Following an experience with a Ouija board at a party during March 1918, Betty White, wife of the famous America novelist, Stewart Edward White, discovered she had mediumistic gifts and subsequently began receiving messages from a group of discarnate beings who called themselves the Invisibles. Initially the messages came via automatic writing and later while Betty was in an entranced state.
The messages amounted to hundreds of thousands of words which dealt with life’s big questions such as our purpose here, the nature of life after physical death, and a philosophy of life as seen from the perspective of the invisibles who claimed to be a little further along the cosmic highway than we are. Communication continued after Betty passed away in 1939 via another medium and continued with Betty’s help until Stewart passed away in 1946.
Stewart penned a number of books compiled from the messages including, The Betty Book (1937), Across the Unknown (1939), The Unobstructed Universe (1940), The Road I Know (1942), The Stars Are Still There (1946), and With Folded Wings, which was delivered to the publisher shortly before White’s death and published in 1947.
These so-called Betty Books have become classics in 20th century Metaphysical literature.
“Walk through your days as a creature with folded wings, conscious of the possession of another element and your ability to enter it.”
About the author
A popular author of adventure and travel books, Stewart Edward White (March 12, 1873 to September 18, 1946) became interested in mediumship in 1919 after his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” White, discovered her ability to receive messages from purported spirits by means of automatic writing and the trance voice. “I had paid such matters very little attention; and had formed no considered opinions on them one way or another,” White wrote of his attitude before 1919. “By way of unconsidered opinion I suppose I would, if called upon to express myself, have taken my stand on the side of skepticism. This was because, like the average man, I referred all ‘occult’ or ‘psychic’ matters to spiritualism; which is also the savage’s method. And spiritualism meant to me either hysteria or clever conjuring or a blend of both. I knew that it had been ‘exposed’.”
White’s first book on philosophical matters was Credo, published in 1925, in which he explored question of Survival based on the messages received psychically through Betty from what White called the “Invisibles.” However, no mention was made of his sources or of Betty’s mediumship. A second philosophical book, Why Be a Mud Turtle? was published in 1928, again without explaining the source or mentioning Betty. White did not publicly come “out of the closet” until 1937, when The Betty Book was published. It was subtitled: Excursions into the World of Other-Consciousness Made by Betty between 1919 and 1936. But Betty was not identified.
After Betty’s death on April 5, 1939, White began receiving messages from her through the mediumship of a woman named “Joan,” who preferred to remain anonymous. Betty’s teachings were then put together by White in The Unobstructed Universe, published in 1940.
Born in Grand Rapids, MI, White graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1895 and in 1903 received his M.A. degree from Columbia University. His first book, The Westerner. was published in 1901, followed closely by The Claim Jumper and The Blazed Trail, the latter a best-seller and considered the best of his non-metaphysical books.
Continued at www.ascsi.org.
LEAVING THE BODY
Undoubtedly when entering the higher consciousness, Betty had from the very beginning “left the body”, without appreciating the fact. As soon as she realized that she was actually so doing, the Invisibles began to teach her how to do it consciously.
“Escape from the restrictions of the body,” said they, “and life outside the restrictions of the body, even while you are occupying it, can be experienced. That is the real life. How can any sensible person doubt it? We are trying to shatter the bodily conception of life in order to expose the other to view. The discovery of this other conception and the gradual acquisition of it is what constitutes the RAISON D’ETRE of your existence. If you do not discover it, you have failed; you are either standing still or slipping back.” Most of the training to accomplish this was technical, intended for Betty individually, and in no sense to be taken as general instruction.
It was only one of the necessary means to an end. So I quote bits here and there from the record merely to give a picture of the sort of thing that went on. “I see! ” said Betty, in running comment. “Now! just to slip off my body. . .leave it lying on the floor. . .so much easier to work from this end back… I’m getting so much more at home here.” An interval followed, with no comment.
“Now they’ve brought me back to contemplate my body. They think I can improve my control…” Again the pause.
“They’re just letting me into my body and out again—just a flash, to get control of doing it… It’s wonderful practise in a kind of balance—in keeping my spirit so balanced that it gets no drag from the body…
I’ve got to keep quiet to do this, or I’ll never get anywhere… This is fine! So much more strength this way! See how much quieter I am lying.” “Practise in leaving the body,” said the Invisibles to me by way of explanation. Then in command to Betty: “Enter the body… Now release.” “I’ve got to keep leaving and entering, alternating,” said Betty.
“My head and neck are tired in my body,” she complained presently. “I’d like to turn… I’m going to try… So painful to think about my body.” She tried to move, but failed.
“Shall I move your head for you?” I asked.
“Toward the wall,” said Betty.
“That’s better.” There ensued a long silence—but obviously a busy silence.
“I can’t hold it any more,” said she at last. “I fell over. I oughtn’t to have done that. Now I can rest, they say.
Here ensued another long silence, but this time obviously not busy.
“Try once more,” the Invisibles told her at last.
“Yes, I can do it!” said Betty. “Now wait until I alternate again…
I did it! That’s very, very useful.” The “lesson” continued thus for upward of an hour. Then Betty was free to tell me a little something about it—while still in her trance state.
“You withdrew all attention from your body, which is very difficult,” she told me. “I thought of it as so heavy as to be impossible to move; while I, the living, left it in the comer and walked off in my spiritual body. That worked until my hay fever wanted to make me sneeze.
“The main thing is that, during the day, about your affairs, you can at odd moments, practice retiring to that spiritual body. Withdraw attention from the other, until you get helpful control. It is very important for me to learn it…
“I’m going to come out pretty soon: I’m just hanging around…
“It is a matter of withdrawing attention from one thing, and giving it full strength to another. It must be done before I can go on. They can’t keep on dragging my body around. I’ve got to get control so I can leave that entirely behind. They say the reason I always come back so soon is that I’m a self-stopper. I’ve got to stop wobbling and prepare to go all the way and not want to snap back. It is like standing on my head. It’s that ‘Oh dear, I’m going to wobble and come down’ idea that brings me back.” “The more you can relax the body all the time,” said the Invisibles, “the more power you possess and the more you can use the spiritual in contact with the physical. Ignore the body, except for its necessary functions. The first point is to keep it in health, so that it can be the more easily ignored.” “Now I am going to do it over again,” said Betty. “This must be made more trustworthy… Such a strange light…” For some little time she was silent.
“I can travel a little now,” she resumed. “Getting the idea of unattached motion. I’ve been so tethered before. But it is hard for me to see; it’s so dim.” “One of the most powerful forces is belief in your power to do it,” said the Invisibles. “That combined with effort to make good in it, will accomplish almost anything. Without that you sink into your own limitations and consider them impossible to overcome. But if you get the belief that it can be done and back it up: presto! It is done, and you have opened new doors. It is the haleness of trying doggedly without the belief that gets you nowhere.” “I’ve always wanted to explain that holding-steady process that gets you here, but I’ve never been able to,” said Betty. “I think I’d call it a condensation of purpose; but condensation is not quite it, because it depends so much on expansion and breadth of perception.”
With practise, “getting out of the body,” like the other things, became for Betty less and less a question of concentration and struggle. One day—after several months of off—and—on practice—she suddenly seemed to understand the knack.
“Why! ” she cried, somewhat astonished, “I can slip back and forth easily today! It is very strange! The wind swept through me as I came in. I hailed it, did not crouch before it, and it went through me as sun goes through you. I wasn’t conscious of my body any more; I was just conscious of vigorous well-being almost as disembodied as one could hope to be. Harmonious vitality superseded the mortal sensation.” She paused in her reporting, apparently trying out her newfound skill.
“I like slipping back and forth that way,” she confided presently. “I don’t see why it isn’t just as interesting a performance, and vastly more desirable, as learning to swim in an element that is not your own.
It is Just as natural, really. I just leap out of myself, and take a dive into a freer and more stimulating element. Each time I do it, it gets easier; I am more at home in it; and more stimulated by it. I am not tremendously good at it; but it’s just as simple as that.”
From then on Betty had little or no trouble with the “getting out” part, but the return to the body without undesirable repercussion, so to speak, was another matter.
“The danger of this experience is always in coming back,” she explained to me, “in arousing the body, like an invalid who thinks she’s been abused… That’s the attitude with which you must look at your bodily weaknesses always. You must be their trained nurse, giving them only such attention as is wholesome and such care as is necessary and such sympathy as is good for them…
She broke off to consider this.
“And,” she continued, “there’s no use saying:, ‘I’ll do it next time.’ Not next time: this time. ‘This is the only time there is,’—you must say that to yourself.
You are not rising above the body, after the usual method; you’re non-existing it, humorously, ridiculing it out of its habits. But, after all, one’s so likely to be more in the frame of mind of the family relative than of the trained nurse.” “Listen,” said the Invisibles. “There is a kind of invalid’s room in which your body has established its habits and weaknesses. You are coming back now, but you are not going to let your active, vigorous, pulsing, living being more than visit and cheer that room.” “Well,” said Betty, “I’ll just stay quiet and pack up my ideas… I must come away. I’m getting drowsy, and I am a little afraid of that state in between, but I have to pass through it each time.
“I’m coming back.” A pause. “I’m almost back… It seems like a fairy-story world now.”
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published February 2016
Size: 229 x 152 mm