Rick, QM is short for quantum mechanics, the older and IMHO more accurate term for quantum physics, often referred to as QP.
Newton E. Finn, Mon 16 Aug, 14:07
If I were a Las Vegas oddsmaker, I would put the odds on Patience Worth as follows:
1. Pearl Curran was a brilliant woman, a high-level genius, who made up the Patience Worth character in what was a gigantic hoax intended to gain fame and money. 20,000 to 1.
2. Patience Worth was a secondary personality surfacing from Pearl Curran’s subconscious expressing knowledge and wisdom absorbed by Pearl Curran during her lifetime. 10,000 to 1.
3. Pearl Curran was indeed a medium, but the communication was all from devious spirits intent on deceiving gullible humans. 50,000 to 1.
4. Patience Worth was, in fact, a discarnate being or a group soul of some kind able to communicate through Curran, 1 to 2.
5.Pearl Curran was an alien being or influenced by aliens. 1,000 to 1.
6. An explanation not yet considered by humans and not included in any of the first five above. 10 to 1.
Minimum bet US$2. You don’t get to collect until you at full consciousness on the other side.
Michael Tymn, Sun 15 Aug, 22:25
Thanks for your response to my comment in response to Newton Finn in response to ... we’ve come a long way in this thread from the levitation question, what?
To reiterate, I was not slagging Patience’s / Pearl’s writing in general; I said it “wildly varied in quality—from extravagantly rich and beautiful to humdrum doggerel.”
You make an interesting point in saying, “I would like to add that Shakespeare’s plays were not spontaneous creations as were the writings of Patience Worth.” We have no original handwritten manuscripts of “Shakespeare’s” plays and poems, but if we did they would surely indicate that he went through the same idea-and-revision process of any good author. Nevertheless, while Pearl’s transmissions of Patience’s writings were spontaneous, that isn’t necessarily true for Patience. Who can say that she didn’t spend laborious hours (in the timelessness of the other side) creating her oeuvre?
That’s a minor issue compared with P / P having given us some spectacularly impressive writing. Especially, as you note, when the historical content seems accurate and way beyond Pearl’s knowledge. This is a deservedly a classic case in the history of mediumship.
I am glad to read that “The Joy of Living” has been inspirational for you at a troubled time. You need make no apologies for that.
Respectfully, though, it seems to me like the poem could have been written by “an American woman from the Midwest with barely an eighth-grade education.” That’s a literary opinion, not a religious or philosophical one.
What is QM (“modern metaphysical musing associated with QM”?
Rick Darby, Sun 15 Aug, 21:04
Of course, as well as using our own intelligence there are also instances of unambiguous guidance and implied approval, as when, decades ago, a staccato voice in my head told me “Go along Stanley Road at eleven o’clock.” which I did, and what was prayed for actually happened. I suppose I have to wonder what evokes a command so specific to ask for the miracle. Surely the love of God for his sub-microscopic bipeds.
Here’s a clue. I had asked the little miracle, and mentioned its possibility to my 4 year old son BEFORE it happened BECAUSE I could not shift the conviction that I should speak in that very seemingly-presumptuous way. And, having thus “promised” the child a miracle, or at least led him to expect one, I begged God not to make him an unbeliever by not granting that little miracle. Two gifts for one request, one for me, one for my son. BUT even the request had been virtually commanded by God, so not really any Boy Scout gold stars for me. Everything is IN God and OF God. There is no ultimate evil. Reassuring. But all done by Him/Her. Perhaps we can all rest assured, so long as we are honest and humble.
Eric Franklin, Sun 15 Aug, 20:27
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 15 Aug, 17:09
Good Sunday, August 15th post. - AOD
One of the difficult things to rationalize about “The Sorry Tale”, a novel written by Pearl Curran from dictation of Patience Worth and detailing events at the time of Jesus is understanding how Pearl Curran would know about names of that period of time. For example, in “The Sorry Tale” Patience Worth used names of characters appropriate to their race, culture and country of origin. She apparently knew the ethnic names of people living in ancient Greece, Rome, India and people of the desert. I think it may have been Casper Yost who pointed this out in Walter Franklin Prince’s book “The Case of Patience Worth”. Now how would Pearl Curran know this? She had not researched and studied anything about the ancient history of these countries and people. I don’t care how good a writer one is, these correlations just don’t pop into one’s mind without serious study of the cultures and with reference materials close at hand, none of which were available to Pearl Curran. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 15 Aug, 16:13
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 15 Aug, 15:42
I would like to add that Shakespeare’s plays were not spontaneous creations as were the writings of Patience Worth. His plays could be, and probably were reworked at every show. It could be that even actors would, improvise, revise and massage their lines to their own liking and after a multitude of presentations a final version was agreed upon by everyone. (I doubt that every actor at the time had a written copy of the play for their lines.) I think that while the actual writing process of Pearl Curran was witnessed by many people, there is no similar documentation about the actual writing process of “William Shakespeare”. Reportedly Pearl Curran’s writing from “Patience Worth” came as a whole piece without revisions although, obviously there was parsing and punctuation by those in her intimate circle of friends. Contrary to what is often said about there being no revisions of the Patience Worth writing, Patience Worth did revise some of her writing and occasionally threw out failed beginnings of some poems and started over again. She at times did take suggestions from those in attendance for additions or revisions to some lines of writing. - AOD
Ah Rick. Of course not every word out of the mouth of Pearl Curran or Patience Worth was a gem. No creative person creates a masterpiece with every effort. But I think that one has to consider the situation in which Patience Worth communicated. Often poems she communicated were for a specific person addressing problems in their life and not meant to be saved for posterity. She communicated at times like a living person just jibber-jabbering with her friends and at times trying to console them.
Some people try to compare her with Shakespeare but I think that is a false comparison. Shakespeare, if he really wrote what is attributed to him, was sometimes abstruse and probably produced doggerel as you say Patience Worth did. Patience Worth did dictate a play in the style of Shakespeare about Shakespeare’s life as a very young man called “The Elizabethan Mask” in which she made a very good effort to mimic Shakespeare’s writing style which was quite dissimilar to anything else she wrote, although it could be that as a late product of Pearl Curran she may have been helped by the well educated men who assisted in editing and directing the writing at that time. I think it would be a good challenge for any writer to do the same as Pearl Curran did with that play. One must remember that Pearl Curran had an eighth-grade education, never read Shakespeare and said that a couple of his plays her mother took her to bored her. I think it is inappropriate to compare Patience Worth with Shakespeare. Both writers should be taken for whatever they offered. Each was unique in what they produced. Why is there a need to make that comparison? Is it done with every other writer of note? Is “Shakespeare” the standard of excellence that every other writer should strive to attain? And, how can one compete with a possible bevy of well-educated men who might have written the Shakespeare plays?
I think your Shakespeare selection for comparison could have been more in keeping with the selection that Newton chose. Had space allowed, there are several longer Patience Worth selections which could be more appropriately compared with some selection from Shakespeare but what is the point of the comparison? The beauty of the writing of Patience Worth is that she doesn’t need long monologues to get her point across; no pompous grandstanding, just simple language that chimes with the heart.
One of the reasons why I suggest that people read all (meaning as much as they can tolerate) of the writing of Patience Worth is that its variability in language and style and quality suggests a source superior to the mind, conscious or otherwise of Pearl Curran. Michael Tymn at one time suggested that the source of the Patience Worth material might be similar to the material attributed to “Imperator’, that is, it was from a group of spirits rather than from just one. I don’t know but I prefer to think it was from one source. But I have considered that perhaps the writing was from the “Group Soul” of Pearl Curran from which past personalities were called upon for information. Some of Patience Worth’s writing seems to come from someone who actually lived in the times Pearl Curran wrote about, “The Sorry Tale” in particular provides an example of information about a period of time 2,000 years ago or more that would be extremely difficult for anyone to know without years and years of deep research and study. It is in the compendium of writing and information that Patience Worth/Pearl Curran provided that suggests a paranormal source. What explanation is there that would apply to Pearl Curran, an American woman from the Midwest with barely an eighth-grade education who, with a couple of exceptions had never traveled beyond the Midwest and had no experience, actual or through study, with ancient middle eastern regions, religions or people. One had to live then and there to know without extensive research and study. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doylea, Sun 15 Aug, 15:01
Rick: Shakespeare’s work, like that of any author from great to mediocre, varies in quality. No, the little poem I quoted is not Shakespearean in its literary character. But much of Patience’s literature does rise to the level of the sublime, as was recognized by more than one esteemed literary critic contemporary with its production. “The Joy of Living” was shared merely because it spoke so forcefully to me, as I hoped it might speak to others. I suspect what’s off-putting about it for some (not necessarily for you), along with much of what Patience (and Imperator) have to say, is the constant passionate praise of an intensely personal God, an elevated conception of the traditional Jewish/Christian/Islamic deity stripped of anthropomorphic caprice and cruelty. There is a tendency in much of spiritualism (and also in modern metaphysical musing associated with QM), to move “religiously” in more of an Eastern direction, away from an emphasis on such a God to consciousness in general or to the afterlife awaiting us (and, I believe, all living things). Michael is considering a post on this subject, which he’s indicated will take a view opposite from mine, and that will provide an opportunity for me to engage further—and yes, passionately—with this subject so vital to my thinking and dear to my heart.
Newton E. Finn, Sun 15 Aug, 15:00
There is a theoretical notion that is very very hard to define in words, that I have had in mind for some months, hesitating to attempt the expression of it, a notion that bears on the matter of the source and genuineness of mediumistic utterances.
I shall attempt to be succinct, and make this as brief as I can. The Great Being, (ie the all-aware Power Whom we call God) CONTAINS all. One therefore concludes that, in the long view, in its final effects, nothing is or can be evil. Therefore all mediumistic utterances, coming from, or via, whatsoever source within that All, whatsoever conscious spirit, honest or not, can be taken as a genuine revelation. A revelation OF WHAT is then the question. There is such a thing as a genuine expression of a deliberate lie. I think the PURPOSE of the utterance is the arbiter for us humans. We have to “test the spirits, whether they be of God”. The God of the age that recorded that advice (John the Divine wrote it) was still a smallish humanoid fancy such as Imperator acknowledges, adequate for its own age, but not now.
So, as Imperator also tells us, it is up to our own judgement, our own ethical sensitivity, our own courage to THINK taken into our own hands. We should not shirk the moral responsibility. I find that a bit frightening, but, again, Imperator assures us, we will be given credit for using our own intellectual capacity fully and courageously, even if we eventually find ourselves sincerely uttering error. We are still in God (Tat twam asi, Thou art THAT), but our honesty must be perfect.
Difficult. I don’t know whether i’ve solved the dilemma, or whether I’ve described it well, but Imperator seems to assure us that our frailty of thought is forgiven if we are truly honest, and use our full intellectual capacity, and our trust. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof, and sufficient in the age we live in is our thought, so long as it is fully and honestly used.
Eric Franklin, Sun 15 Aug, 12:05
Let us not quibble over words (which I have an unfortunate propensity to do), but the following observations of Stainton Moses, found in “More Spirit Teachings,” would seem to bolster Eric’s latest contributions. “Imperator let me go through all the physical mediumship, predicting its cessation when no longer required. Then the writing, then the voice, then the face to face communing which I sometimes enjoy. Lastly, what he calls normal as distinguished from abnormal mediumship, which I take it is that sometimes called inspirational….. Spiritual power may be that of a spirit in or out of a body…. We find the great motive power of spirit in man is the Will. It is the great energising power. Another potent faculty is the Imagination.”
Newton E. Finn, Sat 14 Aug, 21:05
I am glad to hear that you have read “The Case of Patience Worth” by Walter Franklin Prince. To receive the imprimatur of Dr. Prince was quite an accomplishment for Pearl Curran (and Patience Worth) as Dr. Prince, when called to investigate a case related to the paranormal, often did not provide the validation that was sought by its promoters. Dr. Prince was a careful investigator, an Episcopalian minister and psychologist who had investigated many people including Mina Crandon (“Margery”) whom he did not endorse. He was recognized for his detailed and prolonged study of the “Doris Fisher” case of Multiple Personality Disorder. (He later adopted the subject of that case.) Interestingly, Dr. MORTON Prince, sometimes confused with Dr. Walter Prince, reported at about the same time on a similar case, the “Sally Beauchamp” case of Multiple Personality Disorder, and had a disastrous meeting with Pearl Curran whom he intended to discredit because she refused to be hypnotized by him. He claimed that hypnosis would reveal the true source of Pearl Curran’s muse (thought to be her subconscious mind).
It is because of the year-long case study of Pearl Curran by Dr. Walter Franklin Prince that much of the information about her was documented and poetry of Patience Worth remains today available for review and consideration.
Thanks to Casper Yost, Herman Behr and Dr. Prince for recognizing the significance of the Patience Worth case as it relates to survival of the human consciousness after death of the physical form. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 14 Aug, 19:43
I agree that the Pearl Curran / Patience Worth case is striking evidence, though not proof, of spirit communication. “Patience’s” literary output I’ve read, though, seems to me wildly varied in quality—from extravagantly rich and beautiful to humdrum doggerel.
Do you really think “The Joy of Living” you quoted is Shakespearian? Compare Sonnet 146 by “Shakespeare” (whoever the real author was):
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Rick Darby, Sat 14 Aug, 19:28
Why feed’st these rebel powers that thee array?
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?
Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And, Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.
My point is simply the scientific and philosophical point that if two events are carefully observed and are found to be of the same nature they are not likely to arise from two different causes. This is what philosophers call “Occam’s Razor”, namely the principle of research and thought that we should never postulate, ad hoc, a new ‘cause’ additonal to those we have already recognised, but acknowledge that events of clearly similar type are to be regarded as arising from the same cause unless there is a logically convincing reason to distinguish two different processes of causation at work despite the observed similarity of the events. By this reasoning, single isolated experiences of guidance such as we all seem to have by “sleepiing on” problems and finding the answer in our consciousnesses the next morning will be from the same ‘mechanism’ as the frequent revelations inexplicably but convincingly arising in the mind of mediums giving sittings.
It is a scientific point, a suggested explanation and categorisation of a phenomenon. It is to say that my occasional enlightenment regarding a problem is a single instance of what some other people experience so frequently that they are known as ‘Mediums’. No more, no less. And I believe therefore, that many of us are very occasional mediums. No more, no less. I think it is unarguably the case that we humans have the potential to receive guidance from spirit worlds, but that potential is sometimes, in most people always, nullified by scepticism.
Eric Franklin, Sat 14 Aug, 18:41
AOD has repeatedly expressed, for to me a good reason, why his belief in spiritualism, at least in his darkest moments, hangs from the slender thread of Patience Worth. Nowhere in spiritualist literature is there anything even remotely close to the quality of what purportedly came via a voice from the other side, and came through a vessel so seemingly incapable of saying it on her own. AOD insisted that I read Walter Franklin Prince’s book on Patience before I said much about her, and having complied (after reading Casper Yost’s much shorter but also valuable book), I know why he was so insistent. Prince ends his exhaustive analysis of “The Case of Patience Worth” with a simple, direct, inarguable statement, to the effect that either the human subconscious is so utterly mysterious and extraordinary that we have no idea of who we really are, OR an extremely elevated spirit, with Shakespearean ability, spoke to us for over two decades through an ordinary housewife with an 8th grade education. This is as clear an “either-or” as it can get, the voluminous literature being what it is and its method of production a longstanding matter of public record. So let me offer another short example of Patience’s poetry, one which has special significance for me and, I’m sure, for many others who have done their best, over a lifetime, to swim against the current.
The Joy of Living
Make me a fellow, a pawn beneath Thy hand.
Newton E. Finn, Sat 14 Aug, 16:16
This is Thy game, and I am an atom in the great,
Move me! Slay me! Use me! Let me fall!
What is this? This is Thy game and I Thy pawn.
Yes Amos, that too. There is only the condition of willing to absorb the inspiration or knowledge. It’s up to the free will of the hihger self/human.
Chris De Cat, Sat 14 Aug, 10:16
As we have previously discussed, the question is how all that “information” got in Pearl Curran’s mind in the first place. I believe that the materialists hold that it had to have entered through the consciousness at some point in her life. The same with the medium in the Glastonbury Scripts case. If it was a fanciful story created by his subconscious, that doesn’t explain how all the information made it into his subconscious in the first place, especially in those places where Bligh Bond was told exactly where to dig and it turned out to be correct.
I agree with you relative to the PSI Encyclopedia. There is too much of an attempt to “balance” the good evidence with materialistic theories that “might” explain it. Most of my entries have been edited to add such theories that aren’t worth considering. Apparently, the SPR still has many members who reject the spirit hypothesis and insist upon more “balance.” Stainton Moses, Doyle, and Admiral Usborne Moore all resigned from the SPR because of that attitude. If you don’t balance things 50/50, then you are considered a propagandist.
Michael Tymn, Fri 13 Aug, 22:29
I agree. See the last paragraph of my comment of August 3, which read:
“Of course, it may have been that Moses’s “Higher Self” was part of the Imperator Band of 49 and this Higher Self was simply using the Lower Self.”
Michael Tymn, Fri 13 Aug, 21:30
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 13 Aug, 19:02
I like your idea that information is coming from one’s Higher Self, drawing on previous incarnations and combining it with “others behind the veil”. I would add that information from the medium’s conscious and subconscious mind might also be part of the mix. - AOD
What if inspiration comes partly from the Higher self who is connected with the human on Earth. The higher self can get its knowledge from its former incarnations combined with knowledge from others behind the veil. The other part can come from the experiences of the human combined with the knowledge he learned from others being on earth…if everything is connected ,wouldn’t this be an ideal scenario? And than I ask myself : is it important where the knowledge comes from? Isn’t the knowledge itself the most important thing? If we get messages and there are accepted by our common sense, doesn’t that validate the information better than where it is originated?
chris, Fri 13 Aug, 17:39
For those interested in following the thought expressed in my prior comment that there is often a similarity between “spirits” who speak to us from this world and those who speak to us from the next, there’s a short book available on the Kindle, by Gustav Fechner, called “The Little Book of Life After Death.” William James thought enough of this little book to write a preface for it and praised the now-forgotten Fechner in some of his other writings. I suspect that many who follow this blog would resonate with Fechner’s unusual take on things both physical and spiritual.
Newton E. Finn, Fri 13 Aug, 14:55
“Since science does not recognize spirit influence, it is not a consideration.” That is why I believe that the “Patience Worth” case is the one case for which subconscious influence of the medium can be ruled out. Of course one has to consider the available documentation of the case and read most or all of the material produced by the medium, Pearl Curran. Most people today don’t want to do that. That is the one case that keeps me as a believer in a spirit existence. - AOD
(Thanks Michael for your contributions to PSI Encyclopedia but for the most part that site, for many reasons, has become a disappointment for me.)
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 13 Aug, 13:54
Although I’m not sure I would refer to everyone having “mediumistic” ability, since that suggests that they are intermediaries of some kind, I agree with what you have said. As Imperator put it, “Spirit influence has more to do with our lives that we imagine.”(page 44 of “More Spirit Teachings”)
I contributed an essay on the Glastonbury Scripts to the SPR’s “PSI Encyclopedia” some years ago. I just happened to read it two nights ago and noted that the editor added a little more to the materialistic side of the story. He strives for more “balance” of the spiritual and material than I see warranted or necessary. He gave the final word to one G. M. Lambert, who theorized that the scripts were all created by the medium’s subconscious in a fanciful way. Lambert says that such subconscious weaving of stories has been reported in other cases, although none is cited. What Lambert does not consider is that the “other cases” may also have been the result of spirit influence. Since science does not recognize spirit influence, it is not a consideration. Thus, there is no “winning” against such reasoning.
I might discuss the Glastonbury case a little more in a future blog. Have you been to the Glastonbury ruins?
Michael Tymn, Fri 13 Aug, 03:33
Yes, Eric, I agree (if I get your drift) that the line is thin between spirits who speak to us from the other side and spirits who speak to us from this one. Let me push the thought beyond dreams and moments of inspiration. Through their writings, the spirits of Soren Kierkegaard and Teilhard de Chardin (two very different spirits) guided me from youth to old age. Now, as a geezer, my this-world guidance, again through writings, comes primarily from Albert Schweitzer and Edward Bellamy. And I’ve come to see that what the voices from this side of the veil were/are telling me blend beautifully with what I’ve now come to hear from Imperator, Patience Worth, and many other spirits who commune with us from the spirit world. The fundamental message IMHO is that it’s how we live this life, on this side, that is of crucial and decisive importance for the larger, fuller life that lies ahead. WAY down the list from this daily grind of doing, from this struggle to live with compassion and courage even when—especially when—our strength fails, is the figuring out, as if we could, of how everything in the here and hereafter fits together.
Newton E. Finn, Thu 12 Aug, 20:26
The discussion, this blog, has remained mainly pertinent to the blog’s subject, levitation. But levitation is one of a range of phenomena, so a more general observation is not necessarily out of place. In re-reading Stainton Moses’ Spirit Teachings I have found in my mind the thought that, as one supplicates assistance by speaking often to the higher Beings who moderate and guide lower Beings such as our human selves we receive guiding inspirations during sleep and at other moments. Many of us experience this at least from time to time. It happens more often, Moses tells us, writing the words of Imperator, than we ever think the case. The thought I have increasingly is that this makes us, to some small degree, mediums ourselves. The receipt of guidance is perhaps the beginning of mediumship in a fuller sense, on the same spectrum of effects. That, if I am right, is a gift worth cherishing, a precious communion, perhaps even a harbinger of greater inspirations to come. When we receive help and especially any kind of verbal direction from Above, we are, to a small degree, mediums, are we not? Or, if you like, Old Testament prophets hoping, today, to walk more nearly still to the source of life as that is more clearly revealed in Yahshua’s higher ethics.
Eric Franklin, Thu 12 Aug, 07:47
Bless you, Eric, for speaking the truth as you have come to (been led to) see it. I also am largely in with both feet on Imperator’s version of Christianity, a word which has become difficult for me to utter (as a clergyman, yet) without dropping my eyes in light of the checkered history of the church and much of its sorry current condition. Which does not mean or even intimate for a moment that this spiritualist version of Christianity is the only way to move toward God, the only path up the mountain. Imperator is crystal clear about this, as is Jesus. Paths abound so long as there is purity of heart, and “many will come from east and west, north and south, and sit at the table with Abraham in the Kingdom of Heaven.” And lastly, Eric, thank you for observing that this spiritualist quest is serious business to be undertaken with reverence—this thing that Jesus called “fishing for men.”
Newton E. Finn, Mon 9 Aug, 12:39
I am re-reading Spirit Teachings, and with my permanent mind-set, with its emphasis on ethics.
I believe no-one should be other than serious about the whole field of spirituality. It has to do with God, who is the same Great All by any other of the available inadequate names that humans have invented. We must, surely, be infinitely passive, receptive, willing to learn. Spirituality is not an entertainment but an invitation to faith (trust) with evidence. Our ultimate fate, our far future life, is involved. How can we ever be even playful, let alone flippant?
Sections 9 and following of Spirit Teachings are hugely impressive, and seem totally rational, unarguably true, even though, as Newton said a few days ago, definitely phrased partly by or through Stainton Moses’ own mind. Moses stresses his passivity, and Imperator requires and uses that passivity, and the result seems to survive all testing by careful logical thought. The result is a version of Christianity that I can accept, after forty years away, without false claims for Yahshua and trinitarianism, and without the relics of disgusting blood sacrifice such as present-day Spanish cruelties perpetuate.
I feel we have to open our hearts to the highest spirits who can communicate down to our world, and equally strongly eschew those lower spirits who seem merely to want to amuse us or themselves. I find I am choosing this day whom I will serve, which phraseology Newton and some others will recognise as from the Old Testament. But it is in an unfamiliar blood-free way that we must apply it. We must, I think, cleanse the polluted story we have been taught from childhood. It does not ring true, and even as a child I found it murky and distasteful. Now, seventy years later, I think I am realising why, and have the courage to make a rapprochement but with the new, clean version that Moses penned. In the sections from 9 onwards I think Stainton Moses and his higher guides present the best of spirituality, because it contains so high a proportion of ethics, and I shall complete my rereading of Spirit Teachings in preference to almost all other writing I have seen.
Eric Franklin, Sun 8 Aug, 21:57
I think we agree relative to ranking mediums, but the point of my analogy, i.e., D. D. Home is to mediumship as Babe Ruth is to baseball, was not to grade them, simply to point out the degrees or wide range of ability. So many debunkers have argued that darkness is a shield for fraud, and all I was saying is that just because D. D. Home could produce in lighted conditions does not mean that all mediums can produce in lighted conditions. Just because some humans can run a mile under four minutes, does mean all humans can do so. Actually, the average college student will take about 8-9 minutes to “run” a mile.
Michael Tymn, Sun 8 Aug, 20:18
Babe Ruth happened to be physically gifted with strong wrists, forearms, fast-twitch muscle fibers, and whatever else it takes to hit a baseball. He was otherwise known to be lacking in certain character traits, definitely not a model human being. Home apparently had the ability to produce large amounts of odic force, or whatever name we give to the force mediums produce to permit the spirit world to manifest. He also had his character flaws.
In accord with the gist of this blog post, I’m leery about “ranking” mediums (even in Michael’s light-hearted way) in light of the effects which manifested in their presence. From what I’ve gleaned, mediums are not necessarily elevated beings in terms of human qualities or ethical behavior. Some even seem to be on the shady side. And if mediums are indeed being levitated rather than levitating themselves, are they not best viewed as purely passive instruments, passive enough to be occupied and used by the spirit world? I would go so far as to say that the personality or character of a medium is largely irrelevant to the manifestations which come through him or her, that mediums are best thought of impersonally as Celtic “thin spaces”, and that the only proper ranking of them would involve how “thin” or passive they could get. Accordingly, the “greatest” medium would not be equivalent to Babe Ruth but to the baseball player who couldn’t make any kind of contact with the ball, couldn’t even see it, on his or her own.
Newton E. Finn, Sun 8 Aug, 14:33
Seeing the comment below by C. M. Mayo reminded me of her very intriguing book about Francisco Madero, former president of Mexico, as told in her book, “Metaphysical Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution.” See my blog of March 7, 2016 in the archives at left for a discussion of this story.
To quote Madero: “As for the less evolved spirits who comprise the great majority of the earth’s inhabitants, for the most part they live without thinking of eternal life, ignoring the objective for which they have come into this world. For such people, evolution is more difficult than for those who know the destinies of the soul beyond death and the reason for incarnation.”
Michael Tymn, Sat 7 Aug, 03:01
Michael, I’m delighted that you’ve decided to read “Through a Glass Darkly.” I liked the book so much I just read it again and will no doubt revisit it so long as I hang around trying to peer through that damn glass. Seems like many of us here are dangling on a slender thread—old and ailing, yet still thinking, still seeking—which makes it all the more wonderful that you’ve given us this vessel on which we can sail together into the sunset.
Newton E. Finn, Fri 6 Aug, 15:03
Thanks for the book recommendation. I just ordered a copy. Strangely, there are five or six different books with that same title, but I eventually found the right one. I look forward to reading it. Based on your comments, I am beginning to regret not reading Don’s manuscript. He may have sent it to me, but I can’t read manuscripts sitting at my desk-top computer. My desk-sitting time is limited due to a blood-clotting problem in my leg. I had to pass on my son-in-law’s 60th birthday bash recently because it was at a Japanese restaurant, where you have to sit on the floor, something my right leg won’t permit. Such is my endurance at age 84. Eric is not quite there, but he is not far behind me and I wish him the best on whatever he is now dealing with.
Michael Tymn, Fri 6 Aug, 03:52
Rick asked about photograph evidence of levitations and an email correspondent suggested that the darkness required by David Thompson is evidence that it was a trick of some kind.
I’ve addressed the second issue many times at this blog over the years, but the debunkers always ignore it. They suggest that if one medium, e.g. Home, can be levitated under lighted conditions, then all should be able to do so. It is my understanding that mediums have different degrees of development or odic power, whatever name is given to it. D. D. Home was powerful enough to resist light to some extent, although the phenomena were much better with darkness. He was to mediumship what Babe Ruth was to baseball. A few others could produce (or the spirits could produce using their odic force) with a little light and some could produce with red light, but the majority required complete darkness.
Those who could produce in red light might be likened to all-stars in baseball, but not necessarily Hall of Fame quality, like Ruth, while those who required total darkness were more average in their ability, i.e., not strong enough or not developed enough. There are apparently as many degrees of mediumship as there are degrees of skill in sports.
The experience of American gymnastic great Simone Biles in the current Olympic Games might be likened to outstanding mediums who had their off days. Biles apparently started giving too much thought to what otherwise came naturally to her and therefore she lost her natural rhythm and “failed” in her efforts. Many baseball players have said that when they “try” to hit home runs, they strike out. It’s when they just try to make contact with the ball, no extra effort given to it, that they hit the homers.
I gather that the flash required in photography to provide proper light would be injurious to the medium and that’s why we have no real photograph evidence of levitations. I am aware of one such photograph of a “medium” named Zuccarini, but it is not very convincing, as it appears that the photo simply caught him in the act of jumping. It may have been a real levitation, but the photo is certainly not evidence of it.
Michael Tymn, Fri 6 Aug, 02:30
I would like to commend to everyone’s notice what Newton says in his comment of 3 August. If what he explains is unfamiliar, it’s well worth the effort of re-reading until one grasps it. Note that the “collapse” he refers to is the process of what the physicist would, loosely, call ‘radiation’ “settling down” into “static, solid” matter.
Newton has a broad and deep vision of how physics illustrates the universe around us, the one We, our TRUE essences, look out upon throughout our Earth lives. Those real Essences, our real selves, our Conscious Presences, are not part of that ‘world’, that material cosmos, but are of another universe, dispersed through our familiar low material cosmos, IN it while NOT OF it. The teachings of Yahshua and of physical science converge. But the Church is far behind, mired in its own simplistic ignorance-plus-arrogance, and we need, all of us, to purge unsupportable dogmas out of our spirituality.
And we should take respectful notice of Yvonne’s voice of EXPERIENCE when she tells us that Home WAS lifted by SPIRIT-world citizens. Since his real Being was already in their world they simply came over to him, picked him up, complete with his then disentangleable material body, and lifted the whole ensemble. Easy (for them). He is, of course, well rid of his body these days, and living THEIR spirit life to the full, unhampered.
Eric Franklin, Thu 5 Aug, 08:21
I have little doubt that Stainton Moses’ subliminal consciousness colored, to a considerable extent, his messages from Imperator & Co., because IMHO (and that of Myers) the deeper levels of human personality color virtually ALL spirit messages, be they verbal or physical. Thus the need for discernment, the necessity that each of us who take this stuff seriously employ our reason to filter out chaff and avoid credulity. By the way, I just finished a most unusual book that I can’t recommend highly enough to Michael’s readers, a riveting biography of Arthur Conan Doyle and an “objective” yet sympathetic history of spiritualism beautifully blended into “Through a Glass Darkly” by authors Bechtel and Stains. This book now joins those of Michael’s (one of which the authors draw upon), “Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death,” “Spirit Teachings,” and the poetry of Patience Worth as my all-time favorites in spiritualist literature—the wheat which remains after the chaff, as I have reasoned it out for me personally, has been blown away.
Newton E. Finn, Wed 4 Aug, 18:32
I would like to add something that itself may be an inspiration from the Elsewhere Above, to what I wrote earlier. I have never crystallised the thought of it as firmly as I do now, after a very necessary afternoon nap-amidst-stress. Perhaps this new very simple thought is inspired, like one or two earlier ‘thoughts’ I have share on Mike’s blogs (eg the one that came at the top of a stepladder while doing a mundane task - remember?). I said, earlier today, that our own Being-there as it is RIGHT NOW, embodied, our conscious existence as a Self, is not even in our universe, but only interspersed through it. Grasped that? Good, so far, then. The soul is not even IN the physical world around us.
The new thought, so obvious, but which, being a bit dumb, I have never ‘seen’ before, is this: Our present Being-there, our conscious Self, our real kernel of livingness, IS IN THE WORLD OF THOSE BEINGS WHO OCCASIONALLY LEVITATE US. All THEY have to do is walk in their own world invisibly among us, as we believe they already do, at a séance or wherever the levitation is going to be done, pick us up and float THROUGH the other sitters and plonk us down on some convenient table at the other end of the room. The levitated real person, the embodied soul, is, like all of us, already in the Above-world, in the upper world of livingness. Already there. Always has been, from birth, perhaps even earlier. The body is a mere thing, not a Being-THERE. All the levitators have to achieve, using the higher powers of their own world, is what war victims found they could not achieve, namely carry on as they were doing moments before their deaths. But they have the power to manipulate our matter-world, and in levitating people they use that top-down power.
When we get to that world we do not INSTANTLY have its greater powers at our disposal, but must learn to use them, and then, in theory, we could be the levitators of a modern-day Dunglas Home. HIS REAL ESSENCE IS in our world already: We just pick him up and carry him. Got the idea? If not, do not think me a laughable fool - THINK IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES. Please. “My” ideas may just be inspired by the world above.
It’s difficult to write a single comment for BOTH fellow minds who read Mike’s blogs and for sceptics among us without unacceptable phraseology.
Phone ringing . . . Will the above explanation serve? Think it out. See what I mean. It may be right.
Eric Franklin, Wed 4 Aug, 17:58
Thank you for this interested and well-research blog post. You write, “it’s all too much for most people to take in.” I’d say. And I think that describes resistance to a good number of things, both common and esoteric, in this world, in addition to levitation.
I often wonder if it isn’t the case that many people have experienced some instance(s) of levitation themselves, but then because “it’s all too much for most people to take in,” they repress the memory. Or, if they do remember, they are loathe to share that memory for fear—a most reasonable fear—of ridicule and its social and professional costs.
Funny world we live in. I keep working on my sense of humor.
C.M. Mayo, Wed 4 Aug, 16:00
Dear Mike (Tymn),
Yes, I remember reading what you quote - and must read the whole book again. I, myself, believe and trust Stainton Moses himself. There is no cool, rational cause not to trust his word. I am trustworthy. Can I not therefore trust a few OTHERS others in the world, or are they ALL liars except my trustworthy self? Sadly, as we all know by long experience, the sceptics will simply say Moses was a “a naively mistaken or a deliberate liar like all the rest”. The sceptics, by their own claimed, vaunted logicality, rationally have NO-ONE they can trust. Their own minds have destroyed even the possibility a priori. One can imagine a sceptic’s lady despairingly saying “How can I trust you and marry you? You’re a sceptic”. Ironically, that would be rational AND insane.
Eric Franklin, Wed 4 Aug, 14:10
Thanks Michael for the Moses’ quote. That helps me to feel more receptive toward him. I too feel that at times my writing comes from some other source than my conscious mind. The flow is best when I get out of the way and just let it come without much effort from myself.- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 4 Aug, 13:22
Can we exclude the possibility that the forces that spirits use are also working in our world but that we don’t know yet how to use those forces. Maybe is that a knowledge we only will be able to learn when we stop to abuse humanity and nature. If not, the new knowledge can be used mainly for further destruction of so called enemies.
chris, Wed 4 Aug, 12:40
The point you make about mass being lifted against gravity by sound vibrations (ie pressure) is valid, of course, but it is entirely within this world’s physics, just as passenger trains lifted from a concrete trackway by electro-magnetically generated repulsion and moved along just above the track at high speeds is entirely a this-world technical application of normal this-world physics. That has been done with experimental success for very near a century and I believe there is at least one such ‘railway’ commercially operating in Japan. Perhaps there are many more.
Levitation by higher beings operating out-from their own universe into ours, ie from a universe contiguous with ours, is different at least in COMING FROM a separate universe, even if the physics of that universe is the exact twin of the physics of ours, or if it has one more dimension than ours does, as seems likely. We, that is our Conscious Being-that-is-there, our true living kernel, is already not any part of OUR physical universe, but alien from it even though WITHIN it, despite being, in some topological sense, “in” our body, ie “in” the universe we know as “our” physical universe. Many able minds find this difficult to think out, but precision in reading the explanatory words can achieve the right (wordless, of course) conception. The miraculousness in levitation is the unusual fact that force is being transmitted into our universe from another adjacent but completely untraceable, invisible, universe that, like our `being, is just THERE.
Eric Franklin, Wed 4 Aug, 08:02
I understand your concern about Moses’s subliminal possibly having colored the messages. However, I doubt that most Anglican priests would have even admitted that the physical activity was genuine. No way to have full certainty on this, but here is what Moses said about it:
“It is an interesting subject for speculation whether my own thoughts entered into the subject-matter of the communications. I took extraordinary pains to prevent any such admixture. [As I said], at first the writing was slow, and it was necessary for me to follow it with my eye, but even then the thoughts were not my thoughts. Very soon the messages assumed a character of which I had no doubt whatever that the thought was opposed to my own. But I cultivated the power of occupying my mind with other things during the time the writing was going on, and was able to read an abstruse book, and follow out a line of close reasoning, while the message was written with unbroken regularity. Messages so written extended over many pages, and in their course there is no correction, no fault in composition, and often a sustained vigor and beauty of style. I am not, however, concerned to contend that my own mind was not utilized, or that what was thus written did not depend for its form on the mental qualifications of the medium through whom it was given. So far as I know, it is always the case that the idiosyncrasies of the medium are traceable in such communication. It is not conceivable that it should be otherwise. But it is certain that the mass of ideas conveyed to me were alien to my own opinions, were in the main opposed to my settled convictions, and, moreover, that in several cases information, of which I was assuredly ignorant, clear, precise, and definite in form, susceptible of verification, and always exact, was thus conveyed to me. As at many of the séances spirits came and rapped out on the table clear and precise information about themselves, which we afterward verified, so on repeated occasions was such information conveyed to me by this method of automatic writing.”
Of course, it may have been that Moses’s “Higher Self” was part of the Imperator Band of 49 and this Higher Self was simply using the Lower Self.
Michael Tymn, Tue 3 Aug, 22:56
Very interesting article!
Yes, Home was levitated by spirits.
Yvonne Limoges, Tue 3 Aug, 22:47
Rick, good point on the lack of a superpsi link to levitations.
One of the more interesting levitations at the Crookes home with D. D. Home took place on April 12, 1871. Frank Herne, who also had some mediumistic ability was sitting at the table with Crookes, his brother, his brother’s wife, his wife, and a few others, when, as Crookes reported Home suggested they sing, apparently to improve the harmony among them. They all sang, “For he’s a jolly good fellow,” after which Home sang a sacred piece. Crookes reported: “...and almost before a dozen words were uttered Mr. Herne was carried right up, floated across the table and dropped with a crash of picture and ornaments at the other end of the room. My brother, Walter, who was holding one hand, stuck to him as long as he could, but he says Herne was dragged out of his hand as he went across the table. Mrs. W. Crookes, who was at the other side of the corner, kept hold all the time. This was repeated a second time, on Home’s singing again. Both mediums this time being lifted up and placed on the table. Hands being held throughout…”
Michael Tymn, Tue 3 Aug, 22:45
I guess anything is possible. Here is a video about “Acoustic Levitation” that occurs in the laboratory using high frequency sound waves. Granted the objects being levitated are very small and confined to a small area but who knows that spirits have advanced knowledge of use of high frequency sound waves, which humans can not hear, to levitate larger objects like human bodies. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 3 Aug, 20:20
I wish Don would wade in here, having read his most impressive book (still seeking a publisher), a book filled with an amazing variety of “physical” manifestations of the spirit world including but far from limited to levitations. I pray that he’s OK and just doing other things right now than joining in our conversations. It’s great to hear from Eric once again (under terribly pressing circumstances) and from some of the rest of crew, along with several welcome newer voices. I’ve been taking a dive again into QM and have come to the conclusion (tentative of course) that Einstein had it right about QM but not in the way he meant it. His famous comment about QM was that God did not play dice with the universe. But for Einstein, essentially a monist like the vast majority of scientists, the universe WAS God, and thus if the universe were merely a sea of potentials or probabilities awaiting collapse into “reality” via observation, then it was indeed a kind of dice game. While Einstein did talk about the “Old One,” he was quick to note that there was nothing personal about his deity. Thus what Einstein overlooked was the impact of the “God” part of his comment, when taken in the Western as opposed to the Eastern sense, in a dualist rather than a monist frame. Has not the Creator, according to the Western tradition, observed the creation (whether universe or multiverse) from its inception, thereby creating/collapsing a common world of shared experience for us, a world comprised of both the ordinary and the extraordinary—normal daily life and occasional signs and wonders pointing to what lies beyond it, such as the subject at hand of “being levitated?”
Newton E. Finn, Tue 3 Aug, 14:38
Dear Mike (Tymn),
My view accords completely with that of Imperator about the possible purpose of levitations. They are a way of getting at least NEARER to the stone-walled minds of materialists. My only reservation about Imperator is that his pronouncements so often seem exactly what a highly intelligent but forceful Scottish minister WOULD think, unaided, without spiritual inspiration, about, for instance, ethics, in the Victorian milieu. I do wonder whether, especially as Stainton Moses often wrote while conscious, but unconscious of WHAT he was writing, that Imperator’s utterances are the product of SM’s own subliminal mind. I shall have to read Spirit Teachings a second time as soon as my stressful situation allows me. I do not mind if Newton (Finn) tells you what stresses I am contending with the at the moment.
Eric Franklin, Tue 3 Aug, 09:15
For most anomalous phenomena, you can’t quite ditch the luxurious-psi explanation ... if only because it is unfalsifiable. But being levitated is one case where the super-psi theory just plain doesn’t work.
There is nothing to learn from telepathy or clairvoyant knowledge of written records that could enable levitation. Can the medium’s unconscious lift weights? It’s true that psychic forces sometimes can affect objects, but lab experiments with psychokinesis have never produced examples as spectacular as levitation.
Unless the statements of distinguished scientists such as William Crookes are false, which is extremely unlikely, levitation (however rare) is a fact. Spirit action is the most likely cause in the absence of any other.
I do wonder why levitation (being levitated) is so incredibly rare. If David Thompson is the last to manifest it, couldn’t it be visually recorded by some means that would not disturb the ambiance he needs for his work?
Rick Darby, Tue 3 Aug, 06:52
Amos, I also have reason to doubt. When I was about four years old, I had a Superman costume, red cape and all. After I was suited up, I went to the front porch, about six-feet off the ground, raised my arms for a takeoff, leaped, and fell to the ground. It was a big disappointment, no doubt the result of my evil ways as a child, i.e., the spirits weren’t there to lift me.
Eric, many have wondered about the purpose of levitation and other physical phenomena, especially that resembling a side-show. Here is what Imperator had to say about it:
“Such phenomenal manifestations are necessary to reach men who can assimilate no other evidence. They are not any sort of proof of our claims, no evidence of the moral beauty of our teachings; but they are the means best adapted to reach the materialist.”
Michael Tymn, Mon 2 Aug, 23:28
Interesting topic Michael—-levitation. I know you are limited in the length of these articles but levitations may be more common than one thinks as there are numerous examples of trumpets and furniture being levitated in which case the furniture and trumpets would not be levitating themselves, but such levitation would have to come from the outside. But I think your article is about levitation of people. In addition to the cases you mentioned, there are the famous cases of Carlos Mirabelli and St. Joseph of Cupertino and other Catholic Saints e.g., St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi. And of course, Jesus was levitated when he walked on water and ascended into heaven as was his mother at the Assumption. Then there is translocation, somewhat similar to levitation in that people are moved from one place to another—-just like Star Trek’s transportation machine e.g., Mirabelli, Alec Harris.
I think there may be room for doubt in all of these cases of reported levitation and translocation. When I was little, I tried to fly as Superman did in comic books my mother brought home for me from the grocery store in the 1940s. Unfortunately, I was not able to get off the ground and still can’t since I am phobic and neurotic about flying in an airplane. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 2 Aug, 21:28
It seems to me clear that self-levitation is not within the powers of a human being, but that being the SUBJECT OF levitation performed by superior non-physical beings may well be.
It remains, I think, to wonder what the purpose of a levitation would be. Presumably the Great Being (God) would not perform a levitation for anyone’s amusement, least of all His (Her) own amusement. There would be a purpose. To provide evidence of the reality of non-physical beings, that is to say spiritual beings who are capable of it as an action at a distance from another world, and also to see its value AS evidence might be sufficient reason for it to happen now and then. They, the performing higher spirits, would judge that, no presumption on a human’s part being sufficient reason to stir them into compliant action, just for our amusement? Possibly spirits in a universe higher than ours MIGHT do it for a kind of harmless fun for themselves.
The necessity of a universe out from which the levitators operate to levitate a person in OUR universe strongly suggests a CONTIGUOUS universe the possibility of the existence of which Einstein’s Relativity proves, from which they are able to transmit the necessary energy into our universe to exert the ‘force’ required.
And a final observation: that application of energy a nanometre or two into OUR universe FROM THEIRS must in some way be a reverent act, and therefore rare (which it is, of course.) What I notice myself in many accounts I read of a variety of phenomena is that they seem to lack any reverence towards a Great Being. (I mentioned Geley’s wet dogs opening pockets in the dark of a séance, complete with wet-dog smell, a few weeks ago. No reverence in THAT, I think. In fact, I think we should all seek for evidence of reverence somewhere in the situation whenever we see amazing phenomena as support of our beliefs.
Eric Franklin, Mon 2 Aug, 19:46
Just read your latest blog.I agree with you — the evidence most closely supports that Home was levitated by an outside agency, not himself.
Michael Schmicker, Mon 2 Aug, 19:46
You make an excellent and critical distinction, Michael, between “levitating” and “being levitated.” As you point out, there’s a whole (spiritual) world of difference between those seemingly similar expressions. For me, there is a related, even more profound distinction between the monism (oneness) of Eastern spirituality and the dualism (God and creation) of Western. In a later comment, I’ll explore this more fully, but for now let me simply observe that Imperator, specifically, and spiritualism, in general, are primarily about a clearer, less dogmatic, more elevated conception of Western spirituality, complete with its personal God, individual souls, angels, heaven, purgatory/hell, etc. This historical and conceptual origin of spiritualism might help explain why reincarnation, flowing in from the East, becomes, for many spiritualists, such a hard nut to crack.
Newton E. Finn, Mon 2 Aug, 18:02
An excellent script, Michael, entertaining and informative and hardly believable ! It would make an ideal Youtube documentary with pictures, just exactly as it is.
Keith P in England, Mon 2 Aug, 17:13
A few days ago,I saw a program on TV where they showed how a pingpong ball was lifted only by sound. So there are some laws of nature that contradict the ‘normal’ gravity law. Some soundwaves go up instead of going down with gravity. I think that some people in the Spirit world have mastered the ability to use this force of nature that we only recent have (re)discovered.Again a interesting piece.Thank you,Michael.
Chris De Cat, Mon 2 Aug, 09:57
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