are
entitled to Infer that the loss of the rest of
the body will leave the soul unscathed And .

when we add the re ection that in cases of


trance a pparent drowning deep sleep etc

, , , .
,

the whole body is detached from the s oul a


separation that o cca sIonally lasts many days

or weeks the inference is greatly strength
ened E veryone knows moreover that In
.
, ,

many instances of natural death th e soul re


m ai n s in vigorou s e x istence right up to the mo
DO T H E DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 15

ment of dissolution ; and where death o ccurs


from ex ternal causes as i n warfare both body
, ,

and soul maintain their full normality until


the stroke of Fate has been dealt Why then .
, ,

should it be assumed that the soul ceases su d


d e nly to e x ist ? The body is seen to continue ,

an d as regards its matter to be imperishable


, , .

The soul is not seen ; but as it never had been


seen though known to exist during life no
, , ,

re a son can be assigned for expecting it to be


visible at death N ot even the im s ie st foun
.

dation can be discov ered for the doctrine of


non survival which i s merely the arbitrary as
-
,

sertion of a most patent Improbability It is .


,

therefore unscientic in the highest degree


, .

In addition however to this analogical ar


, ,

g u m e n t which
, mos t scientic men regard as
conclusive there exIsts a solid basis of scien
,

ti cally observed facts demonstrating very


c learly the survival of souls after death The .

facts it is true are psychical rather than phys


, ,

ical ; but this does not impair their validity .

Modern men of science are beginni ng to re


gard matter force and energy as less im
,

portant in the scheme of the universe than are


the entities that cannot be ex pressed in
dynamical terms ; and the biologists are fas t
16 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD
conceding p riority to will an d cons cious pu r

pose over the h itherto accepted supreme au


th ority of E v oh i ti on ary L ife S till the ob ser
.
,

v atio n s above alluded to ar ein part of a phys

ical character and have been made within the


sacred precincts of s cIenti c laboratori es .

D ealing rst with the latter it s ufces b y , ,

way of example to mention the researches con


#
,

ducted by Mr W . C rawford B s e a gen


. .
, . .
,

tlem an wh o is L ecturer in Mechanical E ngi


neering in the Belfast Municipal Technical

f
Institute E ra Mural L ecturer in Mechan
x #
-
,

ical E ngl nee i ng in the ueen s U niversity of

Belfast etc It is a matter of common knowl


, .

edge in scientic circles and to a large extent


,

in popular circles as well that he has with re, ,



spect to the survival question carried out a ,

series of exper iments and tests under the most


rigid co nditions fo r ensuring accuracy of ob
servation and correctness of results exp en
ments and tests that have been witnessed by
competent persons and carefully recorded in a
manner to wh i ch no valid exception can be
taken In the ordinary way of scient ic work
.

the co nclusions arrived at by such a trained


and eminently well qu ali e d observer would
-

be assented to by the scientic world a s a mat


D O T H E DEAD S T ILL L IVE ? 17

te r of c ourse ; and such assent should not b e


withheld mere ly because th e eld of i nvestiga
tion l ay outside the beaten tracks of S cience .

D r C rawfor d s observ ations and exp eri


.

ments are of quite recent date They h ave im .

pressed greatly the scientic wo rld They are .


r e garded as prov ing the existence of the in

visible intelligent beings mentioned by S ir
W illi am C rookes in 1 8 74 and as also proving ,

that these beings are encount ered and c om


mu ni cate d with here i n this wo rld But the .

knowledge of the wo rk done by D r C rawford .

is not yet very widely sp re ad and it is quite ,

possible th at m any scientic men as well as a


good po rtion of the public at l arge are still
unacqu aint e d with its ch aracter and the re
s u lts a tt ained It m ay be well therefore to
.
, ,

cite an illustr ative instance of one of the meth


ods employed This is done in the sci entist s.

own words .


A d rawin g b o a r d wa s pl a c ed on th e pl a t fo rm
-

of
a W e i gh i n g m a c h i ne a nd a c h a i r wa s pl a c e d o n

th e top of th e b o a r d . T h e me di u ( Mi
m s s Go li gh er )

s at o n th e chai r , Wi th h e r fe t r e s t i ng o n th e b o a r d
e

I s i d t th e o p er a t o r s
.


E xp e rimen t 1 . a o to
th e pi r i t s ] Y o u
s ,

s a y th levi t a tin g c n t ilever c on
e a

ta i n s ma t t e r f r om th e b o dy o f th e med i u m I w a nt

.
18 HOW T O S PEAK W I T H T HE D EAD

y ou to ta ke bou t fr o m
o dy th e m a tt er
y h er
o u u s e

i n th e c o n s t ru c t i on o f th e c a n t ile v e r y o u empl o y to
levi t a t e thi s t a b le ( wei ght 1 2 4 lb s ) a nd t o pl a c e
1 .


th i s m tte r l o o s el y o n th e o o r n o t to b u il d u p
a

th e c a n t il e ve r b u t Si mply to pl a c e th e m a tt e r r e

q u i r e d fo r i t o n th e o o r G iv e t h r ee r a p s w h e n.

o u ha ve d o ne th i s

y .


T h e m e d i u m s W e i gh t be ga n to d e c re a s e a nd i n

a few s e c o n d s be c a m e f i rl y s t e a dy Then I hea r d


a .

th e th ree r a p s s i gni fy i n g t h a t th e o pe r a t i o n wa s
,

c omplete .

R E SU LT
Wei gh t o f med i m cha i r u

b o rd a b f r e th e e xp e rim n t
, e o st lb s e . .

F i r ly
a t e dy wei ght o f m d iu m
s a e

c h a i r bo a rd a ft er th r a p s , e

W re give n
e 8 st lb s . .

D e c r e s e i n W i gh t o f m d i u m
a e st 16 e .


I t i s n o t wo r thy th a t wh en I c rri e d o u t th e
e a

s me t es t
a b o u t i gh t ee n m nth s p r evi o u s l y I oh
a e o ,

t i n d th e s m e r e s u l t W i thi n a p o u n d o r two
a e a ( S ee .

R li ty o f P s y c hic P henomena E xp er imen t 63 p


ea ,

, .


E xp e rime n t 2 .

p e ra t o r s to pu t th e
I k d thas e e o

m a t t e r th e y s a i d th ey a b s t r a c t e d i n E xp e ri men t 1 ,

n o t o n th e o o r b u t o n th e d r a wm b o a r d u n d e r th e
g
e

m d i u m s c h a i r ( th e d r a wm g bo a r d wa s res ti ng o n
20 HOW T O S PE A K WITH TH E DEAD
th e machine or to r eport them corre c tly Y et .

hi s spoken instructions to someth ing i nvisible


and intangib l e were followed by r esults that
indi cated intelligent he ari ng and c areful obe
d i en ce
. To deny th at this w as strict scientic
p roof of th e p resence in D r C rawford s lab
.

or atory o f some kind of consciousness p er c ep ,

tion and Wi ll of some soul


th at was
sep ar ate an d distinct from any soul in norm al
a ssoci ation with a hum a n body would be to

sp e ak as perversely as though one wer e to deny


th at two a nd t 0 m ake four .

S o much for the physical c ategory of the


observations that h ave be en m a de in the sei e n
ti c wo rld r e sp e cting su rviv a l a ft e r de ath W e .

can now turn to the psychic al c at egory .

The inve stigations l n this direction h ave


b e en c arried on for so m any ye ar s an d by so
m any observers both scientic and lay th at a
, ,

v a st mass of m ateri al h as accumu lated in th e


sh ape of evidence which for th e gre ater p art
, ,

is in favour of an afrm ative answe r b e ing



gi ve n to the question D o the D ead still live ?
N one of the evidence is in fa ct suggestive of
, ,

a ne g a ti v e reply ; but som e i s not of a t rust

wo rthy chara cte r while in other cases th e


,

re quisite co rrobo r a tion is l a cking .T h l s IS a


D O T H E DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 21

trap for the unwary of both schoo l s of th ought


the sceptic al and the cr edu lou s T h e form er .

a r e struck by inst anc e s of fr au d dece it and ,

ignorant gullibility ; an d th ey neglect to con


side r and weigh wh at is bro u ght fo rward of a
se rious and ge nuine ch aract er The l atter are .

c arrie d away by their emotions and wishes and ,

pr e fe r the s ens ation al ru bbish to th e c a lm and


b al anced testimony of honest and carefu l ob
servers .

A typic al colle ction o f th e evidence h ere re



ferre d to good b a d an d indi ff e rent l s to be
,

found in th e p age s of R aymond th e rec e nt ,

1y p u blish e d book written by S ir O l i v e r L odge ,

F R S The author who h a s fo r very m any


. . .
,

ye ar s b ee n an emine nt inve stiga tor of p sy


chical phenom e na in a ddition to h aving at
,

tai ne d the high e st r ank i n th e sci e ntic world


in re sp e ct of his el e ctr ic al an d oth e r work w a s ,

a fict e d by th e loss of a son R aymond in the, ,

Gr e a t W ar an d i n a ccor dance with w h a t h e


, ,

considered to b e possibl e h e ende avou re d to


,

open u p c ommunic ation with th e disc arnate


spirit of th e dec e a s e d you ng m an H e de .

scr ibes his exp er im ents an d their re sult in th e


book h e h a s writt en H e do e s not hesitat e to
.


re ect much of wh at he obs e rve d as b eing non
22 HOW T O S P E A K WITH TH E DEAD
s e ns e ,

and
good de al mo re he describes as
a

u nv e ri ab le and doubtful But he also .

br ings forwar d an abund ance of what h e



t erms e vid e nti a l m att e r which h e deems to ,


be ge nuin e and convincing a COIl ClIl SlOIl fu lly
a cc e pt e d by serious r e a d er s who ar e not

swaye d by p rej udic e H e m ake s many r e f .

e r e n ce s to wh a t h a s b e en don e by other invest i

gato rs an d he exp r esses h imself on the general


,

qu e stion as follows :

H ow ve r i t e cc o mpli sh ed a nd wh a t ever re
be a ,

c e ti o n th e
p p r e d a
y s ci e-
n t i c w o r l d m a
y g i v e t o

th e a s s e r t a re m a n y n o w wh o k n o w by ,


r s t h a nd ew e r wn c e t h a t c o mmu n i c a t i o n i s p o s s ibl e
p ,

a c r o s s th e b o u n d r y i f th er e i s a b o u nd a r y b e
a - ~

t we en th e w o rl d pp reh end ed by o u r few a nima l de


a -

r iv d a nd th e l a r ge r e xi s t e n c e c o n c e r ni ng

e s en s es

whic h o u r kn owledge i s s t ill mo re limit ed Co m .

mu ni c a ti o n i s n o t e a s y b u t i t o cc u r s , Th e .

m r e r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t o f a n e l a b o r a t e s ch e m e o f
o

c ro s s c o r r e s p o n d en c e en t er ed u p on s i n ce th e d ea th o f
-

s p e ci a ll y e xp e r i e n c e d a n d c ri t ic a l i nv es t i ga t o r s o f
th e S o ci e ty fo r P s y c h ic a l R e s e a r c h wh o w e r e fa ,

m ili a r wi th all th e s e d if c u l t i e s a n d wh o h a v e t a ke n,

s t r o n g a n d m o s t i n em o u s m e a n s t o o v er c o me th m
g e ,

h a s m a d e th e p r o o f a l r e a dy ver y s t r o n g n o w a l
, ,
e

mo s t c r u ci a l T h e c h i e f th i n g t h a t th e e p i s o d e
.

e s t a bli s h e s to my mi n d a nd a thi ng th a t wa s w o r th
, ,
D O T HE DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 28

es t a bli shi ng , i s th e g e nu n e i cha r a cter o f th e s impl e


d o me st ic s i tt i ng wi th ou t a me di a/ m whi c h a r e c
s, t
,
o

ca s i on lly h l d b y th e f a mil y ci cl e t M r i em o n t
a e r a a .

F r i t i s th
o gh th s e ch i y tha t R ym n d r e
rou e e a o

m in a s mu c h
s a m mb r o f th f mily g u p a s
a e e e a ro

ev e r . In t h e ld d a y if I s t wi th m diu m
o s, a a e ,

I w s nev e t ol d o f a ny r i u s im gin y b er ve
a r se o a ar ea


men t wh i ch h d b e f lle n my lf b e y n d th n t u r l
a a se o e a a

a n d in evi t b l l o s s s f m n l d g n t i n whi h
a e e ro a o er e er a o c

f ll to th e lo t o f ve ry s n o f m n Bu t n w if I
a e o a . o ,

o r an
y m m b er o f m e
y f m il y g s a n o ny m u l y t a , oe o s o

a gen in m d iu m gi mg n t th li ght s t n rma l


u e e , v o e s e o

l my s n i qu ic kly to th f o r a nd c nt inu s h i s
c ue, o s e e o e

l r nd c nvin cin g e ri s f evi d n c ; m tim


c ea a o s e o e es so e es

givin g t e t im ny f a it ic lly l c t d ki nd s m
s o o cr a se e e , o e

t im esn t en t i n g h i m s lf w i th f i n dl y f m ily c h ff
co e r e a a

a n d r e m i ni s c n c e b u t lw y a t in g i n
e s, m an n r a a s c a . e

c on s i t n t w i th h i s p r o n li ty nd m m rie s nd
s e e s a a e o a

v r y i n g m o o ds
a In ver y w y h e h a s s h o wn
. e a

h im lf nxi u s to give c onvin c in g vi d n c M o e


se a o e e e. r

o v r h wa n t s me t p k o u t ; n d I s h ll I a m
e , e o s ea a a .

a s nvi n c e d o f c o nt i n u d e xi t n c e
co n th o th e r e s e , o e


s id e o f d th I am o f xi s t en c e h r e
ea , as e e .

The se personal utte rances r ep r e sent much


more th an th e opinion of a singl e individu al .

Th ey are in e ff e ct a su mm ary of wh at h as b e e n
e st a blish e d by th e l abo r io u s inv e stig ations of

many hundreds of educ ated and c ap abl e eu


2 4: HOW TO S PE A K WITH T HE DEAD

qu ir e r s i nc l uding h i ghly honoured


-
l ea d ers of

i
s c ence du ing th e l ast h alf century The
r -
.

S ocie ty of P sychical Research for ex amp le ,


me ntioned b y S ir O liver Lodge comprises ,

an d h a s comp r ised m any of the fo r emost sci


,

entists an d philosophic al thinke rs of E ngland ,

America F r anc e Italy an d other countries


, , .

It entere d upon th e investigation and study of


psychic a l ph e nomen a from a strictly scienti c
p o m t of vie w without
, a n y tendency to be
guid e d by r eli gi ous te achings and desirous of
st amping out the i n uence of s o c alled S p irit-

u ali sm upon p ib lic c r edulity Its work wa s


y
.

conducted with the utmost c ar e and c aution i n


every detail I ts Reports fr om year to ye ar
.

were welcomed as sound and t ru stworthy text


books in a little known r egion of scie nce They
-
.

are coll e ctions of demonstrated fa cts r athe r

th a n th e present ation of inferences an d sp ecu


l ative views S o when it i s found that the for e
.

most psychologists and psychical investigator s


work in harmony w ith the results att ai ned b y
the S ociety for P sychical Rese arch and th at ,

th e conclusions announced by authorities like


S ir O liver L odge are l argely based upon s uch
r e sults th e c a se for the a cceptance of these
,

c on clusions b ecome s very str ong inde e d .


D O T H E DEAD S TILL L IVE ? 25

It has now been p rove d beyond all p os s ib il


ity of r eason ab l e refu t ation th at both Religion

and S cience answe r Y e s wh e n they are a sked

the question D o th e D e a d still live ?

Th er e i s an alli e d question which shou ld not


b e altogether ignor ed . E uclid som etimes
proves a p roposition by sh owmg th at its deni al
ne c e ss arily involves an absurdity In like.

ma nn er we m ay a sk wh ether the de ni al of the


p ropos i tion th at souls live on aft er de ath drive s
u s into a position that th e comm on sense an d

conscience of m ankind know to b e unt e nable .

If this life be th e whole me a sure of th e ex


i s ten ce of a so ul if birth m e a n its b eginning
,

an d d e ath its end th e som e thing th at is c all e d


,

soul is see n to be merely a t empor ary ev a
n e sce nt a ff ection of the m atte r th at consti

tu te s the body . But it is an abuse of l angu age


to sp e ak of ma tter a s being e ither mor ally good
o r mo r ally b a d . E v en if it be a dmitted th at
m att e r can live an d b e e ndowe d with conscious
ne ss and volition th ere wou ld still b e a m ani
,

fe st absurdity in attr ibuting to it a knowledge


of good an d evil It follows therefore th at
.
, ,

any per son who is a thor ough going m at er i al


-

ist is logic ally deb arr e d from sp e aking o f good


n ess bene vol e nc e honou r integr it y ch arity
, , , , ,
26 HOW TO S PEAK WIT H T HE DEAD
t ruth p iety pat riotism p roigacy frau d
, , , , ,

crime or wi ckedness T h e m asses of matt er


.


to which he gives the n ame hum an beings
ar e non mo r a l just as much as h i s t able or his
-

boots H e t alks nonsense when he p r ais e s


.

them for acting in a m anner which h e c alls



r ight , or when he bl ames them for acting in

a mann er which he c all s wrong N or is the
.


c ase bett er ed by conc e ding th at good con

duct may be bene c ial an d bad conduct
harmful to the m a ss of m atter i n action and ,

m ay the refo r e in an analogic al w ay be de


scribed as m erf
,

ting comm end ation and rep r oof


respectiv ely The m a ss of m atter will know
.

well enough th at success p r osperity and ,

worldly en oym ent are attained much more


fr equently by b ad men tha n by th e righteous ,

a n d he w ill l augh a t th e ide a of a s atis e d

conscie nce being pre fe rred to a s atise d body .

H e will know th a t when d e ath com e s th e good



will no t be any b etter o ff th an th e b ad th ey ~


will both be ann ihil ated and he will al so know
th at du r ing life the b ad are mu ch better o ff
th an the good D o e s this doctrine commend it
.

s elf to any sane m an ? D o e s any le a der of s ci


enc e ex i st wh o will say d e liber atel y th at he re
C H AP T E R II

SOU L AN D LI FE

T HE phrase th at the de a d st ill live d oes not


me a n the s ame thing a s wh e n it is said th at a
huma n body lives In th e fo rmer c ase the
.


wor d live m erely me ans exist ; in the latt e r

th e wo r d liv s connotes together with the
,

i d e a of exist u c e a p articular conc rete form


,

of living which is di ff e re nti at e d marke dly from



living i n the abstract This distinction is
.

fr e qu ently overlooked a nd as the oversight


,

l e ads to mu ch con fu sion o f thought an d lies


e

at th e root of much of the opposition th at is



h ere and th er e o ffere d to the doctrine of su r
viv a it s e ems well to d evote a few pages to
its discussion .


The life th at is found in human bodie s
and throughout the o rgani c world is imper
sonal It is m ate ri al or r ather physic al in
.
, , , ,

the sense th at it h as not any exist ence ap art


fi om the o rganic m att e r of which it cons titutes
an a ff ect i on or attribute The case is analo
.

28
S O UL AND L IF E 29

gous to th at of gravit ation Accor ding to th e


.

a cc e pted N ewtoni a n philosophy ev e r y p ar ticle

of m att er i n the univer s e attr a cts an d i s at ,

tracted by every oth er p article : it gravit ates :


,

it is ponderable But th ere 18 no such thing as


.

gr avi t ation p er 3 6 though th ere m ay be an


,

e ntity th a t c aus e s gr av i t a tion It is conv eni


.

ent for th e p u rpos e s of l angu age an d the


,

o rderly exp re ssion of tho u ght to sp eak of it ,

s ep ar ately just a s colour t emp e rature illu m i


, , ,

nation form stru ctur e an d oth e r a ff e ctions are


, ,

r e ferred to ; th e under st andi ng how ev er b e ing, ,

always th at th e y are not in th ems elve s e ntitie s


a n d are not ch a r a cter is e d by anything i n th e

nature of s elf ex i stence


-
.

S cience do e s not at p re s ent hold th at life is


an a ttribute of all matt er Miner als an d oth e r
.

forms of wh at i s c alle d inorgani c m att e r are


considered to b e devoid of life an d th e s ame ,


de stitu tion is ass ert e d with r e sp e ct to dea d ,

inanim at e o rgani c m att er L ife is met with
.


only in liv m g ,a nim at e o rgani c m atter ;

j ust as cryst allis ation is fou nd only in cryst al

line an d not in amorphou s m att er ; an d to

pursue the simile it m ay b e pointed out th at
the s ame m atter which i s cryst alline under some
conditions becomes amorphous und er others ,
30 HOW T O S P E AK WI T H T HE DEAD
as i n the c a se o f c a rbon which i s sometime s
,

diamond and sometimes charco al In l ike m an .

ner living m att er m ay ch ange into de a d m at


te r a change which i s c all e d

de ath ; and
d e ad matt e r may ch ange i nto living m atter ,

as for example wh e n food i s a ssimil ate d by


, ,

ani mal s and vege t ables



The tru e natur e of the li fe met with in
living or g anic m atter i s not yet under stood .

Modern sci ence h as shown i ndisput ably th at


, ,

the doct rine of the cons ervation of energy ap


y
plies without no di cation to living beings just
a s much a s to i n a ni m ate subst a nces The ide a
.


of the re being any specic vit al for ce vit al ,

m at eri a or vit al energy h as long ago b e e n
ab a n d oned A ll th e p ar ticul ar phenomen a oh
.

served by morphologists phys i ologists emb ry


, ,

ologists p alaeontologists and aetiologists t e



, . .

by the whole world of biologists can be s atis


fac torily explained ih terms of chemistry ,

physical for ce energy an d dynamics Bu t b i


, .

ology c ann ot as ye t gi v e an e qu ally cl e ar ao


c ount o f the c o o r din a t e d vit ality of anyth i ng
-

that lives It c annot e ve n st ate the h ow and


.


wh y of the Si mplest unic ellul ar organi sm We .


are forc ed says a le ading authority to the
, ,

c onclus ion that a living organism is a p artie


SO UL A ND L IF E 31

ul ar synthe sis of m att e r and energy the se cret ,



of whose organisation r em ains hidden .

W e know however that life displays th e


, ,

s ame kind of uniformity th at ch ar acterises


h e at light motion an d oth er imponderables
, , .

T h e som e thin g th at appe ars a s the t emp er atur e


of boiling w at er is sim il ar i n all r e spects to the
som ething th at app e ars a s the equ al t emper a
tur e of hot oil an d can be int erch ange d there
with Inde ed the fund ame nt al Th e ory o f E x
.
,

ch anges upon which a gre at p art of thermo


dynamics is b a sed depends for its v alidity on
th e abs ence of a ny distinction betwee n the
h e ats of var iou s m a ss e s of m atte r The o nly .

v ari ation of h eat is th at of degre e : the kind is


a lw ays th e s am e ; h ea t n ev e r b e com e s individ

u ali s e d This i s se e n by everyd ay observation


.

to b e e qu ally true of life an d is fre qu e ntly


,

demonstrat e d b y sp e cic experi me nt Gr aft .

ing for ex ample wh ether it consist in the


, ,

union of a scion of on e tr ee with th e stock of


a noth er or wh e th e r it t ake th e fo rm of t r ans

#
,

f err ing a pi e ce of ohn S mith s skin to a ayed


p ar t of Robert Green s arm is the migr ation


of a vit ality th at rem ains unch anged in spite


of the ch ange of environm e nt and that int er
mingles harmonious ly an d homogeneously with
32 HO W T O S PEAK W IT H TH E DEAD
the vitality of its new abode N either the in
.

d iv i du alitie s of the two tre e s nor the personal i


ties of th e two m en ap p ear i n or ac company
, ,


their stocks of life any more th an they are
.

to be found in the ir stocks of heat or weight .

The v ari ous stocks may be more or l ess abun


dant in quantity but they do not di ff e r in kind
, .

W e know also th at life is cap able of inde


nite increase by r eproduction provide d only
,

th a t the means of sustenance be av a ilab l e A .

singl e p air of rabbits for inst ance if allowed


, ,

to bre ed eked and not ki lled o ff will in a, ,

shor t time become rep r esente d


,

by two millions of Si milar a nim als This .


m e ans of course th at the quantity of l ife
, ,

corr e sponding to two rabbits h a s been au g


m en te d a million fold
.
-
.The incr e a se h as not
been derived fr om the food consumed the to ,

tal amount of which is accounte d for b y th e


bodies an d exc ret a of the coni e s A sim ila r
.

ph enom e non is obs ervable thr oughout the


whol e su m of living beings wh ether human
, ,

anim al or ve get able It distinguish e s life
.

very e ff ectu ally from m atter and e nergy both ,

of which are by th e doctrine of c onservation


, ,

a s i nc ap abl e of incre a s e a s of d ec r e ase The .

only hypothesis th at appears possible by way


S O UL AND L IF E 33


of expl anati on 1 8 to hold th at life i s one of
the p rote an modes of e nergy in the s ame w ay
th at he at i s under stood ( by those persons who
ar e cont e nt to a ccept th e B a co ni an a n d mod ,

er n scientic View ) to be a mode of motion .

This hypoth e sis however does not rest on any


, ,

s e cu re found ation The only energy th at i s


.

known to be p r actic ally av ail abl e for tran smu


ta ti o n into life is h e at ( light an d e lect ricit y
s eem to be negligible ) and reproduction ,

which oft e n takes pl ace on a very l arge sc ale ,

h a s ne ver be e n obs erved to invol ve the ab s orp


tion an d dis app earanc e of h eat .

Again we know by observ ation and exp eri


,

ment th at th e function of life is to organise
ma tter ; th at is to s ay to arrange m ateri al p ar
,

ti cle s into di ff e r enti at e d gr oups an d aggr e


gat e s marked by varying compl exities o f com
position suit able fo r cert ai n sp e cic a ctions .

It is sometimes cont ende d th at this system ati c


c o o r di n ation and app ar ent displ ay of pu rpose
-

i s to b e foun d also in th e ina nim at e wo rld T h e .

ph e nome non of c ryst allis ation for ex ample is


, ,

h er e a n d th ere r egarde d a s an i nst anc e of life .

It is attended by gr owth It exhibits both dif


.

fer enti ation and integr a tion b e coming on the


,

one hand more complex an d on the oth er more


34 HOW T O S PEAK WITH T H E D EAD
uni e d L ost parts are s een to be regene rate d
. .

S ome degr ee of ad u s tm ent to surr oundings


l s notice able ; and r e p r oduction m ay even be

s ai d to occu r to some ext e nt But when the


.

cryst al is formed it do e s not di ff er e ither in ,

subst ance or in funct ion fr om the r aw m at eri al


,

out of which it h a s b e en c onstruct e d It re .

mai ns i ner t and destitute of any app r o ach to


vitality It m ay be de stroyed by crushing
.
,


fusion solution : i t never di e s
, . To spe ak of
it as being a living c r eatur e is th e refor e i nept
, , .

h o we v e gr e at irnp o rtance be still at


f
tach e d to th e o cc a s i on al r egener ations an d r e
produc ti ons observed in th e case of inani m ate
m att er it should be bo rne in mind th at thes e
,

di ff er very gre atly fr om the co rr esponding


henomen a wh e re life i s c on c ern e d T h e re
p
x

p air s e ff ect e d by ch emi c al afn ity an d other


non vit al in uenc e s ar e lim ited to resto rati on
-

a n d repl a c e m e nt witho u t alte r ation of strue

ture or ch ange of a dapt ation ; an d wher e re


r oduct i on t ak e s pl a c e it i s limit e d to r e p e t i
p
tion Very di ffer ent r e sults are m et with wh en
.


L ife is in contr ol T ake a ny ho rny hande d
.
-


son of toil . The skin of hi s h ands wh e n he
wa s a child an d until he began to wo rk wa s
soft an d t ender It bec ame inj u re d by fric
.
36 HOW T O S PE AK WITH T H E D EAD

change d C ereb r al m atter is l ike the sensory


.
,

mech anism a mere p i e ce of appar atus a gr am


, ,

o ph on e , as it w er e which in a c ert ain sens e


, ,

of the words m ay be s aid to he ar an d to sp e ak


, ,

but which h as not any i nner c onsciousness of


wh at goes on .

This view which no man o f s cienc e will con


,

t e st and which is a tenet o f modern natur al


,

philosophy i s established by the everyd ay e x


,

ri e n ce of e ve r y m an N t only does he know


p e o .

th at h i s bone s hair blood etc are not con


, , , .
,

scious entiti e s though th e y are full of life ; he


,

a lso knows th t h e r e m ains as alive a s ever du r

ing his sl e ep which is fr e quently dre amless an d


,

fr e e from all indic ations of consciousne ss H e .

kn ows th at chl or oform and other anaesthetics


a r e const a ntly e mploye d on thous a nds of o c

c asions with resu lting insensibility and u ncon


s ci ou s n e s s but with no di ff erence in the life
,

th at anim ates the bodies of the p er sons oper


a t e d upon H e knows th at a man may be
.

stunne d by a sever e blow on th e h ea d and


m ay becom e for th e tim e b e ing b e reft of con
, ,

s ci ou s ne s s while still r e t a ining his full vital ity .

The tru th of the m att er i n fa ct is s o plain as , ,

not to b e Open to any s eri ou s discu ssion even ,

though as is th e case with e very doctrine nu


,
SO UL AND L IF E 37

d er the sun i t may in app e arance be argued


,

a bout in wor ds an d phr a s e s th a t ar e ingenious

ly dive rte d fr om th e ir norm a l m e anings .

It is fu rth ermore to be born e in mind that


L ife h as not any consci e nc e and is utterly non
moral F rom a strictly sci e ntic point of view
.

this is not a m atter of any cons equ ence ; for


S cie nce is conc erne d m er ely with exist ence qu d
e xist e nce an d dis r eg a r ds th e whol e s u bj ect of

e thic a l good an d e vil S ci e ntic men how


.
,

ever h ave consciences an d th e knowl e dge of


,

r ight a n d wr ong an d are a ble wh e n e v er they


, ,

m a y fe e l so dispos e d to judge of L ife from


,

th e mor a l point of view Th ey s e e for ex


.
,

ampl e th a t the vit ality o f a living h u m a n b e


,

ing is just as a ctive effi cie nt and exquisitely


,

a da pt ative in the dev e lopm e nt of a p ainful

dis ease as in the p roduction of enj oyable


h ealth Th ey s e e th at th e fat al microbe is fos
.

te re d an d s e nt on its mu r d e r ou s w ay r e oi cing ,


j u st a s mu ch a s th e ph agocyt e s ( th e blood

sc ave nger s ) an d oth er de fe nsive o rgani sms
are in lik e m ann er p r ot e ct e d an d c au s e d to

mu ltiply T h e cow is m a de to yi eld milk while


.
,

th e cobr a is e qu ally a id e d to p r e p are a store of


de adly poison T h e b e e is s et to th e b ene cent
.

work of honey making ; an d the mosquito is


-
38 HOW T O SP E AK WITH T H E DEAD
granted a lette r o -
f ma
r que for the dissem i na

tion of mal ari a E verywher e in nature the


.

same blindne ss to mo ra l consider ations and the


s ame abs e nce of ethic al purpose are met with
in the activities of L ife .

The qu estion of how L ife o ri gi nates should


a lso r ec e ive a tt e ntion Mode rn sci e nc e re ect s
.

th e id e a of its b e ing de riv e d fr om in anim ate


m atter or from any combination of m att er with
physic al for c e or energy The e xp erime nts of
.

the l ate D r H C h arlton B astia n


. . an d ,

other s with r sp ect to the demonst rat ion of


f
spont aneous gene ration are h eld to be in
validated by v ari ous sour c e s o f e rr or ; and th e
almost unanimous ve r dict of th e sci e ntic
wo rld is th at e ver y occurrenc e of life p r oc ee ds
from some ant e cede nt p arent life This d o c
, , .

t rine involves n aturally the r e ferr ing back of


the e ntire amount of life now e xisting i n th e
world to a long line of ancestry And as S ci .

ence te ac h e s furth ermor e th at a time di d once


exist wh e n th e wo rld wa s altogeth er inorganic
an d in ani m at e th e r e e me r ge s th e p r obl em of
,

when and how L ife m a de its r st app e ar anc e


~

on this mund ane sph er e This p robl em is a s


.
,

yet insoluble ; a nd fa u te d 6 mi eu w c ert ain


, , ,

s ci entists as for ex amp le H e lmh olz Tynd all


, , ,
S O UL AND L IF E 39

and Lbr d K elvin h ave found themse lves re


d u ce d to th e ne c e ssity of suggesting that pos
sp e cim en of life on the e arth was
introduc e in th e form of some organism borne
h ith e r by a m et e or ite Bu t s u ch a s u ggestion
.

do e s not s dlv e th e p robl em of L ife ; it merely


th rows b ack th e solution by yet anoth er st age .

And in th e me antime the rem arks alre a dy made


in the p re s ent ch apter with r egar d to the cap ac
ity of inde nit e i nc re a s e displ aye d by L ife ar e
emph a s i s e d a n d conrmed in a p r odig i ous de

gre e It is sure ly a most m arv ellou s thing th at


.

th e whol e v a st volu me of existing life should


b e th e p r oduct of some minu te p rimor di al
qu antity w ithout th er e ever h av m g b e e n a dde d
a n y gr owth m at e r i al fr om th e o u tside
-
Thi s
.

difculty w a s fe lt by D r B a sti an an d his fel


.

low e xp eri m ent er s ; and e ve n th e stout e st u p


-

holde rs of H arvey s doctrine omn e mou rn em


o vo a s fo r i nst a nc e H uxl e y H ae ck e l N ageli


, , , , , ,

P ii ge r an d Ray L ankest er h av e not h e sit at e d


to a dm it the possibility of protopl a sm h aving
b e en synth etic ally d eri ve d fr om ina nim ate
matt er at som e e arly p e ri od of th e e arth s his

tory wh e n physic a l conditions were very dif


,

fe r en t fr om thos e of th e p r e s e nt tIm e and wh en



s o m a ny thin gs w e re in the m aking . S ome
40 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD
sc ientists indeed hold th at heterogenesis may
, ,

even now be t aking pl a ce in loc alities or unde r


circumst anc e s th at are shi elde d fr om obs erva
tion ; an d oth er s b a s m g th ei r j udgme nt upon
,

the triumphs of modern chemistry i n th e s yn


thesis o f sug ar in di go alizarine u re a an d
, , ,

other organic subst ances think it p robabl e that ,

men m ay ye t succ e e d in putting togeth er a


combination of m att e r th at sh all e xhibit vit al
ity as one of its attr ibut e s The b e aring of all .

this upon the p r obl ems de alt with in the pres


ent volu m e co sists of course in the support
g
, ,

giv e n to the e s enti ally physic al and non p s y -

chic al n atur e of L ife .

If a comp ar ison be now m ade b e tween wh at


h a s he re be en st at e d with r e g ard to L ife a n d
wh a t wa s st at e d in C h apt er I with r eg ar d to
S oul we sh all nd ou r selv e s in p r esence of
,

cert ain m arked contr a sts a s follows :


LI FE S OU L
1 . Isi mp e r s on al I t . h as 1 . Is pr e s on al
. In divi d al u

not a ny i nd ivi d ualities or so ul s ex si t as se p arat e en ti


i d i osyncras i es . ti es a nd e a h
c h a s i ts own dis
ti ngu i s h i n g ch ar act e r .

2 . Is h omo ge neou s . It i s #
2 . Is h et e r o ge neou s . Sou ls
d i vi s i b l e i nto s ep arat e p or a re di s ti nct fr om e ach o th e r
ti ons only i n th e s am e s e ns e and do n ot co al e s ce .

th at th e s am e is t ru e of h e at ,
SO UL AND L IF E
LIFE ( con ti nu ed ) . S O UL ( c onti nu ed ) .

li ght l tr i ity nd other


, e ec c , a

f rms f phy i al n r gy
o o s c e e .

Th s v ari us p ar l
e e o ce s c oa

l s wh n b r u ght int
e ce e n o o co

t a t with a h th r nd f rm
c e c

o e a o

a wh l th at i s uni f rm with
o e o

o t
u ny d i ff r nt i ati n
a e e o .

3 . I s th ei r o f m at o r ga n se 3 . I s th e e m pl y r of o e

te r a nd th e c o nt r oll i n g i n o r g a n f rm s o e d b y Li fe .

u e n c e t h a t d e t e r m i n e s th e
m or p hology p hy s i ology e m , ,

bryolo gy p alaeontol ogy and


,

aet i o lo gy of th e o r g a ni s m s

pr d o u ce d .

Is no n-
cons c ou s , i non 4 . Is cons c o i u p r
s, e cep tive ,

s e ns o ry a nd In c ap abl e 0

1 iti ve e m o o
s ens , ti nal , i ntelli
th o u ght 01

m em o ry .
gent thi nking and
, , m ne m oni c .

5 . Is non -
mo ral . It i s co n 5 . h aracte ri s e d b y v oli
Is c

with ut
s ci e nc ele s s y o a n ti on a ccomp anie d by a fu ll
,

k wl d g
no f g de d ile o oo an ev .
u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f g oo d a nd
It s fu t i p r f rm d
nc on s a re e o e e vil I t i s c ap ab le o f a cti n g
.

m h a i ally with ut
ec n c y o an re ri ghtly an d w rongly and o f
g ar d t wh at r ult m y n
o es s a e ap pr e ci atin g th e r esults o f
su e .
i ts a cti on s .

6 . ap abl f i d it
Is c 6 I i ap abl
e o f r prn e n e . s nc e o e o

i r a b y r p r du ti
nc e s e It du ti
e E a h i d i vi d a l
o c l on .
c on . c n u s ou

m y p
a i bly bos sr i g i at d b y i a l f t a i d l f f
e o n e s se -
c on ne , se -
su

a p arti ular gr up i g f m
c i g lf
o ti ui g
n tity o a c n , se -
co n n n en

t i l at m
er a i om b i at is th at h n t ri gi at d fr m
co n on as no o n e o

with p arti ular p hy i al c y th r u l f r m y s c an o e so or o an

fr
o ce s d u d an p arti ula r matt r f phy i al f r
n er c e o s c o ce .

p h y i al s c di ti con ons .
42 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H T H E DEAD
These contra sts n e cessit ate a du ality of sig

n i c ati o n of th e wo r d d e a th. Wh e n th e de ath
of an o rganic being is spok e n of th e phra s e
,

impli e s th at th e m att er of which it is compos e d


h a s lost its att rib u t e of vit ality ( an an a logo u s
c as e being the re du ction of th e tem p er atu re
of a body to absolu t e z ero ) A n d wh e re th e
.
/

organic b eing is a m emb er of th e hu m an r a c e


( the qu e stion of th e so u ls of a nim a ls a n d v e g
et able s do e s not li e within th e scope of this
book ) th e phr a se also implie s th at the sou l
a n d body h av e becom e sep ar a t e d so compl e t e ly

a s to t e r min a t e th e e mploym e nt of the l a tter

by th e forme r .

T h e ve r y pith of the argum e nts th at a re



sometim e s a dvanced ag ainst th e id e a of su r

vival is to b e fou nd in th i s doubl e m eaning of

th e wo r d d e ath . When th e b eli e f is a ss erte d

th at de ath is the e n d an d th at th er e is not

an y fu tur e life th e st at em ents are r e a son
,

able an d w e ll found e d if r e g ar d b e h a d s ol e ly
-

to th e ph enom e na of L ife an d to th e r el ations

o f L ife with th e body . T h e knight who con


t ende d th at th e shi eld w a s o f silver m aint a ine d
a t rue e nough Vi e w ; a s also did th e knight who .

a dv anced fr om the opposit e dir e ction a n d h av ,

ing s e en the other side of the s u sp ended buck


C HAP T E R I I I

TELEPA T H Y A N D TEL E M N E M ON I K Y
-

S CI EN CE has not yet accepted d enitely the


ex istence of t e lep athy and can h ar dly be s aid
to h ave e ven b egun the study of t ele mnemon -

iky But the idea of th e se m atter s is so int er


.


mingled with su b e cts of survivals an d

comm u ni cati n s ,

an d a s r e gar ds t e lep athy

at le a st appear s so fr equently in psychic al


literatur e th at it is desir able fo r those who
,

c ontempl ate spe aking with th e d e a d to become


a cqu a int e d with th e ge n er a l n at u re of the
p ro blems and facts involved therein .


Many peopl e ar e aw are an d indeed h ave
, ,


th emselves t ried the e xp erim e nt th at mind
c an in uence mind without the int er v e ntion of

m atter such as the o rgans of speech an d h e ar


,

ing oper ating i n a sou nd conv eying atmos


-

p h e r e
. A common ph e nom e no n is th e m e nt al

imp re ssion of a p er son b e ing p res ent who h a s


a pp r o a ched without b e ing s e e n o r h e ar d A .

somewhat less frequent but still sufficiently


,

44
TE L E PA THY
AND TEL E MN E MON IKY
familiar inst ance of th e s am e or d er of things
,

i s to be fou nd in th e fa ct th at p er sons who ar e


looke d at int e ntly ( e ve n b ehind th e ir b acks )
oft en become une asy an d turn to me e t th e gaz e .

S o also it is found th at c a s e s occur of per sons


, ,

suddenly a nd without any app are nt c ause


, ,

nding th ems elve s thinking e arnestly of ce r


t ain oth er p er sons a n d l e arning subs e qu ently
th at thos e oth er p er sons were at or a little b e
,

fore th e tim e o f th e imp re ssion thinking of the


,

p er sons imp re ss e d .


F a cts such a s th e se which are positive an d

undisp u t e d h ave le d to e xpe riment al t e sts ,

condu ct e d scientic ally for th e purpo s e of de


,

term i n in g wh eth e r it i s possibl e at will to e s


, ,

tab li sh int e lligent communic ations b e tw ee n


tr ansmitter s an d p erc i pi e nts who ar e at a dis

t anc e from each oth er ; an d th e nam e tel ep

a thy h a s b e en give n to the kind of int er cour s e
in que stion T h e work h a s b een conducted
.

chiey by th e S oci ety for P sychic al R e se arch ,

whose Reports on th e subj e ct h ave b e come


cl assics T el ep athy is r e cognis e d in s o far as
.

it is a grouping of obs e rv e d facts ; but it h as


not hith erto a dv anced b eyond th e st atus of a

working hypoth e sis which however still
, , ,

aw a its pr e cis e fo rmul ation Thus S ir O liver


.
,
'
46 HOW T O S PEAK W IT H T H E DEAD

L o dge , his R aymond in , rst pub
li sh e d i n N ovembe r 1 9 1 6 s ays , ,


The fa c t o f t elep a thy p r o v e s th a t b o d il y or g a ns
a re not a b s o l u t el y e s s en ti l
c omm u n ic a t i o n o f
a to
i dea s . Mi n d t u rn s ou t to b e a b le to a c t di r e c t ly
o n mi n d a n d s t i m u l a t e i t i n t o r e s p o n e b th e r th a n
, y s o

ma t e r i a l m a n s e Th o u ght d o s n o t b elo n g to th e
. e

m a t e ri a l r e gi o n a l th o u gh i t i a b l e to e x e r t a n i n
, s

u en c e o n th a t r gi o n th r o u gh m e c h ni s m p r o vi d d
e a e

by vi t a li ty Y e t th e me a n s wh r eb y i t a e c o m
. e

li s h e s th e f e a t a r e e s s n t i a ll y u n k n o wn n d t h
p ea e ,

)
fa c t th a t s u ch i n t e r a c t i o n i s p o s s ib l e w o u l d b e
s t r a n ge a n d s u r p r i s i n g i f W w e re n o t to o m u c h a o e

c u s t ome d to i t I t i s r e o n a b l e t o s u pp o s e th a t
. as

th e m in d c a n b e m o r e a t h o m e a n d m o r e d i r e c t l y a n d ,

mo r e e xu b e r a n tl y a c t iv e wh e n th e n ee d fo r s u c h i n
,

ter a c ti on b e tw e e n p s y hi a l an d p hy s i c a lc o r le t u s
c

mo r e s a fel y a n d s p e ci c lly s a y b e tw e e n m n t l a nd
a e a


m a t e ri a l n o l o n ge r exi s t s wh en th e r e s t r i n i n g i n , a

u e n c e o f b r a i n a n d n e r v e m e c h n i s m i s r e m o v e d a n d a ,

wh en s ome o f th e li mi t t i o ns c o nn e c t e d wi t h b o dily
a

l o c a t io n i n s p a c e a r e ended .


E xp er i en c e mu s t b e ou r gui de T o s hu t th e .

d o o r o n a c t u l o b s erv t i o n a n d xp e r ime n t i n thi s


a a e

p a r t i c u l r r e gi on b e a u s e f p c o n c ived i de s a n d
a , c o re e a

o bs t i n t e p r e u di c e i t t i t d c mm o n e n o u gh
a
j s an , u a e o ,

e v en a m o n g s ci en t i m en ; b u t i t i s a n a tt i t u d m r k
c e a

e dly u n s ci e nt i c C e r t a in p e opl e h v e d e c i de d tha t


. a
TE L E PATH Y AND TE L E MN E MON IKY -

i nqu i ry i n t o th e c t ivi t i s f d i c rn a t e min d i s fu


a e o s a

t il ; s o me few c on s id r i t i mpi o u ; m a n y p erh a p s


e e s ,

w i s ly d i s t r u s t i ng th i r own p w r s s h r i nk fr o m eu
e e o e ,

t r in g o n s u h a n i nqu i r y Bu t if th r e a r e a ny
e c . e

fa c t s to b e a s c e r t a in d i t mu s t b e th e du ty o f s ome
e ,

v lu nt e e r s to a s c e t i n th m : a n d fo r p o ple h vin g
o r a e e a

a ny q u i
ac n t n a
e w i th s ci
a n tci fic hi s t o r y t o s h u t th eei r

e y e s to f t s when d e ni t el y a nn o u n e d a nd to fo r
ac c ,

b i d i n ves t i g t i n o r r ep o r t c o n c r ni n g th em o n p a i n
a o e

o f o s t a ci s m r i s t o imi t a t e a b y go n e th e o l o gi c a l
, e

a tt i t u d e in a s pi r i t
f u n i n t e n d e d tte r y a a tt e r y
o a

whi h fr o m eve r y p o in t o f Vi ew i s e cc e nt r ic ; a n d like


c


wi e to d i s pl a y a n ex t r a o r din a r y l a k o f humou r
s c .

It must howev er b e a dde d th at a littl e fu r


, , ,

th er on in th e s ame book S i r O liver Spe aks ,

som ewh at l e ss positively H e s ays .


M tt r i s n in d ir e c t med iu m o f c ommuni c a
a e a

t i o n b etw e n m i n d nd m i nd Th a t d i re c t t ele
e a .
~

p a th i i n t r u s e h u l d b a b l e to o cc u r b e tw en
c e co r s o e e

m i n d n d mi n d wi th t ll thi s i n t rm e d i a t e p hy s
a ,
ou a e

i a l m e h ni m i s th r e f r n t r ll y s u rp ri s m g
c c a s , e o e o ea .

I t h as to b e p r o v e d n o d o b t b u t th e f a c t i s i n
, u ,
~

t i n s i lly l s p
r ca li ng th n ma n y o f th o e o the r
es u zz a s


fa c t s to whic h w h a v e gr own h r d ne d b y u s a ge
e a e .

This a ccou nt of t el ep athy is v ague an d a ,

simi l ar v agu ene ss a lso ch ar acteris e s the utt er


48 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD
an ce s o f oth er author ities on th e s ame subj e c t .

But no good reason e xists why the m atter


shou ld not be d ealt with i n a m anner very
much mor e clear an d p recis e .

W e should consider in the rst place th at


, ,

the wor d mi nd r e ally me ans soul and is ,

us e d mer ely for the s ake of convenience as


concentr ating attention upon th e soul s faculty

of int ellige nce ap ar t from i ts senti e nt emotion ,

a l volitional and ethic al a ttr ibutes


, Accord .

i ngly wh e n a t e lep athist sp e aks of mind com


,

mu n i cating with mind it i s the s ame


,

thing a s s ayin at sou l communic a t e s di r e ct

ly with soul ; an d this in its tur n implies the


, ,

coroll ary th at wh e th er Spirits b e inc arnat e or


,

disc arnate the idea of telep athi c intercourse i s


,

a dmi ssible .

In th e ne xt pl a ce it is to be born e in mind
,

th at as shown in C h apt er I of this book every


, ,

soul h as always some de nite loc ation in sp ac e .

N othing cer t ain is kn own a s to wh eth er the


sh ape a n d v olume of a sou l correspond ex
a ctly in fo r m an d size with those of th e hum an

body th at is assoc1 at e d with th e soul du ring life


on e arth It is some tim e s thought in a sp e en
.
,

l ativ e w ay tha t th e soul e xt end s b eyond th e


,

conne s of the body which thus become s in


,
TEL E MN E MON IKY
'

TE LEPATHY AND -
49


vested with an aura a s it i s termed an d can
, ,

come into cont a ct with oth e r souls even when


the resp e ctive bodi e s a re mo re or l e ss ap art in
sp ace ; but no facts h ave be e n obs erved th at
gi ve serious su pport to this view The p roba .

b ilitie s ind e ed ar e in favour of th e some thing



, ,

which may or m ay not b e akin to o r din ary



physic al m atter th at constitute s a soul h aving
a volume appr oximating to the space occupied
by its e arthly body .

A third fund ame ntal conside ration is that


the actual experiences of every d ay consist in
a l arge m e a sur e of th e most a stounding i n

stances o f communic ation b e tw e e n widely s ep


ar ated bodies o r b u lks of m att er a n d souls .

T h e s u n is dist ant some miles from


th e e arth a n d yet it c an im p ar t sensations of
,

illumin ation and warmth to a soul on th e


e arth s surfac e to s ay nothing of more subtle

inu enc e s conveye d by wh at are known a s



d ark r ays .The fact is indisput able but it ,

is not yet cle arly understood P hysicists h ave


.

fe lt them s elve s comp elle d to form th e hypoth



e sis of an E ther p ervading i nterstell ar s p a ce
a nd s erving a s a m e diu m or v e hicle fo r the

passage of r adi ant e nergy fr om pl ace to pl ace .

This E ther has to be con ceive d of as possessing


50 H OW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E D E AD
a nature an d attributes quite as wonderful and
inc omprehensible a s anyth ing narr at e d in the

Ar abi an N ights o r s et fo rth in the C hurch
doctrine of the H oly T rinity It is unde r .

stood to b e th e m e ans by which the m arvels


of wir el e ss tel egr aphy b e come possibl e by ,

which gl anc e s are e x ch ange d b e twee n human


eyes b y which newspap er s are r e ad an d b y
, ,

which an artill ery obs erve r at the front b e


comes aware wh eth er th e g u nner s ar e or are
not hitting th e ir mark Y e t th er e is not any
.

certainty th e the particul a r E ther imagined


?
by mode rn s i en ce e xists at all F or anything
.

that is known an d prove d th e m e dium of com


mu n ication m ay i n the end tur n out to be
som e thing quit e diff er e nt Wh en th er efor e
.
, ,

t el epathy is spoke n of no sci e ntic man is en


,

title d to r ej e ct th e id e a m erely b e c au se it in
volves the exist ence o f some a s yet unknown
me ans of inter action If the fact of t e lep athy
.

be established he mu st acc ept it eve n thoug h ,

it m ay be a s yet ine xplicable T h e knowl .

edge poss e ssed b y S cience fr om tim e to time


do e s not set lim its to the r e aliti es of the uni
verse .

A soul th at formu lates a thought is obvious


ly not in quit e the same state a s was the c ase
52 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T HE D EAD
happ ened in th e case of the trans mitting disk ,

s o th a t the a i r impinging on the l isteni ng ear

i s sh aken in the s ame way as the air a e cte d


'

by the or iginal spe aker s voice It all seems



.


s mi p le enough until the ch ar acter o f the vi

br ations a nd uctu ations i s l ooke d i nto .

Th e y are s o var ied complex and m ultitu dinous


,

a s to defy an a lys i s or even comp r ehen sion The .

hum an mind d e sists from the att empt to real


ly und er st a nd th em . But telephony rem ains
an acknowle dged fact ; and i ts ex i stence lends
a high degree of p r obab ili ty to th e real it y of

tel ep a th y.


f
The term though t re ading i s o ften em
-

loyed to indic a te tele p athi c comm unication


p ,

and is v ery convenient by r e a son of its a ssocia


tion with what i s understo od by the common

a ction of p e r usal . In s o c alled spiritu alistic
-


sittings a mediu m sometimes ment ions a name
or a cir cum st ance known only to the sitter ;
a n d th i s i s fr equently consid e r ed to be a com

p le te p r oof of i n fo r m a tion d er ived by the me

di u m from some sp ir it But it may just as


.

well be a case of thought reading The Sitter s -


.

soul thinking of the n ame o r cir cumst ance dis


#
, ,

tu rb s th e a c co r dingly The medium s soul

#
.
,

wh ich i s in c ontact with the i s aff e c te d by


,
TE L E P A THY AND TEL E MN E MON IKY -
53

the disturb ance and b e comes cons olou s of the


n ame or cir cumst ance In simpler less cum
.
,

br ou s l angu age the medium re ads the sitter s


,

It i s not however merely a question of


, ,

mediums . Telep a thy is im port ant through
out the whole range of communic ation with
th e spir it world
-
Whenever and wher ever a
.

s o ul wh ether still invested with a hum an body



or di scarnate is thinking it is a ff ecting the
#
,

an d ther eby r endering it possibl e fo r other

souls to be im p ress e d with the thoughts For .

th e most p ar t the ph e nomena ar e of s o faint a


character an d th e minds to be communic ated

with so untune d th at the m ei p i ent t el ep athy
r em ai ns unnotic e d a n d disr eg ar ded ; but occa
s i on ally it commands a tt e ntion Thi s Vi ew of
.

the c a se is borne out by am pl e evidenc e S e e .


ond sight dre ams p res ent im ents
-
, , inspir a
,

tion an d such m ent al impuls e s a s are com
,

mouly considere d i nex plicabl e are undoubt e d


fa cts th at fall within the scop e of t el ep athy .

In s ayi ng this it is not a sser te d th a t the phe


n om e n a in qu e stion a r e a lw ays r e al Th ey are
.

fre qu ently delusions du e to an overwrought


ner vous syst em to c ereb r al disorder or to emo
,

ti on al dis tu rb ance ; but in other c a s e s the y are


54 H O W T O S PE A K WIT H TH E DEAD
as actual and genuine as th e c ommon o ccur
renees of hum an li fe .

Turni ng now to t el e m nem oniky or


, ,
-
,

memory re a ding it is to b e rem arked th at
-
,

a ltho u gh everyone is f amili ar with the fa ct

that m emory exists an d thou gh eve ryone quite


,

unde rst ands the signi fic ation of the wor d no ,

on e a s ye t h a s succ e e d e d in giving e ven a rudi

me ntary expl anat i on of the faculty of r emem


b rance The most emin e nt psychologists have
.

found the m atter to be quite beyond the limits


of th e ir unde r te n ding ; a s inde e d is e ssentially
the c a s e with every fa culty of the soul an d ,


it m ay be a dded with ever y a ttrib u te of mat
ter T h e old s aying r em a ins a s true a s eve r :
.

A child can a sk qu e sti ons whi ch a wi se m an



c annot answer .

For p r actical pu rpo s e s however p arti al


, ,

knowledge su fc e s Thus th e existenc e of


.

memor y a s a fa cu lty of th e sou l i s known an d

it is also known th at this impli e s the poss e ssion


by e ach soul of a store of inform ation Wh at .

e ver m ay b e the n at u r e of th e sto r eho u se th e ,

door s can b e op ene d and th e information s e t


fre e o r r endere d subj e ct to inspection It is .

conceivabl e there fore th a t a soul other th an


, ,

the memo ry ow ner may under ce rtain u n


-
TE L E PATHY AND TE L E MN E MON IKY -
55

known conditions h av e a ccess to the store .

This is wh at is m e ant by t e le m nem oniky


-

the st at e of things th at e xists when not only


cu rr ent thou ghts b u t also th e accumul ated
knowledge r e sulting from p a st exp e rie nce an d
obs erv ation ar e r e ad by som e ou tside sou l And
.

as every memo ry cont ains much th at is



pige on hol e d an d out of u s e for th e time b e
-

ing a v ery not abl e re sult is occ a s ionally met


,

with Inform ation i s e licit e d a s to facts and


.

circumst anc e s of which th e p er son subj e cted


to tele m nem oni ky is no long e r consciou s ; an d
-

h e o r s h e b e com e s rmly a n d ge nu inely con


, ,

v in ce d th a t th e ar ticul ar s m e ntioned must


p
h ave b een d er ived from some sup ernorm al
source .

A wor d r em ains to b e s aid r egar di ng the


sp e e d of commu nic ation in t elep athy and t el e
m n em on iky M a ny p e r sons h e sit at e to credit
.

th e reports of e xp er im e nts showing th at two


p e rsons at a consider able dist ance from e ach

oth er loc at e d s ay i n L ondon and M an
, ,


ch e st er re sp e ctively are abl e to exch ange
thoughts without any app re ci abl e d elay .

Wh en how ever it i s r ememb e re d that the


, ,

ve locity with which light tr avels is


mile s p er s e cond th ere shou ld not be any di f
,
cu lty i n su pp osmg that though t v ibratio ns
-
,

o r whatev er t h e y may be , are propagated


th rough spac e at an equal or e v en gre ater rate
of spe ed It i s not a question in either case
.
, ,

of any substance being transmitte d or of the


,

absolute Si multanei ty of emi ssion and re c ep


tion And to believe that thoughts may b e
.

communicated from sou l to sou l with the v eloc


ity of light does not c ompel the b elief tha t soul s
ar e able to trave l from p l ac e to l a c i n n
p e a

equally sp ee dy mann er .
C HAP T E R I V:

DI SCA RN A TE SP I RI T S

T HE e x istence of dis c arn ate spirits has been


p r oved in C h apte r I It is desir able now to
.

s t ate what i s known as to the c onditions i n

whi ch they exist .

These conditions h ave been for thousand s of


y ea rs the sub j e c t m -
a tter of positiv e st a te
ments The sacred writi ngs and inscriptions
. ,

and the tr aditions of the v arious religions that


have ourished in olden times or are still pro
fessed are full of descriptions of th e religions
in which di scarnate spirits pass their time an d
of the manner of their lives in the Spirit worl d -
.

M ag mi an s Wi zards witches and necr omanc ers


, ,

of all kinds h ave it i s said received cop i ou s


, ,

informati on to the s ame e ffect And during .

the l ast seventy ye ar s S pi ritu alisti c literature


h as adde d abundantl y to th e common stock .

In Spite however of all this gre at nu oer


, , ,

tainty p r evails. The st atements to which ref


erence has been m ade are in we ,

57
58 HOW T O S PE AK WITH TH E DEAD

cases of wh at i s c alled an u nveri ab le char
,

acter ; that i s to say they are not c apable of


,

te st and conrm ation by any mund ane m eth


ods o f enqu iry Bu t although an u nv eri ab le
.

a sserti on i s inc a pable of no rm al p r oof it m ay

still be c ap able of disproof If for ex ample


.
, ,

it be self contr adi ctory it must of cour s e be


-
, ,

r e e cte d
. And i f two sep ar ate u nv er i ab le
st atem e nts contradi ct each other i t i s obvious
th at they c ann ot both be tru e : o ne of them at ,

le a st must be false while the other remains


, ,

doubtful Fu th erm ore i f an u nv eri ab le



.
,

piece of in fori ation be Oppos e d to some cle ar


ly est ablishe d fa ct or w e ll p r oved doct rine no
- -

re a son able person will regard it as worthy of


credence .

This book is not concer ne d w ith the ques


tion of wheth er the a ccounts of mir acles and
other super no rmal d et ails in the Bible are or
ar e not to be believed The purely religious
.

view of the m atter need not b e dwelt upon .

N or will it be of any p ra ctical util ity to t ake


into consider ation the h istory of m agic an d the
doings of magici ans as distinguished in the
po pul ar idea fr om religi on and its ministers .

Wh at is alone needful to be mentioned is th e


e v i dence that h a s been more or less scientically
60 HOW TO S PE AK WITH THE DEAD
out and from ye ar s end to year s end we are
,

for ced to regard this world as being s till the


habitat o f m any a discarnate spirit The c on .

el u sion thus arr ived at i s conr med b y the l ess

systematic phenomena of dreams ph antoms , ,



h aunting possession se c ond sight clairvoy
, ,
-
,

ance autom atic speech and writing th e Spon


, ,

tan eou s movements o f m ate r i al ob ects and


other like occurr ences ; merely however to , ,

the extent of their being really due to the


denizens of the spirit world which i s acknowl
-
,

edged to be th case in ma ny instanc es


p
.

y
certain thus arising th at great num

ber s of Spirits do not leave the e arth when they


b e come s eparated from the human bodies they
have inh abited suggests a doubt as to whether
any spir its at all go to some oth er Sphere The .

evidenc e available does not remove the doubt .

It is true th at discarnate spirits sometimes vol


u n te er s tatem e nts wi th regard to another
world and sometimes i n r eply to questions gi ve
,

p articul ar s as to th e ir residence in such a re


gion But this i nform ation i s of th e u nveri
.


ab le kin d is often nons e nse
, as S ir O liver
,

L odge has s aid a nd i s fr e quently demonstra


,

bly false ; whi le it is a lways di scredited by the


fact that the Spir it who claims to be a resident
D I SCAR NATE S P IRIT S 61

in a far di stant sphere of be ing i s neverthel ess


-

self admi ttedly p r es ent in a L ondon room or


-

wherever else the sitting may t ake place The .

contradiction i s never explained away in any


reasonable manner It m ay be said th erefore
.
, ,

to be highly probable that de ath merely opens


the way to a further term of existenc e in this
world and that the spirits o f the dep arted re
,

main for the period of such term in the more


o r l ess ne a r n e ighbourhood of the re l atives and

friend s they have left behind them .

T he ide a of such post mortem existence b e


-

ing als o limit e d in time arises n aturally and ,

is to be re asonably inferred fr om the ev idence


,

now being c onsidered Al though di scarnate


.

spirits are very numerous their number s o , ,

far as they man i fest themselves is altogether,

i n Si gm cant when comp ared w ith that of the

de aths that o ccur from day to d ay ; wh ile i f


we take into account the consider ation th at the
entire soul popul ation o f the e arth b e c ome s dis
-

c arnate from gene ration to gener ation th at i s ,

to s ay every thirty ye ars or so we are faced


, ,

by th e fact th at living per son s are but as a


drop in the ocean of possible individu al e x ist
e n ce s. W e h ave also to bear in mind th at each
of these e xi stences i s separate from the rest ,
62 HOW T O S PE AK WITH TH E DE AD
an d does not or iginate either from nothing or
from inanimate matt e r or from i nani m at e
e n e r gy as m ay possibly be the c a se wi th L ife
, .

If then sou ls when disembodied rem ain p er


, ,

petu ally in this wo rl d it follows rs t that


, , ,

there must be a continu al supply of fresh soul s


c oming in fr om some other r egion of the uni
ver se ; and secondly that of all these milli ons
, ,

of m ill i ons of a ctive intelligences only one here ,

and the re i s able or willing to make its pres


,

ence known to m ankind These c onclusion s .

ar e of s o e x tr v ag ant a char a cter as to be u n

a ccept a ble ; a d if it be possible to frame a n

hypo thesis th at avoids the d ifculti e s th ey in


vol ve it would be a re asonab le proceeding to
,

adopt such an alt ern ative vie w .

P sychi cal philosophy ha s i n all age s been



furni shed with at le ast one workin g h yp oth e

s is o f the kind required Its scientic n ame
.


is metempsychosis which i n mo r e popular
,

l angu age is known as transmigration It .

t ea ches th at aft er de ath the spirit ent er s into


som e other hum an body which happens to be
living and unp r ovid e d with a soul ; an d th e
doctrine i s frequently extended to inclu de th e
ide a th at the new h ab it at may even be the body
of one o f th e lower animal s Many of the
'

.
D I S CA R NA TE S P I R I T S 63

most famous thinke rs of Greece and the O rient


wer e associ ated with the belief i n question .

It is to be found in the Bible an d other s acred


writings and forms a p art of the reli gi ons of
,

m any races throughout the wo rld It cannot .


,

therefo re b e lightly di sregar ded as a mere fan


,

t a sy unwo rthy of consider ati on b y c ivi lised


people i n the twentieth century .

A s a m atter of fact th e theory of transmi


,

g r a ti o n ts i n with modern observ a tions It .

does aw ay with th e nec e ssity of a perpetu al


supply of fresh souls from extra mundane re -

gions It also i s consistent with and explains


.
, ,

the absence of any vast overwhelming spirit


popul ation Moreover it i s the l ogic al c on
.
,

comitant of our common everyd ay exp erience


, .

W e are famili ar with the occurrence of wha t



we call bi rths th at is the c oming into exist
, ,

ence of new hum an bodies W e know al so .

th at these new bodies become in some w ay or ,

other the tempo rary abodes of souls the ten


,

ancy b eing sometime s a m atter of minut e s only
an d som e tim e s endur in g fo r r ather mo r e th an

o n e hundr ed year s W e s ee for ourselves th at


.

the h abita tion suits th e t e nant and that the


tenant suits the h abit ation Wh at then can .
, ,

be more natural and tting than that when the ,


64 HOW TO S PE AK WITH TH E D EAD
tenant for some reason or anoth er h as to qu it
, ,

h is dwelling h e l ooks out for another abo d e o f


,

much the same kind S o far from thi s c ours e


?

of a ct i on being fantasti c an d improbab le i t i s ,

pre emm ently l ikely The p lay of mere im


-
.

agin ation i s to be found altogether w i t h those

mental Spe cul ator s wh o talk of th e supposed


d eparture of di scarnate Sp i rits to sup pose d
Spheres o f e x istence be yond the earth .

I t i s quite c once ivable an d probable enough


, ,

th at some littl e time el apse s between death

and rein car ati on H enc e it i s to be e x
fh
.

p e ct e d th a t e r e i s a l ways a gr e ater or l es s

number of di scarnate sp i rits dwelling temp o


rarily and a l ittle d is c onsolatel y perhaps i n
, , ,

the air oc cupie d sp ac e surrounding th e earth ;


-

an d this expect ation i s b orne o u t b y actual

observation It i s to be surmise d further


.
,

more that Spir its awaiting re embo dim ent will


,
-

fee l themse l ves more at home as it wer e if , ,

th e y remain in the imme di ate prox imity of the


loc alities they inh abite d an d th e persons they

knew befor e death H ere again we nd
.
, ,

the surmise to accord with experience S ome .


p l aces are undoubte dly haunted ; an d it is
equ ally c ertain that some persons are h aunted
a lso ; for it wou l d otherwise be imposs i b l e to
D I S CAR NA TE S P I R IT S 65

th at sitters h abitu ally open up com


a t s ean ces -
v

mu n i cation s with the ir d e ceased r e l atives and


friends who h ave always been perfect stranger s
to the mediums with whom the Sitti ngs take
pl ace The sp i rits are not brought by the me
.

diu m s ; they are introduced by the Sitt e rs them


selves who are quite unconscious of being thus
,

hum an bei ng . The soul of a medi um is not

of o rdinary souls ; any mo re than a disc arnate


Spirit is able to know an d do ver y much beyon d

ing life If eith e r mediums o r Sp i ri ts w ere


.

capable of really marvellous achievements we


may be sure that now and agai n some d ari ng
soul would cont rive to startle m ankind ; an d as
no such feat h as been recorded through the
ages religi ous and otherwi se are,

not h ere refe rred to ) it is a fair infe rence that


,

o u r d e ce a sed friends ar e not vas tly di ff er ent

to, what they were when we knew them here .


66 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H TH E DEAD
C oming now to the quest i on of the form i n
which disc arnate sp i ri ts exist all the availab l e ,

e vidence of a ve r i able or logic ally a cc e ptab le -

ch ara cter goes to Show th at in th e Spirit world -

the re are not any di ere n ce s of typ e co rre


'

sp on d i ng to wh a t a r e found am ong hum an

beings S pirits are not whi te black b r own


.
, , ,

ye llow and r e d ; th e y are not Anglo S axon -


,

Teutonic S candinavi an G aelic A r ab negro


, , , , ,

Mongolian o r P olyn e si an If the contr ary ,

were th e c a se it would by this time h ave b e


, ,

come app ar e t S omething of this l ack of


n .

e vid e nce m ay pe rh a ps be due to the f a ct that

modern psychic al r e se ar ch h as for the most


p art be e n conducted by E nglish and American
investigator s whil e most of th e com mu ni ca
,

tions with Spirits h ave involv e d the use o f the


E nglish l angu age a n d h av e b e e n reco r ded in
th at tongue H e nce it is to be supposed that
.

th e Spi r its who h av e t ak e n p ar t in the p r oceed


ings h ave been only those possessing a knowl
edge o f E nglish ; ye t even in th at case souls
, ,

of m a ny e arthly r ac e s might h ave b e en ex


cte d to come fo r w ar d A nd a s the same
p e .

argum e nt appli e s to th e less num e r ous i n

st anc e s o f psychic al inv e stigations by F rench ,

It ali an S p anish Ge rman S we dish Russian


, , , , ,
68 HOW T O S PE AK WI TH TH E DEAD
a nd shelter an d from th e maintenance of
,

health They are not divided by s ex di ff er


.

e nc e s and they are not ch a racterised b y any

form of reproduction : they h ave neither an


ce s tr y nor posterit y T h ese v arious fe atures
.

l end force to the theory of tr ansmigration .

They Show the possibility of an ordin ary h u


man body being perme ated s o to s ay by a , ,

spirit s body which can enter or le ave at any


t ime and which always m aint ains its separ ate


ex istence H ere again th er e are facts of com
.
, ,

mon knowle d e and e xper i ence th at sup port


the doctrine o metempsychosis Most per sons .

ar e now a n d then conscious of memo ries or


, ,

remi ni scent imp ressions th at c annot be traced


to any ev e nts of the p re sent life It occ asion .

ally happens th at wh en a per son rst visits


some p articular loc ality he nds himself in


su rroundings with which his mind is alre ady
famili ar The only re asonable explanation i s
.

th at the soul remember s som e wh a t of its ex


ri e nce s in a p re vious e ar thly l i fe
p e .

Another line of thought le ading in th e same


direction is th at suggested by the marke d and
well known ph e nom e na of ment al h ere dity
-
.

F amily p e culiaritie s of mind an d ch aracter are


commonly suppos e d to be t r ansmitted from
D I S CA R NA TE S P IRIT S 69

parents to children in th e fo rm of materi al


germs which are im agine d but h ave never been
,

p roved to exist And ye t in many c a ses


, .

a s also h app e ns with physic al peculiarities

an int e rvening gener ation is skipped and it is ,

th e mental ch ar a cteristic of a gra ndpa rent or


gr eat gr andp arent th at re appe ar s in th e de
-

s ce n d an t It would there for e s e em more


.
, ,

r ea son able to infer th a t the t rue c aus e of he r ed

ity is to be found in the p re fere nce m anife sted


by disc arnate Spirits for r e incarnation in the
direct posterity of the hum an bodi e s th ey have
at one time o r anothe r inh abit e d N or i s it.

a far fe tched supposition to hold th at in the


-
,

Spi rit wor ld


-
as in this life souls of sim il ar
, ,

charac t er s a ssoci ate togeth er an d to wh atever ,

ext ent m ay be possible s e ek to be r e inc arn at e d


,

in th e s ame e arthly famili e s : a su pposition th at


accounts for mor e th an one child of a family
p re senting wh at are considered to be the heredi
tary ch ara ct eristics .

It Should not however be conclu ded that


, ,

soul and body ar e without re action on e ach


other W e know a s a fa ct th at ment al h abits
.
, ,

a n d emotion a l indulg e nc e s du lly a


'

g r a a a e ct
person s fe ature s an d distu rb the func tioning

of v arious organs W e also know th at bodily


.
70 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H TH E DEAD
peculi arities warp th e mind and in uence th e
thoughts T h e phr enologic al mapp i ng of th e
.

b r ain h a s some found ation in realit y ; and


p robably th er e do e s not exist a Single per son
of m atur e age wh o i s not to some extent a
physiogn omist Int e lligent cap acity s en
.
,

s iti v e n e s s and mo r al ch ar act e r do most u n


,

doubt e dly depend a good de al upon th e siz e


, ,

form and t extu r e of th e b r ain In other .

wor ds a soul when i n the body is fe ttered and


,

guided an d is not fully able to reve al its true


s e lf From his it follows th at when a soul
.

y
becom e s s ep arat e d fr om the body it cannot
logic ally b e e xp e ct e d to h av e ex actly the s ame
ch ar a cte r th at it app are ntly pos ses sed in life .

P sychic al exp e ri e nce in sp iritu ali stic sittings


l

and otherwis e is to this e ff e ct It is cus .

tom ary ind e e d fo r sitte r s to s ay


, ,
an d emo ,

ti o n ally to b e li e ve
,
th at the Spirits of thei r
dec e a s e d r el ative s an d fr iends beh ave and
sp e ak ex a ctly as they us e d to do in life ; but
this is n ot quite bo rne out by th e reco rde d evi
denc e It is custom ar y also where the di s
.
,

c r e an c i e s ar e of too gl ar ing a n atu r e to be


p
glozed over o r hu shed u p to put them d own
,

to th e int er ferenc e of mischievous sp irits who


person at e th e spir its c alled for ; but this i s a
D I S C AR NA TE S P IRIT S 71
'

very lam method of expl anation The best


l
.

pl an in a l c as e s of dif culty is to fac e boldly


th e fact s A dis embodi e d Spirit is l e s s cribb e d
.
,

c abined and conne d th an when it w as att ach e d


to a living body ; it is more fr e e for both good
an d e vi l . W e are familiar e nough with good ,

b a d an d indi ff er e nt souls in this wo rld : why


Sho u ld w e exp e ct th e s am e souls to be oth e r

wis e Si mply b e c au s e o f a ch ange in th e ir e n


v i r o nm e nt ? All th at we c an re asonably look
fo r is a c e r t a in d egr e e o f r ev e l ation a c er t ain
,

m anife st ation of wh at b e fore w as more or l e ss


hidden an d which ma y be e stim able or the re
ver se .

A fe ature th at dese rves notic e a s r e l ated to


this vi ew of th e m att er is the cons ensu s of
t e stimony to the e ffe ct th at communic ating
spirits wh eth er thos e who ar e sought for or
,

those who ar e wh at may b e t erme d c a su al an d


errant h av e h abitu ally a l e ss regar d fo r truth
,

th an is th e c as e with highly educ ated hum an


-

b e ings ; though if an aver age b e struck of m an


,

kind in ge neral it does n o t s e em th at there is


,

much to choos e b e twe en th e tru stworthiness


of st at ements ma de by the living inh abit ants of
th e e ar th an d th e t ruth of wh at is s aid by dis
embodi e d s p ir its S till th e m atte r i s o f some
.
,
72
'
HOW T O S PEAK W IT H TH E D EAD
importance s eeing that i t bears very materially
,

upon the question of whethe r individu al spirits


ar e alwa ys the p articular disembodied souls

they p rofess to be .

Another feature equ ally worthy of atten ,

t ion is the appar ent absence of spirits who


,

c an p r operly be reg ar d ed a s di abolic al S it .

tings for the purpose o f communic ation with



surviving souls are not attended by devils
or by beings o cc upied mainly in the pursu it of
evil It m ay of course b e the c a se th at the
.
, ,

publi shed r e co and the ve rb al a ccounts th at


are curren ess all mention of occurrences
deemed to b e de m oni ac al in the s am e w ay that , ,

according to S ir O liv e r L odge spiritu alists ,



usually either discourage or supp ress st ate

ments about the n ature of things on the other


side The eminent authority h ere quoted
.

go e s on indee d to s ay
, ,


The s e a re wha t we c all th e

u nv e ri a b le

co m
mu ni c a ti ons ; fo r we c a n no t b rmg them to b o o k by
su bs equ ent t er res t ri a l i nqm ry l n th e s a me Wa y as We
c a n t e s t i n f o rm a t i o n c o n c e rn i n g p e r s o n a l o r mu n

d a n e a ffa i rs Informa t i on of th e h igher kind h as


.

o ften b e en re c ei ved b u t h as s eld o m b een p u b li s h ed ;


a nd i t i s di f c u l t to k n o w w h a t v a l u e to p u t u p on
it or h ow fa r it is r lly t ru s tw or t hy
ea
.
,
D I S C AR NATE S P I R I T S 78
'

Th i s v ery frank confession of the repo rts of


Se an ces be ing syst ematic ally g arbled is a l ittle

disc o ncer ting esp eci ally wh e n c oming from


,

one of the shining lights of th e sci entic world ;


but it prob ably me ans no more th an th at the
ch am
m o n s of spi r itu alism do not d e si r e to

arouse antagoni sm th at can be avoided In .

the same way it may well be th at thos e p er sons


who wh ether as mediu ms or sitter s or in the
,

p rivacy of individu al att empts at comm u m ca


tion h appen to com e into cont act with evil
,

spirits do not feel dispos e d to subj e ct them


s elves to the hostility of the r eligious world
by det ailing th eir experi enc e s Bu t however
.
,

this may be the fact r em al ns th at so far a s


, ,

comm on knowl e dge an d common r ep u t e are


conc e rned the de vilish elem ent is not likely to
,

be encountere d by th ose p e rsons who seek to


spe ak with the de ad .

If now the parti cular s set forth in the pres


, ,

ent chapter be summ arised we nd the state of


things to be a s foll ows
1 . D isembodie d souls do not depar t from

this world wh e n de ath occu r s .

2 . They r em ain for a t ime free from bo dily


e nvi r o nment of an ord i nar y mater i al
7 4: HOW T O S PE AK WI T H T H E DEAD
3 . S ooner or l ater th e y e nter into new h u
man bodie s an d perh aps also in some
, , ,

c ases i nto n ew bodies of the l ower


,

a nim als .

4 . D ur ing th e pe ri od of their free e x ist e nce


whil e awa iti ng tr ansmigr ation many ,

of them m ake a p r a ctice of h aunting


l ocalities an d living hum an beings .

5 . They possess in thems e lve s the e qu iv a


lent o f bodi e s construct e d of som e thing
an alogous to m att er an d h aving or
i by which they pe rc iv d
g
g a n s n s e e a n

ac t .

6 . E ach disemb o died soul is an individu al


entity existing p erm ane ntly ap art
from all other s an d not distingu i sh ed
by any r acial o r s exu al ch ar act eri stics .

7 . E ach individu al soul has its own i di o syn


cra SIe s 0 f intellect , sense emotion
, ,

c onscience an d volition Th e se idio


.

sync ra s i e s ar e sub ect to at le a st tem

p o r a r y modic a tion by the a ss o ci a tion


of the soul with a human body .

8 . The char act er an d condu ct of a dis em


bodie d soul are not ne cess arily the
same in all r e spects a s were app arent
during life an d do not nec e ss arily r e
,

976 HOW TO S PEAK WIT H T H E D EAD

c ree d ; the new life may be h igher or lowe r


th an the p receding life accor dl ng to wheth e r
,

the latter wa s turned to good or b a d account .

The number of t ransmigr ations of any p artie


ul ar soul m ay be limited ; an d metemps ych osis
m ay thus c o rr e spond to the doctr ine of P urg a

tor y an evolutionary period at the conclusion
of which the soul is t ransferred to a H eaven
or H ell beyond the co n nes of the e arth .

E ven the ide a of a H oly Ghost that continu


ally app e als o the mind and will is not e x

cluded fr om the psychic al summ ary above


given ; nor is ther e th ere m anything th at con
tr ad i cts the theo ry of a C h ris t or a Buddha .

Wh at the truth is with regar d to such matters


as these must be det ermined by e a ch pe r son

for himself or h er self . The r e a ders of th e


p resent volume are not a ddr e ssed as C h ristians
or as non C hristi ans as D e ists or as Ath eists
-
, .

They are consider ed mer ely as b eing inte r e sted


in the subj e ct of sp e aking with th e de a d an d,

a s being d e sir ous of r e c e i vi ng i nfo rmation with

r eg ard to th e asce r t a ined f a cts and admitted

logic of the matter .


M EDI U M S

I N E# U A L ITY is the r ul e of the universe It is .

p articularly obs erv abl e in the ch ar a cter s an d


c ap aciti e s of hu m an b e ings M any persons .

ar e musici ans ; oth e r s are inc ap able of pl aying

the simplest mu s 1cal instrum e nt A few indi .

v i du als, her e and th e re are m ath ematicians ;


,

the gr eat maj ority of m ankind are not even


good arithmeticians Artists exist in con
.

s i d er ab le n um be r s ; but they ar e Sp arse com

p ared with th e duller soul s C hess pl ayers are


.
-

r ar iti e s
. Re ally good unselsh high prin
, ,
-

c ip le d souls st e a dfa st in th e p r a ctice of r ight


,

e ou sn e s s an d unsw ayed by p r e j udic e co nv en ,

tion and dogm a ar e seldom met with


, .

It is not to b e wondere d at therefore th at , ,

the possession of minds an d brains cap abl e of


b e ing a ff e ct e d by ext ernal psychic al inuenc e s
is not found to be a common ch ar acte ristic of
people in general In p ast age s m agici ans
.
, ,

s e er s wiz ards witches and the like have be e n


, , ,

the exception not the ru le ; and i n modern


,

77
78 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD
tim es when these s mg ularly constituted be ings
,
-


a r e c all e d mediums th e ir nu mber s still r e ,

m ain ver y rest ricted Th at re al me diums do .


,

ln
p o m t of f a ct exist to some e xtent,i s c ert ain .


T hus S ir O liver L odge says i n Raymond
, ,


D o we d e r s t and h ow a min d [ s ou l ] c a n
un 2

wi th d if cu lt y nd imp er f c tly op r a t e a no th r bo dy
a e e e

s u bmi tt d t o i ts t e mp o r a r y gu i d a n c
e a nd c o n t r o l ? e

No D o we kn o w fo r a fa c t th a t i t d oes ? A y th t e, a

i s th e qu s t i o n a q u e s t i on
e f e vi d e n c e I my s elf o .

n w e r th e q u e i n a f rm a t ivel y ; n o t o n t h e o re t ic l
y
a s a

s
o


gr o u nd s f r f o m th t b u t o n a b a s i s o f s tra i gh t
a a

f o r w a rd exp e r i e n c e O th rs if .th e y ll w t h m e , a o e

s elv s t o t k
e th e t ro u b l to ge t th e e xp e r i e n c e w ill
a e e ,

c o me to th e s a me c on cl s io ns Le t u s b e a s c u
u . a

ti o u s a nd c r i tic a l ye a nd a s s c p t ic a l a s we lik
, a , x
e e,

b u t le t u s a l s o b e p a t i n t a nd p er s ever in g a nd f i r ;
e a

d o n o t l t u s s t a r t wi th a p r c n c e iv d n o t i o n o f
e e o e

wh a t i s p o s s ible nd wh t i s imp o s s ib le i n th i s a l
a a

m o s t u n xpl o re d u n i v r s e ; le t u s o n l y b e w illi n g to
e e

le rn a nd be gu i d d by fa ct s a nd n o t d o gma s : a nd
a e ,

gr a d u ally th e t ru th will p rmea t e o u r u n d r s t a nd e e

i n g nd m a k e fo r i t s lf a pl a c i n o u r mi n d s a s s
a e e e

u r e a s i n an t h e r br a n c h o f ob s e rv a t i o n a l s c i
c
y o

en c e .

H e s ay s mo reover when alluding to sp e ak


, ,

ing with the d e ad


M E D I UM S 79


C o mmun i c a ti o n i s y b u t i t o c c u rs ; a n d
not e a s ,

hu ma ni ty h s r a n to b e gr t e ful to th s
ea s o few i n a o e

d iv idu ls wh
a ndi n g th ms lv s p o s s e s ed o f th
o, e e e s e

fa cu l ty o f m d i msh ip nd th r fo e b l e to t
e u , a e e r a ac

a s i n t rm di r es
e e a ll o w t h m s e lv s to b e u s e d fo r
a l , e e


th i s p u rp o s e .


The n ature of the p e culiarities an atomic al ,

physiologic al or psychic al or perh aps all thre e ,


comb i ned th at distinguish a medium from
oth e r human b eings i s not yet kn own an d no ,

me ans of inspection as yet exist by which to


b e ce rt ain th a t any p articul ar person is or i s
not a mediu m Actu al exp er ience is the only
.

gu ide This of course le ave s the door open


.
, ,

to the fraudulent assumption of mediums hip .

Bu t th e occurre nce of fraud and impostur e


does not aff ect th e existence of genuine medi
I n eve ry p r ofe s s ion are to be found
simil ar ex ampl e s of d e c e it H ave not all e du .


cate d p er son s he ar d of pious frau ds p erp e
tr ate d by th e hold er s of high religious o fc e ?
A r e th e re not m any inst anc e s of ignor ant ,

v enal and d elib er ately unj u st j udge s ? D o


st at e sm e n and p olitici ans always re j e ct bribes
an d a ct sol e ly fo r th e good of th e ir countr i e s ?

D oes a physici an Inv ari ably a dm it his in ability


to under st and a c ompla int ; and do gener al
80 H OW TO S PEAK W I T H THE D E AD
practitioner s i n every c a se admini s ter real

medicines inste a d of the p r overbial bread

p ills and c oloured w ater ? D o m anu fa c
tu r e r s and t r a d er s de al solely in un a dulterated
goods ? When thes e que stions can be s ati s fac
torily answer ed it will b e time enough to put
the entir e p r ofession of mediums in the p illory ;
a n d u ntil then all reason able men an d women

will be c ontent to recogni se that in mediu m


ship a s in other pursuits we must expect to
, ,

meet with both th e worthy and the unworthy .

Wh at perhaps is not ye t full y r e cognised


, ,

mediums are much mor e nume rous th an


woul d app e a r to be the case if r egard be h a d
s o l e ly to the p r ofe ssion a l cl ass th at is to the
, ,

persons who pr a ctis e mediu mship a s a means



of livelihood Th e re are m any amateur me
.


d iu m s ; an d there ar e also m any othe r indi
v i du als who ar e co n s c10 u s of p o s s e s s m g what

are spoken of a s psychi c power s and yet
,

either do not allow th e fa ct to become known


o r conne the exe r cise of their ow er s to the
p
development of communi c ations in their own
p rivate surroundings H ence if every p ro
.
,

fe s s io n al medium without exception wer e



shown to be a fraud which is not the case
now and n ever has been the c ase at any time
,
M E D I UM S 81


th ere would still remain an abundance of
trustworthy exp erienti al and experimental
e vidence est ablishing the re ality of Spe aking

with the de ad For in st anc e the M rs Ken


.
, .

n e dy who pl ays such an 1mp o rtan t p ar t l n the



story of R aymond is not a p rofessional me
d iu m a t all ; sh e is the wife of a L ondon physi
ei an
, le a ds the life of an ordin ary p rivate
E nglish l a dy moving l n good soci ety and is ,

not paid for any aid sh e m ay render to fri ends



who are desirous of commun ic ating S o too .
, ,

the medium Miss G o ligh er who a ssists D r


, , .

C rawfor d is a young l a dy of p r ivate socia l


position who gives her services with the ap
,

p roval and ai d of h er family and without fee


o r r ew ar d except of cou r se such mo r al s atis
, , ,

fa ction a s m ay arise fr om the consci ousness of


b e ing engaged m a work likely to benet man
kind .

I t often h appens th at mediums are ignorant


and illiterate ; an d there is not any c a se on
r eco r d whe r e a m e dium whethe r educ ated or
,

une duc at e d h as b e en able to give an intelligible


,

account of th e w ay in which co mm u nications

with disembodied souls b e come possible A s a .

ge neral rule r e al medium s do not claim a


greater knowledge of psychi cal phenomena
82 HOW TO S PE AK W IT H T H E DEAD
than i s possess e d b y the sitter s themselves .

Th e y are awar e th at communic ations t ake


pl ace and th e y nd by actu al e xperi e nce that
,

they th ems elves s e rve a s int e rm e di ari e s Be


.

yond this they do not s eek to e nquir e ; and they


refr ain fr om att empting in any w ay to contro l
the p roceedings Th e y are p assive i nstru
.


ments in the h ands of the powe rs fr om the

other side ; much as wa s the case we read , ,

with thos e pe rsons who gave voice to the ora


cle s of ol d In view of th e se fact s it se ems to
.


follow th at t e common p r actice of t e sting
the mediu ms nd putting const raint upon them
is a mer e w a st e of time an d atte ntion If they
,
.

be ge nuine th e y ar e virtu ally mere pieces of


, ,

m e ch ani sm ; an d all th at can be done usefu l ly


i s to obs er v e th e wo rking . If they be fr au du
l ent th i s will quickly e nough b e come sel f em -

de nt All th at the sitter ne e d do i s to h u ng


.

a littl e common s e ns e to be ar .

It is a v exed question wh eth e r p rofessional


m e diums ar e or ar e not b ande d toge th er in a
s e cre t cr aft or gu ild for th e purpos e of colle ct
ing an d int erch anging inform ation with r egard
to sitt er s an d their famili e s T h e sugge stion
.

of such a combination app are ntly implies a


d oubt as to the good fa ith of medium s in gen
8 4: HOW TO S PEAK W I T H TH E D E AD
s i on of the informat ion c onveyed i n the allege d
utterances o f the spirits is very much mor e
,

credulous than th e most gullible sitter .

A lthough it i s correct to reg ar d the medium


a s a mech anism by m e ans of which the s p i r it s

ar e able to communicate w i th livi ng p e r s ons i t ,

woul d be a m i st ake to ov erlook the fact tha t


the mech ani sm possesses an individu ality whi ch
to some ext e nt qu alies the c ommunications .

E very m an knows th a t his h andwr iting v ar ies


with eve ry ch ange of pen D elic ate emb roi d
.

e r y i s not p a cti c ab le with d arning nee dl es -


.

A di scarn ate oul th a t nds itself compelled to


use a medium s han d for writing or a medium s

voc al apparatus for Speaking h a s to actu ate


th e s e organs by means of the medium s br ain

which m ay be s o to spe ak either coarse or


, ,

n e and in eve r y c a s e is attu ned by the exp eri


,

e n ces of its no rm al life The medium s h abit s


.

of thought an d expression thus become inter


mingled with and sometimes quite override
those of th e commun i cating spirit ; and this

sophistic ation as it is termed le ad s fre
, ,

quently to much confus i on and m any errors


of st atement It al so serves to ac c entu ate in
.

appe arance th e ch ange of ch ar acter already ,

m enti oned in these p ages that i s often observe d


,
M E D I UM S 85

in di sembodied sp irits wh e n c omp ared with


their deme anour during life Gr e at c are is .

necess ary th ere fore in j u dging how far com


, ,

mu ni cation s thr ough m e diu ms are to be t aken


at th e ir face v alues It is not a qu e stion of
.

good or b a d faith The point involved is


.

whe th er any and wh at allow ance sho u ld be


, ,

ma de fo r the imperfection of the instrum ents


employe d .


M any me dium s th e great maj ority in fact

,

a sse r t
, an d ar e genuin e ly convinced t h at,

th ey work under the control of cert ain individ


ual spirits This h as alw ays been claim ed in
.

magic al Ci rcle s ; and a good de al of evidence


exists to suppor t a beli e f i n the r e ality of

famili ar spi rits At the s ame t ime it is dif
.

c ult for unp r ejudiced obse rvers to a ccept th e

ide a of the re being any spir its who are content


to danc e a tte ndance d ay an d night and ye ar
a fter ye ar u pon hu m an b e ings of a ve ry ordi

nary type an d undistinguish e d by any gre at


qu alitie s of soul This difcu lty i s incre ased
.

wh e n consideration is give n to wh at is said with



r espect to the controls themselves They .

a dopt names th at ar e fant a stic and arbitraril y

assumed ; they never give any con rm ab le in


formation as to their ide ntities and abode s
86 HOW T O S PEAK W IT H T H E DEAD
when in life ; their p rofesse d in div i du alitie s w

little Indian girls Indi an yogis Indi an chiefs


, , ,


unknown doctor s e ta are const antly i n
,

p alp able contr adiction with their own utter


an ce s an d doings ; and th e y re m a in in e vidence

only s o long a s th e ir re sp e ctiv e mediu ms con


tinn e in p r ofe ssion al wo rk T h e th e ory is
.


som e time s a dv anc e d th a t a control is a s e c

ond per sonality of th e mediu m a su pposi
tion th at me ets th e difculties to which allu

sion h a s b ee n m ad e But a s e cond p er son
.


a lity is in f e et a second soul no m att e r
, , ,


wh at attem p 3 m ay b e m a de to Whittl e down

its m e aning by t alk of s u b consciousness ,

subliminal individu ality an d the like A .

p er son who h a s a s e cond soul i s a pe r son who



is poss e ss e d by a sp irit e nt er ing into the
b ody from th e outside an d sh ari ng th e h abit at
w ith its or igin al t e n ant . It is not ne cess ary
to infer th a t th e br a in and oth e r bodily o rgans
a re used Si mult a n e ously by th e two souls : the

trend of th e avail able evidence is on the con,

tr ary to show th a t the no rm a l sou l is com


,

mou ly in sol e contr o l an d th at it is only occa


s i o n ally th a t th e s u pe rno rm a l occ u p ant t ak e s

the r e ins But th e th e or y in qu estion do e s


.

undoubtedly compel a modic ation of th e vi ew


88 HOW T O S PEAK WITH T HE D EAD

Bu t ho wev e r Olive r L o dge c an
mu c h , sa ys Si r ,

b e a nd h s b ee n w r i tt en o n thi s s u bj e c t a nd wha t
a ,

eve r d i ff er en t o p i n i o ns m a y b e h el d i t i s u n i ve r s a lly ,

a dmi tted th a t th e d r am a ti c s emb la nc e o f th e c o n

t r ol i s u n d o u b t e d l y t h a t o f a s e p r a t e p e r s o n [ 5 e a . .

a s o u l d i s t in c t f r o m th n o r m l s o u l o f th e me
e a

diu m ] a pe r s o n a s s e r t e d t o b e p e rm a n ent ly e x

i ti ng o n th e o th er s i d e nd t b e o cc u pi e d o n th a t
s a o

s i d e i n mu c h th s a me fu n c t i o n s a s th e m e d iu m i s o n
e

thi s T h e d u t y o f c on t r lli n g a nd t r a ns mi t t in g o

me s s a ge s s eems to b e l i d u p on s u ch a o ne i t i s hi s
a

s p e c i l w o k T h e d r m t ic ch r c t er o f m os t o f
a r . a a a a

th e c o n t r l s i s s o v iv i d a nd s elf c o n s i s ten t
o t hat -
,

wh a t ver a ny ven s i tte r o r e xp e r imen te r m y feel


e a

i s th e p r o b a b l e t r u th c o n c e r ni ng thei r r ea l n a t u r e ,

th e s i mpl t w y i s t o h u m o u r th em by t a k i ng t hem
es a

a t t h e i r f a c e v l u e a n d t r e a t i ng the m a s s e p a r t e
a a

a nd r es p o n s i b le n d r e a l i nd ivi d u a l s
a I t i s t ru e t ha t .

i n th c s e o f s o me me d iu ms
e a s p e c i a lly w hen o ve r
, e

d one o r t ir d t h ere re eva nes c en t a nd a bs u r d i n


e , a

tr u s i o n s e v e r y n o w nd t he n whi c h c a nn o t b e s eri
a ,

o u s ly r e g r d eda Th os e h ave to b elimina t e d ; a nd


. e

far a n y o n t o t re a t th em a s r ea l p o ple w u l d b e
e e o

l d ic r o u s ; b u t u n d o b t dly th s e ri ous c o nt rols Sho w


u u e e

a c h a r a c t e r a n d p e s n li t y a n d m em o r y o f th i r
r o a e

o wn , a nd th e y a pp ea r t o c r r y o n a s c o n t inu o u s ana

e x i s t e n c e a s a ny o n e el s e wh om one o nl y mee t s o c


c a s i o n a lly fo a c onve r s a t i o n
r .
M E D I UM S 89

1 There is not anything in this weighty ex


pression of opinion that really clashes with

th e p ossession theory ex cept indeed the
, , ,


suggestion that the controls are persons per

ma nen tly e x isting on the other side -
a sug

gestion which is in obvious con ict with the


adm i ssion that controls are in constant atten
dance o n medium s in this world What S ir
.


O liver means by evanescent and absurd in

trusions that cannot b e seriously regarded

or treated as real people is also not clear ,

but probably refers to some form of s oph isti

cation resulting from a derangement of the
transmitting mechani sm In any case the con
.

elusion remai ns that the transmission takes

place through a combination of medium cu m -

control ; and this may in great measure explain


the apparent p sychical sensitiveness of medi
um s . That i s to s ay the reason why mediums
,

are particularly subj ect to sp l ri tu al i n uence


from the outside may be due to the fact of their
possessing or being possessed by a secondary
, ,

semi attached soul which is comparatively free


-

to perceive and attend to the e orts made by


external spirits to open up communication .


C H AP T E R VI

COM M U N I CA T I N G

VE RY many methods have been discovered o f


communicating with dis carnate Spirits ; but it
is not needful in the present volume to deal

with any system of incantation or magical
rites What is proposed is to describe such
W
.

practices as ave in modern times been found


to yield good results an d have become cus

1 . E#P E CTA N CY

This i s suitable where an individual person


desires to ascertain whether he o r sh e i s en
dowed with any psychic powers By s i tting
.

in some place quite alone and free from inter .

ruption and by a dopting a mental attitude of


,

passive receptivity and e x pect ancy the soul


,

be comes ready to perceive and be aff ected by


any spirits that may be in its vicinity and that
may attempt to open up communications A .

90
92 HOW TO S P EAK W IT H T HE DEAD
that as explai ned in a previ ou s part o f th i s
,

book discarnate spir its tend to remain near


,

the places and persons with whom they were



familiar during life perhaps in the hope of
being a ble to make their pre s ence known .

2 . AU T OM A T I C WRIT IN G

It i s very rarely that the results of ex

p ec ta n cy go beyond thought impression and -

subsidiary physical manifestations neither of ,

which can be regarde d as in the nature of p rae


p
tical commu i cati ons For the glvm g of a
.

m essage or the carrying on of a conversation


-

something more i s r e qu lr e d A ccordingly .


,

when a n enquirer sits alone it i s customary to


have at hand a pencil and p aper or some ap
paratus a s for e x ample a planchette b y
-w
,
,

means of which writing is possible I t is then .

frequently found that the si tter s hand with

out any conscious guidance by the sitter will ,

manipulate the pencil or the apparatus so as



to produce a s cript on the paper This i s .

read and may be followed up by vi va 70 0 % com


ments and questions and thu s a regular verbal
,

int erview t akes place .

Automati c writing does not depend u p on


C OMM UN I CATI N G 93

solitude I t may take place in the presence of


.

any number of observers and is frequently ,

employed by mediums a s being an expeditious


method of communi cation .

3 . T RA N CE WRIT IN G AN D S P E A K IN G

In cases where the sitter is marke dly p sy

chic and a dopts the method of E xpectancy
it frequently happens that normal control over
the b ody is lost A condition of trance super
.

venes and while this continues the Spirit


,

which may be either a second personality or

a soul from the outside that has gam ed the
upper hand makes use to a greater or less ex
tent o f the brain and other organs subj ect to
its mastery The hand may write : the mouth
.

may speak : the whole body may be engaged in


some impersonation ; and all this may take
place beyond the scope of the sitter s normal

consciousness When the trance is over the


.

sitter is not able to recall anything that has


been written or said or enacted The services .

of some recording observer are therefore n e ces


sary if any practical result is to be obtained .

The trance condition is particularly likely


to occur when the sitter or one of the s itter s is
, ,
94: HOW T O S PE AK WITH T HE DEAD

a genu l ne medium or in o ther words a p er
, , ,

son who either is naturally endowed with spe


ci al susceptib i lity to psychical in u ences or is

the habitat of two souls normal and sublim
,

inal respectively A ccordingly in the ma or
.

ity of s an ces with professional mediums the


commu ni cations from discarnate spirits are r e
ce iv e d during trance and take the form of
,

script executed by the mediums hand or words

spoken by the medium Frequently more .


,

over the medium is not completely entrance d


,

but retains p rtial consciousness ; th e result b e


ing that wh may be described as a daz ed con

dition ensues and the utterances from the
,

other side become mixed with and qualied ,

by various halting and imperfect statements


,

emanating from the medium s own mind


.

This is why s o many of the published reports


of spirituali stic s ances contain what appear
to be merely such erroneous and Ignorant r e
marks a s might b e expected from compara
tiv ely uneducated persons who have become
acquainted with the tricks of a tr ade And as .

the simulation of a partially entranced and -

semi conscious state i s a very easy matter for


-

persons who have any dramatic turn it is often ,

difcult to know how far a communication is


96 HOW T O S PE AK WITH TH E D EAD
pronounce the letters of the alphab e t in their
due order and for the Spirit to give a rap or tilt
when the right letter i s reached .

It must not h owever be sup posed th at the


, ,

employment of a table is in any way necessary .

The method ha s come into vogue merely b e


cause people ass embling: together for inter
course with discarnate Spirits have found it
convenient t o Sit round a table Any idea
.

that spirits have a predilection for or an at,

ta ch m e n t to a table or any o ther arti cle of


,

furniture is a popular delusion and i s mos t


f
assure dly c mtrary to common sens e A ll .

available evidence goes to Show that spirit s nd


much greater difculty in operating on matter
than on mind The s etting of any physi cal
.

mass in motion is a par ticularly arduou s task ;


and the work becomes lighter in proportion a s
the mass to be moved is smaller and l es s
we lgh ty
. To expect a spirit to set a bulky
article like a table in movement i s unreas on
able ; and the fact that tables are moved b y
Spirits is not an a rgument to the contrary .

S pirits a r e som etimes asked how they contrive


to do such physical work and a conventional
,

reply has become current namely that th e


, ,


s itters supply magnetism which is gathered
C OMM UN I CATI NG 97


i n th e me di um and goes into the table From .

a Scientic point of view this answer is non



Sensical It is in all probability a s oph i s ti
.
, ,

cati on repeated wittingly or unwittingly by
, ,

medium after medium Another explanation


.

which i s put forward occasionally se ems to be


nearer the mark that where heavy articles
,

are moved the work i s done by a number of


spirits acting together .

H owever all this may be i t is clear that


,

those Sitters who use less cumbrous means than


tables for Signalling are more likely to be satis
ed
. And it is also clear that the customary

once for N o and three times for Y e s are
not iInp erativ e Any other code may be
.

adopted C ommunications are not sub ect to


.

any a rbitrary regulation s They have all the


.

freedom of ordinary personal intercours e .

5 . D IRE CT ME SSAGE S
These have a lready been mentioned under
the heading of E xpectancy ; but they are occa
Si o n ally f ound to occur in con unction with

other methods of communi cating A pencil .

is sometimes seen to be apparently writing of


its own ac cord on a Sheet of paper ; no human
98 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H TH E D EAD
h and being near it S ometimes it i s s een to
.


be guided by the sim ula crum of a hand a ph e
n ome non that takes place more frequently

when th e Sitting is held in a dimly lighted -

locality or even in the dark I n the latter .

case the visibi lity i s due to th e obj ect seen


being sel f luminous The scrip t produ ced b y
-
.

such dire ct writing is of c ourse the mess age


, ,

to be recei ved .

I n like manner a messag e i s s ometim e s con


v eye d by a voice which is unconnected wi th

any person resent at the Sitting ; and th e


utterance m y vary from a whisper addressed
to some individual ear to a loud di s cou rse audi
ble by the whole company .

6 . MA TE RIALI SA TION
This i s a development o f direct commu ni ca
tion The Spirit becomes either visible or
.

tangible and sometimes is both Its form and


, .

appearance are akin to those of a clo thed h u

man being ; t hough the Similarity is not in any


way complete The s ubstance of which such
.

p hantasms are composed is as yet u nkno wn to


science ; but its perceptibility by normal sight
and touch suggests a material character with ,
1 00 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H T H E DEAD
money making or for other motives pose as
-
,

mediums without having any real qu ali ca


tions for th e work ; and it is unquestionable
that many i nstances of sham materialisations
have from t ime to time taken place O n the .

other hand the Well evidenced instances of real


,
-

materialisations and of many other analogous


kinds of psycho physical phenomena are much
-

more numerous W e mus t consider more


.
,

o ver that a good reason exis t s for dim light


,

and darkness in conn ection with attempts to


communi cate WIth discarnat e Sp irits When
th e eyes are af
.

ctiv e the m ind receives continual

impress i ons of numerous ob ects a nd occur


r e nc e s that engage its attention and render it

much less receptive of occult inuences .

H ence by m l m ml s ing or S hutting out the d i s


tr a ctl on s of Sight the soul of a Sitter becomes
very much more attuned to whatever telepathy
may exis t in connection with such external
spirits a s are present .

With regard to communi cating in general



th e old proverb P ractice makes perfect
, ,

holds good Mediums it is true are born not


.
, , ,

made ; but as is the case with all human beings


, ,

the i r powers ar e a t rst Immature and have ,

to be d eveloped by long continued exercise -


C OMM UN I CATI N G 1 01

and more or less ski lled training be fore th e


best results become attainable E very person
.


wh o wishes to speak with the dead is as is

also every other person in the world at least
a potential medium s o far as he or She knows
at the outset If it be found on trial that
.

psychic powers exis t to an a ppreciable extent


it may be taken for granted that they are
capable o f very great increase by p ers ev ermg
e ffort and systemati c employment ; and the
grow th may be such as to lead through the
lower to the higher forms of communicating .

If however after repeated exp erlm ents it ap


, ,

pears that a susceptibility to psych ical in u


e n ce s is lacking or very moderate in degree ,

or if for any other reason a continuance of


, ,

personal e ff ort be not desirable then it b e ,

comes necessary to have r ecourse to the serv


ices o f mediums These latter may be either
.

amateur or professional ; but whichever they


,

ar e , their utility depends upon the stage of


development th ey have reached .


The term development a s here used means
an increased sensitiveness of th e per ceptive
fac ulty by which the me di um becomes aware
of an d inuenced by the proximity of di scar
nate spirits It means a lso an intens ie d
.
1 02 HOW T O S P EA K WITH T H E DEAD
p as sivi ty of the normal s oul thu s facilitating
,

control b y the secondary mind or by external


Spirits And it s 1gni e S furthermore the p lac
.

ing of a larger proportion of the medium s sub

stance and physical powers at the disposal of


the controlling beings thereby enabling these
,

ex i stences to produce manifestations which


otherwise w ou ld be impossible The actual .

m odus op erandi of the use b y a control of a


medium s body and vitality is not yet under

stood ; but the fact of such use has been a mat


ter of observation and experiment in all ages


of which we e any record H ence the com
.

mu nication a discarn at e sp i rit w i ll be

fuller freer and more extended in proportion


,

to the better adaptation of the intermediat e


psychical m e ch anl sm .
1 0 45 HOW T O S PE AK WI T H TH E D E AD
pre ferable to a sitti ng i n any ou t of doors - ~

lo cality
The thought s need not t ake any rel igiou s
turn and prayer is quite unnecessary It is
, .

d e s Ir ab le I n fact to think as little as possible


, ,

about anything except in the event of the


,

presence of some particular Spirit being hoped


for When that is the case th e mi nd may with
.

advant age be o ccu p l e d by reminiscences con


n e cte d with t he Spiri t i n question a Situati on

being thus created which much facilitates


l

telepathy and i s analogous t o the hoisting of


g
a Signal callin fOr response
The evening is the most su l tab le t une for an
E xpectancy Sitting which is to be h eld in the
,

ligh t or in semi obscurity ; the bustle and tur


-

moil of the day having then given place more


or less t o quietude and tranquillity But if .
,

darkne s s does not inspire fear a Sitting In a ,

be dr oom ( or other apartment ) during the hours


from midnigh t to say two o clock in the morn
, ,

ing is preferable S ilence Is then more s u


.

preme than at any other time and the maj ority ,

of the human beings in the locality are asl eep .


This acc ounts for the traditional notion of the

Witching hour , which is not based as is su p ,

p osed erroneou s l y o n s,ome d i v m e or diab oli cal


P RA C TI CAL I N S TRUC TI O N S 1 05

limitation of certain hours as the free t ime for


errant spirits It refers to the fact that Sleep
.

is a kind of trance during which the hold of


the body on the soul is Slackened thus facili
,

tating the ta sk of any outside Spirit who may


wish to communicate ; the point in issue being
well exemplied by the old Romans ( and
others of the ancients ) who taught that dream s
,

are the apparitions of supernormal beings .

D ealing rst with the case of a midnight sit


ting i t Should be noted that absolute darkness
,

is not imperative The room may be illu mi


.

n a te d in any way that is c onvenient ; but for ,

reasons already given the less light the better


, .

If the nerves of the sitter will bear the strain


the Sitting Should take place quit e in the dark .

In that event s ome apparatus for S ignalling


by sound Should be provided such a s for i n
, ,

stance a small key susp e nded by a thread i n


,

side a glass tumbler I n such a manner that a


very Slight movement is ac companied by a

A fter remaining quiet an d expectant for a


few minute s the Sitter Should speak a lou d and

ask A re there any Spirits present
,
? This r e
quires a little c ourage both physical and mor
,

al ; the former because of the darkness the ,


1 06 HOW T O S P E AK WIT H T H E DEAD

Wit chinghour and the sound of one s voi ce

l n the stillness ; and the latter because one is

tempted to r egard both the Situation and the


question as absurd and because one does not
,

reli sh the idea of possibly making a fool of


one s self But it i s merely a question of break

.

ing the ice When once the Sitter has spoken


.

aloud the diffi culty of speaking does not re


cur .

To ask in one s mind whether there are any


Spirits present is not as e ff ective as actual


speech There is a greater psy chical con cen
.

tr atio n when ) thought i s focussed as it were


a , ,

by spoken words ; besides which there i s som e



reason to believe that spirits the bodily sub
s tance and organs of whom are a nalogous to

those of living persons : n d it easier to r e
ce iv e impressions by phys ical sounds than b y

telepathy .

If no answer be given to the question thi s ,

Should be repeated with a request that th e


spirit or spirits will reply by causing the s u s
pended key to move in such a manner as to

produce three distinct tinklings or words to
the same general e ff ect I n the case of some
other Signalling apparatus being employed If .

there still be silence it may be conclu ded either


,
1 08 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD
take place accor di ngly If on the other hand
.
, ,

there be no Sign at all d u rl ng the period o f ,

s ay half an hour from the commencement of


,

the sitting this latter Should terminate and the


,

enquirer Should renew the attempt on some fu


ture occasion N o disappointment need be felt
.

at a negative result wheth er at the outset of


,

the experiments or at any particular Sitt ing .

C ondi tions are not always favourable even ,

with the same Sitter and in the same room ; and


in spite of widely prevalent ideas and the rec
-

ords of s piritualistic s amces it is quite idle t o


,

)
suppose that disembodied souls do in fact
cater for the arbitrary wishes and personal
, ,

convenience of human beings N othing of the .

kind can be taken for granted except indeed , , ,

that mat ter void Space has its inhabitants j ust


-

a s much as is the case with any matter o ccu -

pied locality and that any room i n any house


,

just as likely to be visited from time to time


by discarnate Spirits a s by living persons .

C oming now to what may be termed ordi


nary E xp ectancy sittings that is to s ay eve
, ,

ning Sittings in a lighted or semi lighted room -


,

the conditions of Visibility a dmit of more elab


orate manifestations than are possible in dark
ness Automatic writing in p articular b e
.
P RAC TI CAL I N S TRUC TI O N S 1 09

comes practicable P row s ron Should be made


.

for this by placing a pencil a n d one or more


sheets of paper on a table or desk And of .
,

course signalling apparatus should be fur


,

ni s h e d of either an audible or a visible k ind .

When these matters are attended to the pro


ce e din s
g at the Sitting Should follow the
course described a s suitable for the midnight
s an ce ; but naturally both eyes and ear s
, ,

should be a ctive l n the detection of Signs indi


cating the presence of spirits And every now .

a n d then the pencil Should be t aken in the hand

and held close to the paper in a writing p osI


tion the result frequently being th a t a strong
,

impulse to write i s felt This Should no t be re


.

sisted The hand Should be given free play ;


.

but of course there Shoul d n ot b e any con


, ,

scious guidance by the Sitter At rst the script .

is in the maj ority of instances found to be a


, ,

c onfused scribble or a meaningless sequence

of words L ater on if the Sitter b e patient a nd


.
,

persevering order b egl ns to take the place of


,

chaos and intelligible messages are ob tam e d ;


always supposin g that the enquirer i s really
gifted with an appreciable degree of psychic
power .

S elf deception and the imaginations bred of


-
110 HOW T O S PEAK WITH THE DEAD
wishes and emotions are to be g uarded a gain st .

This is an add itional reason for cultivating a


tranqui l habit of mind and a level headed habit
-

of j udgment I t should be remembered that


.

in s olitary E xpectancy fraud and trickery are


completely absent and that a ll manifes tations
,

are matters of the most simple per sonal oh


servat ion the accuracy of which can be con
,


rm e d a s in an ordinary scientic laboratory
b y the test of repetition For the friends
.

and a cquaintances of the sitter the only evi


dence availab e is the latter s personal and u n
)

~

corroborated statements which fro m a s cien


,

ti c point of view are worthless ; but for the Sit


ter himself or herself the very same evidence
i s in the highest degree conclus ive a n d rightly
,

so. T h e facts are kn own to have occurre d .


The next step after solitary E xpectancy
has been tried i s to arrange wi th one s friends

for E xpe cta ncy C ircles ; that is to say for ,

groups of persons to meet together at appoint


ed times and in appointed places for the pur

pose o f j oint Sittings There are marked ad


.

vantages in proceeding thus .


a

Firs t the probabilities o f success are multi


,

p lied I t is frequently the ca se that living i n


.
112 HOW T O S PEAK WITH T H E DE AD
I t S h ou l d be a matter of common under
standing and agr eement that the sitters in an
E xpectancy C ircle are all animated by a seri
ous purpose and have not come together for

more amusement or for the fun of tricking
each other There is no obj ection to their b e
.


m g as sceptica l as they please A Sitter may
.


be o f opinion that all occultism is tomfoolery

and piffle . O pinions do not alter facts . If
psychical phenomena do really occur all the
s cepticism in the world is of no moment ; and
no good ev i d n ce h a s ever been brought for
ward to sh o that s p lrits are in any way em
h arras s ed by the presence of doubters and re
S isters ; though it i s true enough that passivity
on the part of the Sitter s favours commu ni ca
tion A sceptic may hap pen to be a good me
.

d ium without being aware of the fact ; in which


c ase h i s or her m ental prejudice will not hinder

a Spirit from making use of the psychic p ower


thus brought into the C ircle At the same time
.

pra ctical j oking and the surreptitious imita


tion of phenomena are quite out o f place They
.

cannot d o any good : they are productive of


confusion ; and seeing that discarnate Spirits
,

have not changed their minds at death there ,

doe s not exist any reas on for su p p osmg such


P RAC TI CAL I N S TRUC TI O N S 113

beings to have become incapable of taking of


fence and going away in high dudgeon when
Sitters attempt to make fools of them i n
which case of course the sitting i s a failure
, , .

With regard to the arrangement of the Sit


ters this is entirely a matter of convenience
, .

S eats may be provided round a table or scat


ter e d about a room And not the least atten
.

tion need be paid to the sitters j oining hands


or being otherwise in contact with each other :
the supp o sed necessity of this being a popular
delusion based upon some vague and erroneous

notion of electricity .

The use of a table is however to be re com


, ,

mended I t is desirable for each Sitter to h ave


.

a pencil and paper in readiness ; for it cannot


be known in advance which particul ar individ
u als are capable of automatic writing ; and a

table facilitates the manifestation a s well a s


pro viding a convenient standing place for Sig -

n alli ng apparatus etc , .

The sitting may if desired take place at


, ,

high noontide and in the very fullest dayligh t ;


though for reasons already stated it is better
, ,

to s it in the evening and in semi obscurity The


-
.


s m gi ng of hymns praying and other relig
,


ious features are to be deprecated They do .
1 1 4a HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD
not aff ect the actual phenomena ; but th e i r t en
deney I s to produce a morbid and emot i onal
frame o f mind which in its turn facilitates self
deception and the im aginary perception of
happenings that do not really occur C onver .

sation also should not be indulged in to any


extent that engrosses the attention of the Sit
ters By far the best plan is for the C ircle to
.

s it silently each individual being on the alert


,

to perceive and announce the slightest ind i ca


tion of anything ex ternal .

At the
ation of a few minutes assum
ing no In tati o n to hav e happened some

sitter sh o ask aloud the question Is ,

any Spirit present and if no answer be re
?

c e iv e d the question Should be repeated turn ,

by turn by all the other Sitt ers In th i s way


, .

it is often possible to discover those of the C ir


cle who are natural mediums ; a fact that is
also made evident by the ab ility to write auto

m atic ally or by the susceptibility to impres

sions such as touches whispers the sensation
, , ,

of a cool breez e tremblings twitches and in


, , ,

rare cases v arl ou s forms of clairvoyance


, ,

trance and insensibility .

If the rst round of quest ion ing produce no


res ult th e Silent Sitting should be resumed for
,
116 HOW TO S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD

as little l ikely as i s any rea sonable man or


woman to trouble themselves with p ersonating
their fello w sou l s at random What are they
-
.

to H ecuba or H ecuba t o them


,
? W hen a
S p ir it cla ims t o be some specied d i sembodied
soul the probabilities a re greatly in favour of
the claim being true ; j ust as in common life
people are fou nd to b e as a rule the persons
they assert themselves to be That som e of th e
.

spirits in circumterrestrial sp ace are in a sense , ,

v agabonds without kith kin or any Specic


, ,

identity conne cte d with humanity may Well be ,

the case and i gnow and then a matter of oh


,

servation ; but this is not any reason why th ey


should nd any satisfaction in m asquerading
as Tom D ick and H arry There is probably
, .

some a musement to be e xtracted fr om per

s on ati ng a great gure of history such a s


#
,

ulius Cms ar L uther N apoleon D israeli or


, , ,

Gladstone and indu cing both mediums and


,

sitters to accep t with reverence the pompous


utterance of ridiculous banalitie s ; and the his
tory of S piritualism Shows that s omething of
the kind does really h ap p en now an d then .

But no evidence exi sts to S h ow that the aver


a e Sitter who seek s t o s p eak with the average
g
d e ce as ed relative or friend is ever duped by
P RAC TI CAL I N S T RUC TI O N S 117

any imp ersonation o f the latter I t may not .

always be possible to prove the genu ineness


of the communication to the satisfaction of an
out side sco ff er or critic This however is not
.
, ,

a need of the case The sitter hears and knows


.

fo r himself or herself at r s t hand What does


-
.

i t matter i f outsiders who have not been pres


ent at the mani festations and merely hear of
them at second hand choose to evolve from
-

their own inner consciousness the theory that



the spirit interviewed was not the rea sainted

l da ri a but was merely a m i schievou s Spook

,

or more probably the fake of some me
, ,

d iu m ? The old proverb rema ins good The ,

p roof of the pudding is in the eating thereof .

Any person of ordinary good sense is quite


c apable of disting uishing between Sham and
reality even when speaking with the dead i s
in question .

4 .
-
When an E xpectancy C ircle has had
several succes sful sittings and h as establis hed
communications with spirits those latter ,

sh ould be asked to collect together a group of



beings on the other side who are willing to
co operate actively with the C i r cle by re u lar
-
g
att end a n ce and th e production o f mani festa
118 HOW T O S PEAK WITH TH E D EAD
tion s on a continually develo ping s cal e In -
.

past tim es there h a s been by far too li ttle of


such c o operation E ach profess i onal medium
-
.


has had his or her a lleged controls who in an ,

i ncidental way have occasionally introduced



Spirits while the sitters have also without any
,


des ign of s o d om g brought disembodied souls

to the s c mces And Sittings especially o f the
.



t able kind have taken place i n p rivate
homes where the enqu irers have usually been
restricted to a few members of a single family ,

and where the p irits communi cated with have


d
been recently eceased relatives and other l n
-

exper i enced beings U nder such circumstance s


.

it is surprising that s o much progress has b een


made .


It i s found however that Spirits are j ust
, ,

as keen and interested in p sychical ph enom
e n a a n d the extension of communicati o n across

the border line as are the Cr ooke se s L odges


-
, ,

Barretts C rawfords and other investigators in


,

the ranks of the living It is not difcult for.

a n E x p ectancy Circle of Sitters to develop into

a P rogressive C ircle of c o operating s itter s and -

sp irits A request for co operation is usually


.
-

complied with and it almost always happens


/
,

th at th e spirits who are asked to act S ucceed


1 20 H OW T O S PE AK WITH TH E DEAD
l es s ambitio us and far re ach ing than i s that of
-

the E xpe ctancy and P rogre s s ive C ir cles


method ; and th e resul ts are correspondingly
M p erfe ct The system most generally adopt
.

ed is what in early and mid Victorian days was


-


known as table turning or raps and con
-
,

s isted in a number of persons sitting round a


table on which their hands were placed the ,

right hand of each sitter resting on or some ,

tim es only touching his neighbour s left hand


.

A fter a little while a t apping or rapp i ng noise


would be heard on the table or the table would
,

tilt up a little at intervals or it would turn


,

round and round or it would move about the


,

room A n y of these occurrences admitted of


.

utilisation for signalling purposes and in that,

way it was found possible to enter into intelli


gent communication with the Sp i rit or Spirits
a cting on the table i t being generally the case
that the communicator was a deceased relative
of one of the s itters
I n a Table Sitting the termnow comm on
.

-

ly employed it i s desirable for the hands of
the S i tters to be placed on the table ( though
the reason for this is not yet clear ) but it i s not
,

neces s ary for any sitter s hands to be in actual



contact with those of his neighbours there not
P RAC TI CAL I N S TRUC TI O N S 121

be ing any electric or other current in c ircula


tion And it i s not nece s sary for the Sitters
.

to engage in any form of incantation whether ,

sung spoken or thought They should how


, .
,

ever be serious and attentive and should be


, ,

careful not to spoil the Sitting by a ny foolery


or consc ious attempt s to tilt or move the table .

It is best for some one of the sitters to act as



Spokesman and for some outsider 4 16 a p er

.

s on not sitting at the table to ofci ate as the


recorder of all that is said and done The s im
.

p le s t system of commun i cation to adopt is tha t


of the alphabet ; the letters being called out by
the spokesman i n regular order and the table
giving a rap or making a movement whenever
th e right letter i s reached It must not how
.
,

ever b e taken for granted that words will be


,

spelt correctly or that the letters will be


grouped in regular s equences of words Many .

a message has been put aside as a mere hap


haz ard unmeaning jumble of letters and has ,

subsequently been found perfectly intelligible


and intelligent when the key to the arrange
ment of the letters has been hit upon Why .

such puzzles sh ou ld b e set with seeming delib


cration by the spir i ts is not un derstood ; all we

know i s that the phenomenon sometimes oc


1 22 HOW T O S PEAK WITH T H E DEAD
curs and its possibility must therefore be taken

6 .

The Sittings referred to in the foregoing
ve Instructions are such a s may take place
without the aid of professional mediums and ,

for that reason are commonly regard e d as b e



ing particularly satisfact ory and evidential .

Thi s however is a view born of prej udice It


, , .

assumes that professional mediums are all


more or less untrustworthy P ersons who are
.

broad m inde d enough to rise superior to


-

prej udice and who choose to weigh seriously


the p ros and cons of the whole matter are
,

bound to recognise the advantage in all kinds ,

of enquir y of seeki ng the assistance of indi


,

v i du als possessing natural qualications who

have become expert in their own province A c .

c ordingly in speaking with the dead a rat i onal


,

person will not deem it needful to keep aloof


from professional mediums Rather will he .

seek their aid whenever opportunity serves


provided always that no good reason exists for
d oubt ing the good faith of any individual me
d iu m s o met with .

The proceedings at a S itting conducted by a


medium are of much th e same general char
1 24 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H T H E D E AD
wr ites aut omatically or s p eaks under control
there mu s t alway s exist a doubt as to how much

is genuine and how m uch is s ophistication ,

either int entional or of an unconscious charac


ter The Sitter therefore who thi nks p rOp er
.
, ,

to cons ult a professional medium will do well


to ask for a Table Sitting in preference to a
-

Trance Sitting ; a s when a Table s itting take s


- -

place the medium remains normal and the ,

communication i s conveyed thr ough the i nstru


mentality o f the i nanimate table instead of
making its way amid the disturbing i n uence s
of the m e dirim s brain and personality I f th e
,

medium cannot or will not give a Table Sit


.
, ,
-

ting it is not worth while for the Sitter to ex


press any dissa tisfaction : the situation must be
ac cepted with as goo d a grace as possible
x

tr anquillity and harmony being the proper at


m o sph ere where mental phenomena are i n i s
su e .

In the case of Trance sittings where the


-
,

medium is likely to be strongly controlled and


made to speak or act in the guise of some other
individuality ( it being sometimes the cas e that

a decided mod i c a tion of facial expression ,

features and vo ice becomes noticeable ) a fre ,

quent practice is to arrange for a subdued light


P RAC TI CAL I N S TRUC TI O N S 1 25

-
as for example by pulling down the win
, ,

dow blinds and using a lamp with red glass


-
.

This is quite unnecessary ; it is a mere co nv en


tion al usage based upon a tradition to the e ff ect
that spirits are more powerful in darkness than
in light ; but the procee di ng need not be oh
j e cte d to It is
. as harmless a s is the colour or
the pattern of the wall paper -
.

S ome profess i onal mediums adop t the meth


o d of C lairvoyance and C lairaudience ; that is

to s ay the communications take the form of an


,

oral description by the mediu m of what h e or


She sees and hears in the vicinity of the sitters
the underlying supposition being that the
latter bring with them certain haunting Spirits
or that certain s pirits make their way into the
room from the outside in order to be near th e
sitters This kind of a sitting is perhaps th e
.
, ,

least satisfactory of any from an intellectual


point of view The medium may be labouring
.

under some delusion or may even be deliberat e


ly inventing the alleged appearances and u t
te ran ce s N o method has yet been discovered
.

of cle arly distingu ishing between genui ne and


unreal clairvoyance ( a word which also ln
eludes crystal g az m g and the like )
-
S itters
.
126 HOW T O S PE AK WIT H T HE DEAD
must j udge for themselves what to beli eve and
what to re ect .

7 .
Mater i alisation Sittings with the assist
-

ance of professional mediums form a distinct


category of phenomena They cannot be .


classed under the head o f communications ,

and they a re j ust as much physical as psychi


cal Their chief defect i s that they are not
.


open and above board as is the case with
-
, ,


the analogous proceed ings of ordinary table

turning l privat e circles where very
g
,

as to u n di n g i ov em e n ts etc take place in full


, .
,

light For some reason or another good bad


.
,


or indi ff erent but never on a ccount of any
real necessity materialising med iums in the
,

maj ority of cases ins i st u p on the sittings tak


i ng p lace i n darkness and upon the use of


,


cabinets and Screens in the shelter of which
.

the S pirits are understood to make their pre


ati on s for the Show the are about to giv
p ar y e .

The sitters of course cannot interfere : a p a


, ,

tient does not instruct th e physician with re


s p ect to what p rescription is needful E ach .

medium mu s t be allowed to go about his b u SI


ness in his own way ; and e ach Sitter i s equally
1 28 HOW TO S P EAK WITH T HE DEAD
ne s s o f th e mani fe s t at io ns ; and this can best
be attained by gi v mg the medium and the
Spirits the frees t of free play .

L e t it be granted for argument s sake that


,

t r i ckery i s possible L et i t be admitted as a


.
,

matter o f fact tha t many medium s have been


,

detected and exposed in var i ous instances of


M p os tu re This show s merely that some a1
.

le ge d materialisations are not g enuine ; it does


no t p rove that no materialisation ever t akes
place H ere also the Sitter mu st j udge for
.
, ,

himself Where it is possible to adopt both a


.

normal a d a supernormal explanation of any


observed mani festation the rules of scientic
enqu iry i mp ose upon us the obligation of post

u lating a natural cause in preference to as

s u m ing that some supernatural power is in
o peration ; we are bo u nd for example in cases
, ,

adm itting of tri ckery to hold that the medium


,

i s a cheat rather than to infer the intervention


o f any spirit But when a normal explanation
.

is not possible or so highl y improbable as to


,

be outside the connes of go od sense we a ct ,

f oolishly if we insist upon declining to recog


nise a patent fact merely because it does not
t in with our pre conceived Opinions The
-
.

s ame rem ark applies mu ta tis mu tand is to


, ,
P RAC TI CAL I N S T RUC TI O N S 1 29


many of the normal explanations in them
selves I t is for example said sometimes that
.
, ,

the voices heard in the course of dark Sittings


are produced ventriloquially by the medium .

This leaves out of view the consideration that


ventriloquy is in itself an illusion depending
upon the sense of sight as well as upon that of
hearing N o ventriloquist however clever
.
, ,

c an produce the impression of there being a

sound emanating from some Specic locality


when the hearer is in the dark ; a fact that is
evident to any person who tries the ex periment
of Shutting his eyes when at a ventriloquial
entertainm ent And if we re ect that in a
.

materialisa tion Samce several distinct voices


are often heard simultaneously the exp lana ,

tion of the medium being a ventriloquist is



seen to be ludicrously inadequate The nor

mal theory does not fare any better in su g
g e s tin g that the medium manages to vacate his
chair in the darkness and to pick up the trum
pet or the tambourine etc from which he
, .
,

forthwith proceeds to extract som e sounds .

This might be feasible i n the case o f a single


instrument in a Single locality ; but it often
happens th at several instruments of various
kinds are being played S imultaneously and are
1 90 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T H E DEAD
heard i n d iff erent parts of the room at the
same time A nd when it i s remembered that
.

the Sitt ing where such facts occur may and ,

does frequently tak e place in a sitter s own


,

house where the medium has not been able to


,

make a ny preparations and where no confed



erat o is available the futility of the natura
,

way o f accounting for the manifestations b e


comes still further evident S o after all we
.
, ,

come round once more to the recommendation


th at the Sitter Should not interfere Should
,

merely observe Should keep an open mind


,

)
and should b e gu i d e d by facts quite irre Sp e c
tiv ely of whether the facts b e normal or s up er
1 32 HOW T O S PEA K WIT H TH E DE A D
of the rationalist s and wh en they at th e s ame
,

time d iscover statement s by eminent ration


ali sts that are equally destructive of the posi

tions occup i ed by the spiritualists it becomes ,

very dif cult for persons who are no t close s tu


dents of the matters in dispute t o arrive at a
set tled j udgment Accordingly the following
.
,

observ at ions may prove of some service .

T h e true nature of a rticles in the newsp a


pers ma gazines and reviews should be borne
,

in mind T hese a rticles are writ ten profos


.

s ron ally that i s fo r pay and they have to pro


, , ,

vide comm erc al value for the remuneration


'

received by t eir writers They have to be .

readable and popular which means that they ,

must be smar t and sensational and penned


with much literary ability The authors have .

al so the ir own future s to thin k of ; th ey must


ple ase their respective editors and they must
Show o ff to the bes t advantage s uch stores o f
knowledge such di ale ctic al powers and s uch
, ,

cap ab iliti es in the arts o f sarcasm and abus e as


/

they may p o ssess They are like the barristers


.

in the courts o f law They are not concerned


.

for either justice or truth Their business is to .

s natch a verdict i f they can ; and to do this they


nd th eir be st p lan i s to f asten up on the we ak

S P IRIT UALI SM AND RA TI O NALI SM
1 33

points o f their adversaries and ignore th e


s trong ones ; while a s regards their o wn cases
, ,

they make the most of every favourable fea


ture and keep all doubtful point s in the back
ground S o the reader should be on his or her
.

guard and Should not accept meekly as a mat


, ,

ter o f course anything that ap pears in print


, .

A good example of what is here referred to


may be found in the S trand M aga zi ne of uly

# ,

1 9 1 7 u nder the titl e of I S S ir O liver L od ge


,

Right Y e s by S ir A C onan D oyle N o


?

,

. .

,


by E dward Clo dd .

P ersons who wish to pursue the s tudy of


dialectics and partisan literature in connection
with p sychical phenomena may be recomm end
ed to read Ligh t and T h e I n terna ti onal P s y
ch i c G az e tte which are the two leading organ s
,

o f the S piritualists in E ngl and and the Li t ,

cra ry Gu i de ( the sub t itle b e ing T h e R a ti on


-

alis t Revi ew) whic h is published by the Ra


,

ti onali s t P ress A ssociation and is th e recog ,

n i s e d mouthpie ce of the most distinguished ex

o ne n ts of Rationalism in the U nited K ing


p
dom All three o f the publications referred to
.

are ch aracterised by much learni ng and very


g rea t a bility The
. facts they record are select
e d carefully from part i san p oints of vi ew and
1 3 49 HOW T O S PEAK WIT H T HE DEAD
th e comm ents and argument s that ap p ear i n
their pages are admirably one sided and cor
-

r e s p o n d i ngly conclusive
. But the reader is
thus enabled to s e e both sides of the shield ,

and h as himself only to blame if he become the


champion of either gold or s ilver .

C urrent literature however is not the only


, ,

danger in the path of persons who desire to


walk in the company of Reason C urrent .

teaching is perhaps even more formidable and ,

especially so where S cience is concerned The .

popular i dea of S cientic men is that they are


votari es of T and are deaf to the voice of
every other d H ence the authority Wi eld
ed by the leaders o f S cience and the willing
,

obedience rendered to their behe s ts It is rarely


.

remembered that scientic men a re simple h u


man beings subj ect to th e same weaknesse s
,

and possess ed of the same foibles as the rest


of the race H istory ha s Shown that i f power
.

be p laced in the hands of any professional set


of men i t will inevitably be a bused ; and S ci
ence does not provi de a n exception to the rule .

There is every whit as much bigotry b lind d og


ma and savage intolerance in scientic circles


as ever there was in any ecclesiastical or puri
tanical organi sation s. S ir William C rookes ,
136 HOW T O S PE AK WITH TH E DEAD
from the surviva l of the s oul s by whom they
ar e accom p lished
.

S u rsu m cord a
. L e t u s sp e ak to the dead
and let us add their knowledge and coun s el to
comm on s tore .
dm
De ac n ed us mg th e Boo kk ee ep r proc e ss

Ne utra llz mg e
a g nt Magne s rum O xnd e
Tr e me
at nt Dat e Nov 2 0 0 4

Pres ervationTechnologies
A WO RLD LE A DE R IN PA P E R P RE S E RVAT IO N
1 1 1 Th oms on Pa rk Dnve
C ranb e rry Towns h ip PA 1 6 0 6 6
,

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