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Canadian Physician Informed: “We Do Not Die”

Posted on 23 May 2022, 17:03

Due to failures of certain researchers to grasp the anomalies of mediumship, including the research involved with the mediums Mina Crandon, aka Margery, George Valiantine, and Rudi Schneider, during the 1920s and early ‘30s, parapsychology began replacing psychical research, the emphasis being on evidence for extrasensory perception (ESP) and away from spirits, physical mediumship and life after death, in general.  However, there was still one researcher who continued to focus on physical mediumship and other phenomena suggesting a spirit world.  He was Thomas Glendenning Hamilton (1873-1935), better known as T.G. or Glen to his friends (below).

hamilton

A successful physician and surgeon in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada when he became interested in psychical research in 1918, Hamilton also taught medical jurisprudence and clinical surgery at Manitoba Medical College.  His initial interest in psychical research was a result of articles on psychic phenomena by William T. Stead of England and later after hearing from his friend, Dr. W. T. Allison, a professor at the University of Manitoba, about the investigation of the “Patience Worth” phenomena in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Hamilton and Allison carried out some experiments in thought-transference, or telepathy, and became convinced that there was something to it.  Hamilton then began studying the reports of esteemed members of the Society for Psychical Research, including Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, Professor William James, Professor Charles Richet, and Alfred Russel Wallace.  “To suggest that these trained observers were all deceived by fraudulent operations, those stupid and very tiresome performances which mislead no one but the uninformed and gullible, is to offer an explanation which offends our reason and shows willful indifference to truth,” Hamilton wrote.

Hamilton first experimented with Elizabeth Poole, a family friend who lived near him.  With her, he observed a 10-pound table move by itself and heard communicating raps come from the table.  An early message supposedly came from Frederic W. H. Myers, one of the pioneers of psychical research and read:  “Read Plato Book X.  Allegory very true.  Read Lodge.  Trust his religious sense. Myers.”
But, after 40 séances with Poole, Hamilton, concerned about the negative reaction to his research and his reputation, temporarily gave up his research of mediums.  Early in 1923, however, he had an impromptu sitting at which a message purportedly coming from William T. Stead said, “Go on with your work.  More ahead. Stead.”  Hamilton then resumed a weekly study of the Poole phenomena.  Over a five-year period (1923-27), he observed Mrs. Poole in 388 séances and observed 591 trance states containing 977 trance products of a purely mental nature.  In addition to Stead, author Robert Louis Stevenson and missionary-explorer David Livingstone were among the frequent communicators. 

Poole would go into a trance state and her hand would then begin writing.  “It seemed to be directed to one purpose only, that of setting down the script,” Hamilton recorded, referring to the writing as coming through in an extraordinarily blind sort of fashion. “But it was a blind and trusting automatism which assumed the cooperation of the observer. It displayed no awareness of the end of the paper, or of a broken pencil, or of the removal of the paper.  In all such cases the hand wrote steadily on, regardless of any circumstances which made the automatism valueless.  In order to facilitate such matters, the medium was supported in her chair and her arm was lifted at the end of each line and returned to the starting point on a fresh sheet of paper.”

Poole was semi-illiterate and lacking in spelling and basic grammar skills when writing consciously.  Hamilton was reasonably certain that she had never read any of the works of Stead, Stevenson, or Livingstone.  Yet, many details of their lives and published stories came through Poole’s trance writing.  While Hamilton, his wife Lillian, and others on the research team, had read some of their works, much of the information that was dictated was unknown to them and had to be verified by acquiring their books from various libraries.  Moreover, Hamilton noted that there were differences between the handwriting of the various trance intelligences.  In her normal state, Poole wrote slowly and with care, but in the trance state, under the influence of Stevenson, her hand wrote in a dashing, headlong, nervous style.  The Livingstone messages were written more slowly and with “manifest imperturbability.”  The Livingstone script was small and neat, Stead’s larger, while Stevenson’s was largest and roundest of all, “betraying more than the others (and particularly more than the medium’s own) that appearance which we call ‘cultivated’.”

The stream of memories and ideas from each communicator was well-defined and unmixed, Hamilton added. “Yet between the change from one dominating trance entity to the next, the medium made little stirrings and uneasy movements which were interpreted as her efforts to re-integrate herself,” he explained. “Though less marked, a similar effect was observed when there was a change of memory-topic by one of the communicators.”

Livingstone’s messages lacked the poetry and creativeness of Stevenson’s, and were more factual in content.  The messages included many tribal names and places encountered by Livingstone during his travels, most of which were unknown to the medium and sitters but later verified as part the Scottish explorer’s adventures.

Indications were that Stead, who had been very much interested in mediumship before he died in the Titanic disaster of 1912, was the director of the group of discarnates, who were cooperating with Hamilton and his group in their researches and that Stead had urged Stevenson and Livingston to present their memories in such a way as to indicate continuity of human personality and creative skill.  Moreover, Stead predicted the coming of a second medium whose powers would unite with those of Poole to produce materializations.”


The second medium was Mary Marshall, referred to in the scripts as “Dawn.”  She had displayed some psychic gifts as early as 1923, but did not begin to develop as a trance medium until 1928.  Mary’s sister-in-law, Susan Marshall, referred to as “Mercedes” in the records, also developed as a medium and was studied by the Hamilton group, which by this time consisted of Hamilton, his wife Lillian, his brother Dr. James Hamilton, and Dr. Bruce Chown, a professor of pediatrics who is remembered for his research of the Rh negative blood factor.  A fourth medium, a professional man who preferred not to be identified and was referred to as “Ewan” also contributed to the research.

Walter Stinson (“Walter”), the deceased brother of Boston medium Mina Crandon (“Margery”), claimed to be the primary control for Dawn, Mercedes, and Ewan, but “Katie King,” who manifested in the mediumship of Florence Cook nearly 60 years earlier, also controlled Mercedes, while “John King,” who had controlled Eusapia Palladino 30-40 years earlier, also controlled Ewan.

Dawn became known for her “teleplasms,” which were primarily strange two-dimensional manifestations similar to those obtained by Drs. Gustave Geley and Albert von-Schrenck-Notzing with the medium know as “Eva C.” in France. Ectoplasm, or teleplasm, as it was also called, flowed from an orifice of Dawn, after which faces would appear in the ectoplasm. Some of the faces, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, were familiar to the researchers.  As Geley had come to understand them, these were incomplete or fragmentary materializations as the medium was not powerful enough for the “spirits” to fully materialize. Hamilton was able to photograph many of these teleplasms.  According to Hamilton, Walter would signal when to take the picture.

“Five years, from 1928 to 1933, we gave to this study,” Hamilton wrote.  “Through all these stages unseen intelligences led us, directed us, co-operated with us, and did their best to maintain rigorous conditions of séance-technique – intelligences claiming to be the dead.  As are most investigators in the beginning, reluctant at first to face these most astounding agencies and their equally astounding claims, we were forced – if worthwhile phenomena were to be secured and made available for examination – to capitulate and to walk humbly before their greater knowledge in these matters. I make no apology for this state of affairs.”
 
On March 29, 1931, members of the research team witnessed an unusual phenomenon with Dawn. “For some ten minutes the pencil was heard moving across the sheets of paper,” Margaret Lillian Hamilton, Glen Hamilton’s daughter, recorded.  “While her hand wrote for some unknown communicator, ‘Walter’ spoke through her in his usual rather offhand and joking fashion.  The three medical men present, my father, his brother, Dr. J. A. Hamilton, and Dr. Bruce Chown, all expressed amazement at witnessing two streams of diverse thought emerging simultaneously through the single organism of the entranced automatist.”
 
In spite of the complete darkness, the writing was neat and within the margins and on the lines of the foolscap paper. The unsigned message read, in part:  “The spirit world is not far removed from the natural world.  In appearance the spirit world closely resembles the physical world; the similarity is too startling for you to believe.  The incarnate mind views spirit in the sense of intangibility as something like misty nothingness, when the truth is, spirit, to spiritual beings, is tangible and real. The spirit world, as we term it, is the abode of undeveloped spirits, those who have not long left the body, and those who, by the law of spirit life, have not yet risen to higher spheres by progression…”
 
After Hamilton’s death in 1935, his wife and daughter led the research circle, primarily with Dawn.  During 1943, Dr. Hamilton communicated a number of times.  “I see you, Lillian, as a spot of vivid light,” he told his wife during an August 1943 sitting, “but to me you seem tenuous.  It is the old question of adjusting to one’s environment.  At first I could not do it; at first I had trouble in learning to adjust the amount of energy necessary to each action; so little energy is required here.”
 

In a later sitting, Hamilton said that he had met John King, Robert Louis Stevenson, William T. Stead, Oliver Lodge and Mary Lodge and had seen Frederic W. H. Myers, Camille Flammarion, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Barrett, Rudyard Kipling, William Crookes, “and many others who have forgotten their names.”
In still a later communication, Hamilton said that he saw a group of people looking in the graves which contained the remains of their bodies.  “With some it is an obsession which they cannot get free from while a bit of flesh remains on the bones,” he said, “and that is why Walter and Spurgeon and R.L.S. (Stevenson) and the others wish it to be known that we do not die– only in the flesh.  The soul lives on and takes a new form.”

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow books.

Next blog post: June 6


Comments

John,

Thank you for your kind words. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone “just outside of New York” who is like-minded. I believe August Goforth lives in Manhattan and he might have some recommendations if you can find him in an internet search.  Best of luck in your search.

Michael Tymn, Fri 8 Jul, 08:34

Michael, I just finished listening to your podcast on the We don’t die radio show. It is so difficult to speak about these fascinating ideas with my christian friends, as they label everything as demonic. I think God gave me this intelligence and curiosity for a reason, and though we can never know all that is God, we can certainly continue to learn and marvel at creation. I am trying to find like minded people in my area near NYC. If you have any guidance in that, I would appreciate it. Your interview was amazing, and yes, I will buy your books. lol John

John Bruno, Thu 7 Jul, 19:03

Bill and Wendy,
Bill, I picked up on your The inner self of Andrew Jackson Davis is akin to an actor who played the role of Andrew Jackson Davis when alive. I believe I received a few words from this being,
Edgar Cayce always referred to entity with a number. I like that the entity who played Andrew Jackson Davis is still in contact. I get the less famous. My feeling was that this entity was a harbringer of truth. I suspect that there are organisations on the Other Side with various mission statements. I also suspect that these different organisations innovate in their methods.  Seth seems to be the energy entity - There are fields of energy set up and channels that open between various such environments, and communications can be made through these.
Now the question is are there entities (those who have spent time on Earth) and entities ( non-Earth timers). The answer would be yes. Which Other Side organisations employ non-Earth entities? Talk about diversity…

Wendy, thanks for the video link. I remember that you were doing your book launch in Sydney around 1997. I was at the Seven Hills Spiritualist Church and had my first book at the same time.
Bruce

Bruce Williams, Mon 6 Jun, 06:05

Bill,

Thanks for your additional thoughts and Seth quotes. It leaves much to ponder on.  As for retaining one’s individuality vs. one’s personality or one’s historic self, however we define the self that transitions, I confess that I struggle to wrap my brain around it and am content to accept the advice of Dr. Jung, that “if there is something we cannot know, we must necessarily abandon it as an intellectual problem.” At the same time, I recognize that the present self has lost much of the old self and has gained a little along the way.  I hope the losses and gains continue in much the same way.

Michael Tymn, Sun 5 Jun, 00:29

Michael:

Seth spoke of this many times, in different ways, as did many others.  I don’t claim to understand exactly what happens upon death, while even I did, I’m sure it would very difficult to explain in our words. Certainly it is a transition.

One of many examples from Seth:

“If you learn to know yourself as you are, and not simply as you seem to be, then you will become quite familiar with the part of yourself that does survive physical death.”

“You do not suddenly become a spirit. You are one.”

“It goes without saying that there is no other place in those terms, into which those who have survived physical death disappear.”

“There are indeed no physical places. There are the illusions. The psychological reality, the psychic reality, always forms it own environment. The divisions between various environments have nothing to do with space. There are fields of energy set up and channels that open between various such environments, and communications can be made through these.”

“Upon physical death you simply step out of the intense focus upon one self-constructed plane. You are released into a wider spectrum of activity. The mental and psychic energy which you have expended in the physical system does continue, to some varying degree, to sustain it. A lingering feeling allows those who have left your system to keep in contact with it if they so desire. I do not mean necessarily that in all cases communication will occur, but a psychic return can be made at will.”

From _The Early Sessions_, Volume 8. Session 396 March 4, 1968.

Elsewhere Seth uses the analogy of an actor.  Once the play or movie is over, the actor has no need to continue in the role he or she played.

Seth also spoke of a reversal of what he called the “inner self” and the “outer personality” after death, but at the core of Seth’s teachings is reality creation, which applies throughout creation, consistent with Edgar Cayce’s teachings concerning “thought is the maker.”

In addition, the “inner self” is a part of what Seth called “Entity” (”...the entity to some extent being man’s mediator with All That Is.”—from Session 586 in _Seth Speaks_) and aware of it.

Seemingly contradictory is Seth’s statement that “identity is inviolable.”

The inner self of Andrew Jackson Davis is akin to an actor who played the role of Andrew Jackson Davis when alive. I believe I received a few words from this being, clearly aware of its 1826-1910 Davis role, and look forward to getting more, in fact on exactly this question.

(I"m reading _The Magic Staff_—Davis’ first autobiography published when he was only 31—and got a copy of Maureen Lockhart’s _The Subtle Energy Body_—recommended by Eric, who contributed to it—but who knows when I’ll be able to read all of this, especially as I’ve promised to read my friend Ki Longfellow’s _The Illustrated Vivian Stanshall_, on a completely different topic, all of this in addition to so called “work.”)

Bill Ingle, Sat 4 Jun, 00:50

Thanks to all for the comments.  I’m traveling right now and unable to respond by using one finger only.  I’m not quite sure if I agree with Bill, but I’ll look forward to his further research.

Michael Tymn, Fri 27 May, 03:04

Thanks Wendy,
I was not aware of the information you provided. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 25 May, 13:25

Those were some impressive examples of autowriting—thanks, Michael.

What might Andrew Jackson Davis, despite protesting “There’s nothing left of me!” (if in fact it was he who said this to me not long ago), have to say, were he to have access to someone with solid autowriting skills?

(My understanding is that, strictly speaking, the egoic self, the historical personage, would not be the author, but rather whoever protested—the being Davis eventually became after his death—while “autotyping” using a computer keyboard is an option that wasn’t available to Davis or the mediums Hamilton worked with.)

I will be taking some time off this summer and fall and hope to explore this question.

My own skills are quite primitive.  I might be able to improve them if a traveling mesmerizer were to pass through these parts, but if not, I know some talented autotypers.

Bill Ingle, Tue 24 May, 17:31

Dear Mike,

What impresses me when I read matter I am unfamiliar with, as on this occasion, having been previously only scantily informed about Hamilton, is the large number of investigators, all applying the rigour of science to their investigations, during the 1920s and 1930s. I recall as a small child in a Christadelphian household, hearing derisory reference to “table turning” from my mother (my father almost totally silent, a heavy presence in the background) opposed by the dogmatism of their man-concocted dogma-laden religion system of joyless rules, supposedly imposed by God, so that salvation, if one managed to scrape through to receive it, would be a victory of terrified effort for three-score years and ten.

Despite all the difficulties the next world has in communicating with us, the evidence is far stronger than the rubbishy “proofs” of Christadelphian doctrine, based on verbal interpretations of Biblical texts (themselves translations!) that we were presented with as “God’s truth”. I am not surprised myself to realise that those very same difficult communications, when successful, seem to be the result of exactly the “mechanism” (though that’s not the right word) that would be operating if two universes conTIGUOUS and interpenetrating, but not normally in communication, did, for a tiny volume of space-time, manage to overlap, just as I have been repeating for a couple of years or more, and being ignored by almost everyone. Salvation is not a matter of man-devised “religion”, doctrines, and textual exegesis, but a matter of science with ethics.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 24 May, 08:56

Thanks Michael you have done a sensational job summarising so much in a short space.

There are two fascinating postscripts to the work of Dr. Glen Hamilton, his wife, Lilian, and daughter, Margaret.

1) Dr. Hamilton died suddenly from a heart attack in 1935. His first thought on opening his eyes there was to have the person who met him - Walter Stinson, the leader of his circle in spirit - take him to see what his seance room looked like from the spirit-side. Dr. Hamilton’s wife Lillian claimed that she heard the voices of two people coming through a loudspeaker in the locked seance room less than an hour after Dr. Hamilton had died. He continued to communicate regularly with his circle members in the years that followed.

2) Between 1999 and 2004 (some 64 years after his death) Dr. Hamilton communicated through four different physical mediums in twenty seances over five years. One of those attending these seances was Walter Falk, a retired teacher who had begun participating in physical circles in Winnipeg following the death of his wife. Intrigued by the communications, in 2004 Falk made his way to the University of Manitoba and asked to see the Hamilton files. He was astonished at what he found. Over the next six years, he photographed the entire collection (about 5,000 images), transferred them onto CD, and transcribed the notes into a document more than a thousand pages long. He also created a video in 8 parts that can now be found on Youtube.

In Parts 7 and 8 of Walter Falk’s videos he reads from the diaries of Lilian and Margaret Hamilton on how Dr. Glen Hamilton communicated after death and described conditions on the other side.

Wendy Zammit, Mon 23 May, 23:41

Another wonderful interesting article from this exellent publication,keep up the great work.

John OCallaghan, Mon 23 May, 23:18

Very interesting, Michael…

Hamilton and his colleagues are brand-new to me…my thanks. It’s noteworthy that the field was not so far beyond-the-pale at that time, that medical people couldn’t take some degree of interest in it without losing all respectability…

Don Porteous, Mon 23 May, 20:33


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The Orpheus Motif in North America: The Comanche tradition – To give the reader a general idea of the form taken by the Orpheus tradition in North America, I reproduce the version of the Comanche Indians, here published for the first time. It was communicated to me orally by the late Dr Ralph Linton, who noted it down in the course of his field-studies among the Comanche (1933). Particular interest attaches to the Comanche narrative, for it is the first recorded Orpheus tradition from the more easterly Shoshonean groups. No account is given of it in Wallace and Hoebel’s Comanche monograph, which is otherwise a valuable source for the religion and folklore of this tribe. Read here
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