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Was It Confucius communicating from the Afterlife or a Clever Trickster?

Posted on 24 May 2021, 8:08

A friend who read Chapter 15 of my most recent book, No One Really Dies, told me that the story about Confucius communicating through the direct-voice mediumship of George Valiantine (below) in 1926 exceeds his boggle threshold. He said he accepts the reality of mediumship and spirit communication, but that one is too much for him to take in. He is highly skeptical. 

valiantine

The story is told with some detail in my book as well as in my blog of April 22, 2013 in the archives at left and the White Crow book Psychic Adventures in New York. To briefly summarize, however,  Dr. Neville Whymant, (below) a professor of linguistics at Oxford and London Universities, as well as the Universities of Tokyo and Peking, who spoke some 30 languages, reported that he attended 12 séances at the home of Judge and Mrs. William M. Cannon in New York City beginning in October 1926.  He was in the United States to study the languages of Native Americans when invited to the Cannon home. There, through Valiantine’s trumpet mediumship (voices came through the trumpet, not directly from the medium), he communicated with “spirits of the dead” in 14 different languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Persian, Basque, Sanskrit, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, Yiddish, German and modern Greek.”  One spirit identified himself as K’ung-Fu-Tzu, the actual name by which Confucius was known, and began speaking in an ancient Chinese dialect, but because Whymant was not totally familiar with that dialect, the “voice” switched to a more modern dialect.

whymant


Though highly skeptical, Whymant could not imagine a trickster knowing the ancient Chinese dialect or even the more modern dialect with its little twists of the tongue. The ancient dialect was as dead colloquially as Sanskrit or Latin, Whymant explained.  “If this was a hoax, it was a particularly clever one, far beyond the scope of any of the sinologues now living,” he recorded.  Whymant also reported that his wife’s deceased father communicated in his familiar “tone and slight drawl,” reminiscent of the West Country of England.

Whymant tested the “voice,” asking “it” about a poem written by Confucius, providing the first line. The voice responded by reciting all 15 lines of the poem.  The voice also explained a mistake made in modern translations of another poem, stating that the copyists were in error, as the character written as sê should have been i, and the character written as yen was an error for fou. 

I examined the possible skeptic’s arguments with my friend, as follows:

Valiantine was a very clever illusionist:  Sure, and this uneducated mechanic from New York learned 14 languages, including some ancient ones, even speaking them without an American accent of any kind. “Then it burst upon me that I was listening to Chinese of a purity and delicacy not now spoken in any part of China,” Whymant wrote of the ancient dialect he first heard.

Valiantine had a very educated confederate hidden away in the Cannon home: Such a confederate would have had to know and properly pronounce the ancient dialect of Confucius and be very familiar with his poems, familiar enough to recite them at length and point out errors in the modern translations.  According to Whymant, there were only a half-dozen scholars in the world capable of participating in such a hoax. However, it is highly unlikely that those half-dozen knew all 14 languages spoken, so Valiantine would have had to have many accomplices.  And the Cannons would have had to be in on the deception for those accomplices to remain hidden and have some electrical apparatus to get the voices through the trumpet. It should be noted that William M. Cannon is listed as chairman of the New York section of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in its November 1928 issue of its journal.

Whymant made up the whole story so he could sell some books: Whymant received both his Ph.D. and Litt.D. at Oxford.  In addition to his teaching positions, he served as Far East editor of the New International Encyclopedia and was on the editorial staff of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was a foreign correspondent for the London Times, and an adviser to the embassy of the Republic of China in London.  Among his other books were Chinese and Greek Philosophical Parallels (1917), The Psychology of the Chinese Coolie (1920), and China (1923). An internet search indicates he also wrote books in Mongolian, Japanese, and Polynesian languages and that he was only 23-years-old when his 1917 book was published. Clearly, he does not seem to have been a man to be easily duped or to put his reputation on the line by telling a story that he knew most rational people would consider absurd.
If we can believe Whymant, he didn’t even want to write the book, but tired of telling the story over and over again and was persuaded by friends to write it after first reporting on it in the ASPR journal. And, if Whymant made it up, he must have shared the profits with Judge and Mrs. Cannon, along with Valiantine. 

Valiantine must have been a skilled ventriloquist:  Whymant noted that there was enough light for him to observe Valiantine speaking American English to the person sitting next to him at the same time two and three foreign voices were coming through the trumpet.  Moreover, it’s one thing to “throw” a voice, quite another for the voice to provide evidential information in 14 different languages.

Famous people don’t communicate: “Confucius, sure, and Cleopatra and Princess Diana, too,” the “wise” skeptic will say with a smirk, as if to suggest only the non-famous dead can communicate, assuming such communication exists at all.  Of course, if no one famous ever communicated, those same skeptics would ask why only unknown people communicate.  If spirit communication is possible, why wouldn’t we expect to hear from some famous people?  Of course, there are indications that devious, low-level spirits sometimes attempt to impersonate famous “dead” people and that’s why the New Testament tells us to “test the spirits” and to “discern” the messages.

“It does not seem necessary to assume the actual presence of the great Chinese Sage himself,” Sir Oliver Lodge, the renowned physicist who arranged for Valiantine to be tested by the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), wrote in the Introduction to Whymant’s book, “but it is possible that some disciple of that period may be exerting himself, as so many others on that side are exerting themselves, to give scholarly proof of survival, and to awaken our dormant minds to possibilities in the universe to which we are for the most part blind and deaf.”

As Lodge and a few other researchers came to understand, superior spirits, such as Confucius, Jesus, Socrates, and Swedenborg must be, have no need to be identified with their teachings; but because humans seem to need an identity in order to fix their ideas, elevated spirits who identify with the teachings of those superior spirits and belong to the same “soul group” may take that famous name to appease us, as it is the teaching, not the teacher, that is important.  In some cases, the communicating spirit would say that it was not one spirit talking but rather several of them offering a group essence based on the teachings of the superior spirit.  This appears to have been the case with Imperator and his group of 49 spirits who communicated through the mediumship of William Stainton Moses.

Telepathy or Super PSI might explain the voices: While telepathy and super psi defy the philosophy of materialism, a popular theory among some parapsychologists is that the medium is reading the mind of the sitters and feeding information back to them.  Since some of the information coming through to Whymant was unknown to him, this theory fails.  The super psi theory suggests that there is some “computer in the cosmos” which the medium can access.  However, it is one thing to access some bit of information in the cosmos, quite another to have the computer dialogue with the person.  The super psi theory is clearly more fantastic than the survival hypothesis.

Whymant didn’t really hear the voices as well as he suggests in the book:  This is a theory advanced by some members of the SPR in London based on a sitting Valiantine had with them in 1927. That sitting produced “whispers,” some of which sounded like Chinese to the SPR researchers but were very unclear.  When the SPR later asked Professor Whymant to listen to the gramophone recording of the voices, he couldn’t make them out, either.  One SPR researcher, in her report, pointed out that there are many “Chinamen” living in America and Valiantine probably learned a little Chinese from them, enough to make Whymant think that he was hearing Chinese with Valiantine, and he subconsciously filled in the blanks.  It suggests that Whymant was a complete idiot.  It also suggests that Valiantine learned enough of 13 other languages, including Sanskrit, to further dupe Whymant and also that he memorized the poems of “Confucius,” or Whymant just imagined he heard the voice recite a lengthy poem and also imagined that “Confucius” explained the mistakes in one of them.

Whymant gives no indication in his journal report or in his book of not being able to understand the voices, other than having difficulty understanding the ancient Chinese dialect. He stated that some of the voices were so strong that he could feel the vibrations off the floor.  He further describes the “Confucius” voice as “tremulous.” 
 
Valiantine was accused of cheating in 1931; therefore, he was clearly a fraud: The most damaging evidence the skeptic can offer is that sometime in 1931 Valiantine was accused of cheating. It had nothing to do with voices or languages. Rather, the case involved an attempt to fingerprint a communicating spirit claiming to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Apparently, an attempt was going to be made to compare the print with an actual thumb print left by Doyle, who had died the prior year.  A print was somehow obtained, but it turned out to be Valiantine’s big toe. Valiantine claimed he had no idea how his toe was imprinted in the plaster cast. Could Valiantine have been so stupid as to think his toe print would match up with Doyle’s thumb, or anyone’s thumb? The only conclusion one can come to here is that some devious, low-level spirits were playing games with the researchers or someone involved with the tests was intent on framing Valiantine.

The bottom line: It would have been helpful if Whymant had included more detail as to what came through in other languages for other people, but he was not there to take notes or write a book.  He reports taking notes on the Confucius communication, but not on the others. He was too busy interpreting. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Whymant was not a credible reporter of the facts he did report.  His language ability suggests a photographic memory. He was a distinguished scholar who had little to gain and much to lose by making up such a story. The phenomena he reported go far beyond any known tricks employed by charlatans and similar phenomena were observed by many other people sitting with Valiantine over a period of years.  I understand my friend’s skepticism, as the story also exceeds my boggle threshold, but I can’t come up with a debunking theory that makes sense.  Perhaps a reader of this blog can.

Next blog post:  June 7

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.


Comments

Dear Mike,

What a brainy pea!

We all have different abilities. Don’t underestimate your own. They are huge, and we all benefit from them.

Newton, too, and others, including the silent majority of your readers, Mike.

Let’s all have a good day.

Incidentally, my own day is starting very well. A letter from the hospital specialist assures me my heart is functioning very nearly perfectly. Even so, it’s only a bit of vibrating meat. Eternity has better things in store for all of us.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Mon 7 Jun, 09:49

. . . and despite the way it may seem from what I said in the night, Newton is right. Of course he is. He is one of the most loving souls I am privileged to be in contact with.

What can I add now? I am amazed to be asked to believe that readers are interested in the tiny insights I have been granted. I see so little evidence of that. But grateful if some of you really are wanting to read what I have to say. So . . . as I asked, what can I add?

An illustration (no more!) of eternity as contrasted with infinite time. Imagine a train of boxcars, all on well-oiled bogies, ready to roll. (I am using American terminology.) That train represents time. (We’ll imagine for a moment that there is such a thing as time.) The train is over a mile long. I believe some American trains really are. Imagine not just four diesels on the front but a huge number, and the boxcar train twice as long, even three times as long . . . and so on. An infinite flow of time, well-oiled, moving amid the huge cloud of diesel fumes that accompany it. The diesel fumes are not relevant to the illustration. Now turn around. Before you you see a HUGE building of concrete and whatnot else, infinitely strongly founded, encompassing more than your entire view. That edifice is Eternity. It is not even the same stuff as the chimerical “time” train. Imagine it so big it engulfs the time train. The more-than-four diesels are now simply going round a merry-go-round of track INSIDE the static Eternity building.

Now let’s get the train of discussion going again. Sorry I gave a discouraging impression, but amazed to hear from Newton that some would like to gain from my inadequate words. Perhaps I just can’t cope with speaking into silence. I need response. I feel so lonely without.

Eric Franklin

(It’s a crude illustration, but I think it might work.)

Eric Franklin, Mon 7 Jun, 09:06

Newton,

I agree with you about Eric’s work. I haven’t said much here, because I have had some email exchanges with Eric, admitting that what he writes simply goes over my head. I get the gist of it, I think, but my pea-sized brain refuses to tie it all together in a comprehensible package.

I appreciate all your comments.

Michael Tymn, Sun 6 Jun, 21:54

Dear Newton, and all,

OK.

First, a bit of news. My one surviving younger brother sloughed off his body suddenly yesterday morning, at only 74. My other younger brother did the same just as suddenly at 62 in 2007. I am 80 and extremely hard-pressed. I am wearing an automatic heart monitor myself as I write. I am a 24/7 carer, as many unnamed correspondents are too. My partner has ascites, the symptoms of which I shall not describe. I am working alone to set up sustainable life for my descendants on a bit of land I own. My sons are hundreds of miles away, but will help soon. But they criticise too. The next-door landowner has recently destroyed my Protected Hedge (a statutory category) making ME potentially liable as a criminal for damage SHE inflicted without me even knowing, without asking my permission, which I would have refused, through embracing faulty ideas on permaculture, of which she has no understanding. It is not the same as exploitative horticulture. I have other problems too, none of them deserved, but all making me vulnerable to man’s oppression, but I have said enough on such matters.

On the matter of understanding time my point so far (and some of you do not understand it) is that erroneous or inaccurate ideas abound, and they cloud the view and make further learning impossible. Unwelcome though saying so may be, that does have to be understood. We all came from gross ignorance, maybe, like me, via bad parental extreme-sectarian misguided tuition followed by decades of really hard intellectual self-motivated effort to understand better, coupled with decades of near-penury, but have come eventually to be granted a few tiny inspired insights, gifts from higher beings that would help anyone willing to listen without hasty rejection of what they would hear. There are, as I said, some who understand their philosophy and science very well, but who reject a new harmonious insight because it modifies some long-cherished half-truth with which they are very pleased, as if the utterer of the new bit of truth is an ignorant enemy, not a friend sharing understanding.

I do not have time to edit this and make it a better bit of writing.

So far, I have said that the peak of Mike’s triangle is the eternal. That is not to say that it IS the comprehensive aggregate of all time. No. It is timeLESS. It is quite distinct from infinite time. It just IS. It is THERE. But the Eternal One does CONTAIN all the flows and sequences that LOWER beings experience as the unreal “thing” they intuited as time. These levels are all the lower levels of the triangle,not the TOTALLY DIFFERENT apex. Some recent comments have stated that God includes all times, but that is not the right understanding. In the serene stillness of eternally being there the apex of the triangle is different from all the levels of time flowing below it. It INCLUDES those times, but exists timeLESSly. It just IS. Words and my extreme low energy supply fail to say even what I mean.

Only when eternity is understood for what it is, quite OUTSIDE ALL TIMES, quite different in essence, does anyone have a chance of going on to explain what WE experience as time, whether psychological or pushed away from the inner mind into what we call “objective MEASUREMENT” (which assumes that two clocks identically constructed will measure “time” in the same consistent way and so get rid of the varying psychology that dogs psychological experience of time, making it scientifically useless. (This explanation would not do for a book, but I have no time to edit and perfect it.)

I have been described by some who have seen me in action as “a born teacher”, as a “genius” (whatever one of them is), “a brilliant mind”. Here in Lamoeter a philosophy professor made an absolute fool of himself with a public talk claiming to refute Carlo Rovelli’s statement that there is no such thing as time. Rovelli is right. Some who know their philosophy are wrong. I am not the only one saying it. Thousands have said so before me. Heidegger said it. Einstein’s theories logically require it. But millions have not bothered to understand. So, like the apostle Paul I feel I have to boast if I am ever to be given a chance of being heard without the clamour of half-truths around me. And I am not going to ask to be forgiven for saying so. There is nothing to forgive. As circumstances allow, please let me to add more posts about this fiction we call time.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 6 Jun, 20:51

Dammit, Eric, you’ve apparently managed, in the course of conveying crucial information, to freeze the discussion on one of Michael’s better threads (they’re all good, of course). So many of us are desirous of learning how you see and why you see it, to have the benefit of your knowledge and intuition to enhance our own. Please, my friend, just continue to lay out, in your own good time, the key components of your ideas, making them as accessible to non-scientific types as possible. Then indulgently allow us to bat them around and, yes, even get them wrong—in which case you can step in, again as time permits, and correct any misapprehensions, put our feet back on the productive road along which you’re thankfully willing to guide us. That’s the only way we’re going to get this done, and it would be our loss even more than yours if we can’t move forward in mutual generosity of spirit. Trust me, I can “lose it” as easily as you (many of us can), but the older I get the wiser it seems to “count to ten” before letting it rip. I await your next post with the same level of excitement as my cats when they circle my feet at treat time. Do your best, Eric, to feed us as I feed them, with love and humor.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 6 Jun, 16:11

Dear all,

I cannot elucidate the matter of time in just one comment. My first comment after Newton’s request that I unpack the whole matter in all its aspects dealt ONLY with the establishment of the idea, and the context in our understanding of the relevance of the idea, of ETERNITY, timeLESSness. I have made no elucidation yet of time-down-here, human time; and current comments show that there is huge confusion on the matter. Clarity will never come if this babble of shape-shifting words continues, blurring the edges of any series of comments (such as mine) that aims to shed light on the whole matter. The post-by-post explanation will be misunderstood if viewed through a cloud of prior prevailing vagueness and utter confusion.

So this is not really the place to say what I am now forced to say. It should come much later, but you are all forcing me to say too early that there are at least two main kinds of human experience of what humans call time, and many different modes of experiencing it, for instance when one is bored, and when one is interested in the focus of one’s attention. The PERCEIVED, EXPERIENCED, REMEMBERED, “TIME” is different, according to one’s state of awareness and also according to the situation, eg anticipation of a good imminent future or a bad one. Such experience is not of time in any so-called objective sense at all. It is psychological experience, in which memory plays a very great part.

That accumulating experience during human prehistory and recorded history came to be named experience of “time”, and eventually produced in the human mind the notion that we are sensing something passing away (the past, which we remembered, or not) and something approaching (the future, the anticipation of which was, of course, moulded by memories of what had happened in prior situations remembered as having been similar. The anticipations became more accurate with experience, so long as the mind remained honest); and that something passing away and being anticipated, and being experienced “now” (we invented THAT pragmatically useful word) became known as ‘time’.

Then came the thought that time might even be measured, as pieces of wood had to be measured if the house you were building could be expected to fit together and stand enduringly. Of course, the first humanly observable indicator of “the time of day” was the position in the sky of the sun, and people realised without analysing it that that very observation was a MEASURE. Galileo first measured time more minutely still by means of his own pulse rate by comparing that rate with the rate of oscillation of a pendulum. That new, higher-resolution conception of time is a human invention that helped modern science into being. Certain constancies were discovered. Galileo’s pulse and the movement of the pendulum showed a more or less constant RELATIVITY, though, as I hope you will notice, the perception of that constancy is still the INconstant and unreliable MIND. Time is still mainly an internal entity, something utterly immaterial, sensed by the Consciousness. But in fact, at this stage, there are already two times, psychological time and measured time, not yet very easily distinguishable.

However, the experience and the resulting thinking gave rise to the possibility of another conception. As processes were observed out there in the observable but not-me ‘world-about’ (that’s Prof David Walford’s phrase to translate Heidegger in D W’s as-yet-unpublished translation of ‘Being and Time’) that seems separate from ourselves it became possible to refer the measurement no longer to our unstable psychology in any sense but to the ticking of an external mechanical machine (there’s one in Salisbury cathedral). What the sun did the clock did, and the result could be observed and “beheld”, grasped, non-verbally understood by the mind, when the sun was entirely obscured by snow clouds (for instance) and also during the night, so long as you had a candle to observe what position the hands of the Salisbury cathedral clock were in when you woke up needing to avoid wetting the bed. Science, and measurement were gradually developing in (some!) human minds.

There’s a lot more, a LOT more, that needs to be said, but this will surely do for most minds for the (out of proper sequence) post number 2.

And, of course, we must not forget that Mike’s original post concerned Confucius, and the question whether he is still alive somewhere somehow to tell enquirers that there has indeed been an error of transcription and translation that needs no longer puzzle scholars who can read his poetry in the original. Of course he can. He’s still alive, isn’t he? Alive in the Great Being, the Great ALL Who is TIMELESS. That’s what we believe with 98.8% assurance, is it not?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 2 Jun, 06:48

The nearest I have come to experiencing timelessness is in the dentist’s chair under the influence of nitrous oxide. My prior dentist was more generous with the level of the gas than my present dentist and I recall hoping that the dental surgery never end.  What a paradox.  It was a very serene and pleasant feeling, although I don’t know about experiencing that for eternity.

Michael Tymn, Tue 1 Jun, 21:23

Perhaps somewhere in this discussion an explanation might be advanced about how we might begin to conceive of “other dimensions of time.” We all get the subjective experience of time’s forward arrow and how that arrow can seem to move faster or slower in light of what we are experiencing. We also can sort of get how time, in our universe, actually does move faster or slower in relationship to velocity and/or mass as brilliantly laid out by Einstein. Some of us also enjoy speculating metaphysically about the opposite of time, eternity, as being not an infinite extension of time but transcending any sense of duration, even an endless one. But apart from these four modes of conceptualization, what could it possibly mean to say that there are OTHER dimensions of time? How are we to struggle intellectually to get even the loosest handle on such things? I (and likely many of Michael’s readers) look forward with eager anticipation to learning how to go about such mind-expansion. I can visualize how, as we move up Michael’s triangle, our experience of time changes, but doesn’t that thing called time, that thing which which does the changing, remain essentially of one piece…short of eternity?

Newton E. Finn, Tue 1 Jun, 19:28

Chris,
I agree.  Time in the physical world is based upon the earth’s revolution around its axis with one revolution being termed a day.  Days are subdivided into 24 hours, minutes and seconds, milliseconds etc. and accumulated into years; a year being the number of days it takes the planet earth to make one complete revolution around the sun.  All of this is a contrived earth-centered schema devised by humans to be able to make sense out of their experience in the physical world. Humans can therefore speak of “time” as a number of days or a sequence of events either before or after some defined point.  But from a larger perspective there could be a multitude of other yardsticks to measure “time”.  In reality however, time only exists as an “Eternal Now” without beginning or end. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 1 Jun, 19:05

Michael…

That sounds very much, in essence, like the same thought I expressed as “three-dimensionality”...(and I wish I could recall which spirit communicator or communication that thought came from…)

Don Porteous, Tue 1 Jun, 16:29

Time in the sense of seconds and minutes as a kind of measurement is human. I think that that sort of time is not used in the spiritual world.Time there is a succession of thoughts,acts and events. The experience of time can be shorter or longer if you enjoy yourself or not(waitingroom at the dentist for example). The seconds and minutes pasted have no real influence on the experience itself. I think that is the way they experience time. I don’t think that the spiritual concept of time means an exact knowledge of the future. Maybe the goal of the future is known but not the path.There are spirit writers (Seth) who seldom try to predict that future, because there is always a lot of possible futures….and more important than that is: what about ‘the free will’ if the future is already known?

Chris De Cat, Tue 1 Jun, 16:11

Dear all,

It is difficult to know how to respond factually, charitably and with grace to comments that show a very vague half-understanding of science that definitely retards the progress of many readers’ knowledge. If I am to try to elucidate the relevance of Relativity as Newton asks me to do, and as I am glad to do, I need freedom to do it without being hampered by misinformed comment. And, as a 24/7 carer, I have to begin to view this huge effort as a waste of my precious time if commenters spread vague misinformation that will retard readers’ growth of real understanding.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is by a long way better corroborated than any theory man has ever devised. It is “proved” by FACTS that are measurable. These facts HAVE BEEN measured, and HAVE shown that Relativity is NOT just a theory in the slandering, derogatory sense in which Amos is ignorantly using that word to characterise it. Nothing is nearer having the status of having been absolutely proved than Relativity Theory.

Quantum Theory is SUCCESSFUL as a predictor, in the scientist’s sense of the word ‘instrumental’, just as the Ptolemaic “theory” of the structure of the solar system is a perfectly good PREDICTOR for many observations and purposes, BUT UTTERLY UNTRUE as astronomy, or as science in wider senses. Quantum Theory’s logical foundations are much firmer than Ptolemy’s, of course, but, despite its HUGE success are nowhere near as firm as those of Relativity. (There is a reason for this, but it cannot be mentioned now. Few would understand that reason.)

Inaccurately-semi-informed, indeed seriously misinformed, comment about Relativity being “only a theory” are very damaging. Sorry, Amos. I hoped for something better from you, at last, but, just as you have persistently declined to look at my paper on the matter, so your present comment is seriously flawed and obtuse, and counter-productive of understanding in the minds of those who respect your views and read you gladly.

I prefer science to vague misunderstanding BECAUSE IT GIVES WELL-FOUNDED EVIDENCE FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE.

Now I must get back urgently to my 24/7 caring duties, and hope to have enough time and energy for all the other jobs I have to do, including what Newton would like me to do. I do not want to waste my time refuting wrong ideas.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 1 Jun, 14:03

In great haste (two hospital appointments in an hour)

Mike,

The triangle representation in an analogy (no more) to the way that, as one ascends the hierarchy of universes, each having its time dimension converted to one of space, so having one more space dimension than the universe below, and a single new dimension of time (so called) added, having therefore one more dimension in total, one eventually reaches the god state of an infinity of space dimensions, but NO time dimension. The analogy is no more than that, and the more precise understanding very hurriedly described is far better, if one’s mind can attain it. This is precisely the system described in my paper that no-one wants to read, or, having read it, few understand - but there is a lot more in it.

To the hospital . . . .

I’ll read the other comments when we get back.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 1 Jun, 09:28

Another theory of time is that it is like a triangle.  At the very base of the triangle is our earth time. For earthbound spirits and other spirits in the lower realms or planes, time is just slightly above the base.  As the spirit progresses, time diminishes and it is not until the spirit reaches the apex of the triangle, when the spirit joins the “Godhead,” that time disappears completely. I don’t pretend to know if that is the case, but it sounds as good as others.

Michael Tymn, Mon 31 May, 22:17

In the physical world, without a doubt Consciousness experiences life in a sequential manner.  One thing occurring after something else, moment after moment.

Consciousness can also remember sequential life backwards through “time” perhaps accessing the “Akashic Records” or things recorded on the “skein of time”. Remembering the past is not so much experiencing sequential events but perhaps experiencing a download of sorts—-of images or experiences similar to reports from people who have had a near death experience who say that they experience events in their totality without words or explanation.  Even writing here it is difficult to explain just what they report and often the word “ineffable” is applied to such experiences.

Being conscious of future events is generally not possible for those living in the physical world except maybe for a minuscule number of gifted psychic individuals.

Consciousness experiences events as sequential and calls such sequences as the passing of “time”. Viewed from a “third dimension” of time one perhaps can see events having occurred in the “past” and those yet to occur in the “future” as Don is suggesting. However, I think one has to remember that Einstein proposed a theory not facts. In Einstein’s theory of relativity, in quantum physics or in other dimensions time may not exist but in the physical world humans live in “time” does exist and to deny it is to play a game of make believe.

From some other perspective time may not exist but in the here and now I will remember events in times past and anticipate that I will awake tomorrow to a new day of conscious experiences occurring one after another.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 31 May, 17:52

Interesting thought, Don, which certainly appeals to me. My quite inadequate way of trying to conceptualize the “time thing” is to view it as a record album which contains everything that ever happened, is happening, or will happen anywhere in the universe or multiverse—every “note of music” ever played. The songs of our individual lives, for example, are there, from beginning to end, and when we transition to the other side (so I believe) we will have the capacity to pick up the “needle” of our enhanced (third-dimensional, in your words) consciousness and place it anywhere on “the great album.” I also wanted you to know that I’ve begun a second, even closer reading of your utterly extraordinary book and plan to work my way back to the concluding section (on overtly religious miracles) where I somehow lost the thread of your intricate intellectual sewing. I’m eager to pick up that thread this time around and follow the entire seam of “Spiritual Reality….” As others have said before me, this book MUST get into print, or else an immense treasure will remain buried in the sense described by Michael’s “Chairman of the Board.”

Newton E. Finn, Mon 31 May, 17:22

Newton…

Regarding “time”....a helpful way of thinking about it, triggered by some bit of spirit-wisdom that I no longer recall the source of….is to recognize that our earthly, physical conception of time is linear or “two-dimensional” in nature.

If we possessed the ability (as is apparently the case in the spirit-world)to add a “third-dimension” and step ABOVE the two-dimensional time-line, thereby providing a view that extends beyond the “present” in either direction (past or future…it begins to explain much of the seemingly paranormal knowledge of “future” events shown by numerous spirit commentators.

Don Porteous, Mon 31 May, 15:31

The last thing either of us want, Eric, is to have this thread become primarily a dialogue between two readers, so this is where I will end our back-and-forth…for now. I remember many years ago when the great Abraham Heschel, who came to my college for a series of lectures and seminars, made a statement along the following lines: “To begin to comprehend God, think about time.” Let me also point out that thinking about time in the way you indicate has deep implications for—perhaps brings unexpected clarity to—that most vexing subject of reincarnation. Our natural tendency to conceive of it as sequential appears to be inaccurate and misleading in light of the bigger picture you paint. Thank you for a bit of tantalizing unpacking.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 30 May, 16:22

Dear Newton, and all,

Your challenge, Newton, is difficult to meet. I will ponder a while, and try. It is going to be torturously difficult to describe what is so easy.

I am an ignoramus with some slight gift of mathematical imagination, and some slight power of image-making both in the mind and on the canvas. These tiny mental abilities are somewhat advantageous, of course, in ‘seeing’ what wants to phenomenalise itself to us when we think of the Great All Who contains ALL events in the ALL that He/She is (not the so-called multiverse - see below).

First, we have to rethink what some call the many-worlds view, due to Hugh Everett and John Wheeler, the multiverse, and a few other conjectures. Try to discard the idea that it is our ONE AND ONLY universe, splitting into multiple universes, quantum moment by quantum moment, the resultant universes never in contact after each split. That would be a multiverse that becomes multiple (only) as that fictional entity “TIME” moves on. Each moment, it splits in two. NO NO NO not that. Time DOES NOT EXIST - ask the Great Being, the All. He/She would laugh and reply: “At my level, since I already contain ALL there is, was, or ever shall be, (as you humans would put it, as if time were real) there can be no time. Do you grasp that? ALL is already inside my serene, static Being. I AM. “ho own” in the Greek of the Septuagint, the BEing. I (what you call God) just BE THERE. I AM. (You humans pass by, there for a moment, then gone. Yet a little while and no other human will remember YOUR dwelling place. You will be gone. (That’s in the Bible but I can’t recall the best translation.) But I AM AM AM AM. (The Bible says that, too. I AM sent Moses to the Israelites in Egypt.) I (what you call God) can play what you low bits of protoplasm call history (ie “time”) like a film/video, of course. And watch, from my serene stillness. YOU experience something unreal involving your memory for “past” events and your anticipation of “future” events that you dreamed up and named Time, but it ain’t real. Got that?

So, step one accomplished, perhaps. If we can all grasp that, not as words, but as unverbalisable recognition in our conscious awareness, we can pass on to the next step in the next post.

I must pass on to another task: get my engine crane out of the far dark reaches of my shed, so that I can use it in future to lift Dr Maureen Lockhart to her feet again next time she falls. She fell in the night. I have been up since then, 2.45 am, and she has been awake and in continuous pain. I could not lift her. A kind neighbour helped this morning, 7 am. As I have said, it’s an eventful, crisis-ridden life. But I will write the next post when I can - Mike (Tymn) remaining tolerant of my words, of course.

Eric Franklin

Eric Frankin, Sun 30 May, 09:57

Bravo, Eric! Once this “very stressful day” (or likely this extended period of time) has passed or at least given you breathing room, please consider unpacking for us, in a short series of posts, the following two propositions: (1) “the further mathematical necessity that the continuous flow of ‘Elsewhere’ in our universe allows the continuous flow of an infinity of other universes right through ours, so giving place and ‘time’ to other Beings who are right ‘here’ but out of all observation/communication by us in what we call normal physical life….”; and (2) “The further resultant and necessary idea of the light cone allows, astonishingly, for the universes in which angels live, and even allows those universes to be ‘right here’. Even the current puzzles about the distribution of dark matter are probably resolved by precisely the fact of other universes….” For most of us here on Michael’s blog, the multiverse is merely scientism’s attempt to address the Goldilocks problem of why our universe contains so many “constants” necessary for the coherence of matter and consequent emergence of life. Help us to see the fuller picture as you see it, pregnant with the profound (and practical) implications you intuit. And your speculative exploration, complete with diagram, of the light cone needs to be carefully laid out for us, so that we, too, can begin to grasp its “astonishing” import, the clarity it brings to both the reality and the constraints of spiritualist communications. Please take your time with this, Eric, like you would in feeding a baby, because when it comes to this level of scientific thought and theory, that’s what most of us are.

Newton E. Finn, Sat 29 May, 15:51

Dear all, especially Newton,

I am very glad, starting a day of extreme pressure the details of which I won’t bore you all with, to have your encouragement, Newton.

There are some who know their Relativity Theory very well who, nevertheless, do not ‘see’ the further mathematical necessity that the continuous flow of ‘Elsewhere’ in our universe allows the continuous flow of an infinity of other universes right through ours, so giving place and “time” to other Beings who are right ‘here’ but out of all observation/communication by us in what we call normal physical life.

Spiritualists are seeking the evidence of occasional successful intercommunications, which I have absolutely NO doubt do take place. I have even experienced a few such my little self.

A Cambridge mathematical logician, the world-known A R D M******, no less, is not, he says, expert in Relativity, but, being a mathematical logician, as I say, told me in an email that my paper had handled a difficult subject very well. And I believe you, Newton, saw the reality after a little thinking. Bravo!

All scientific theory meets strong resistance at first, but eventually everyone claims it was obvious all along. Rutherford, no less, was always sceptical about Einstein’s theorising (and Einstein does indeed arouse one’s suspicions as one realises that Einsteinian gravity is not gravity at all, in our popular conception, not even caused by ‘weight’/‘heaviness’, but by resistance to movement, and acceleration of reluctant matter under ‘force’, and by the associated ‘bending of space’. But Einsteinian inertial gravity is now better corroborated than almost anything else in science. The further resultant and necessary idea of the light cone allows, astonishingly, for the universes in which angels live, and even allows those universes to be “right here”. Even the current puzzles about the distribution of dark matter are probably resolved by precisely the fact of other universes, denied to exist by most, but understanding of which the Higher Beings Who inhabit them seem to have granted self-taught me, of all people.

And for Amos, I say again, the support of science resolves all the murky but laughable problems about how fraud explains a big toe’s imprint where a finger-print should be. But that possibility is a matter for Quantum Physics, not Relativity, Alain Aspect, not Einstein. If you want to resolve at least some of your doubts, Amos, take notice of science.

And now, exhausted at 7.30 in the morning, I must face that very stressful day.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sat 29 May, 07:24

It is unfortunate that there isn’t more information about the “plaster cast” of the toe print, elbow print and finger print of Valiantine.  I can’t imagine that Valiantine came to the séance barefooted or if he did wear shoes, he had no socks on.  It seems to me that it would be extremely difficult for Valiantine to remove his socks without anyone noticing his movements.  And getting “toe prints” in wet plaster would take time.  While Plaster of Paris does harden in a few minutes one would have to hold very still in order to get good prints, otherwise the plaster would not produce good prints—-probably no prints at all.  It would be more likely to get very good prints in plumber’s putty, children’s soft clay or other soft material. It must have been a different kind of plaster.  And just what is an “elbow print?  Wouldn’t someone have noticed Valiantine sticking his naked elbow into plaster and holding it there for several minutes while the plaster hardened? (Unless of course it was something different than wet plaster.)  And who could possibly think a plaster print of an elbow was a fingerprint????? - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 28 May, 17:00

Eric, given your frustration over the ignoring of your paper about the impacts of relativity theory on spiritualist communication (and having been impressed by your paper as an armchair science buff), let me suggest that you make a few more posts on Michael’s blog, as opportunities arise, which touch upon, if not fully flesh out, some of your key ideas. Much has been said about the implications of quantum mechanics in this area, but relativity theory remains largely uncharted water. Thus many of Michael’s readers might enjoy the opportunity to put their toe into it and—who knows?—be induced thereby to dive in.

Newton E. Finn, Fri 28 May, 16:36

Michael,

I think you undertook a very thorough, and even-handed approach towards tackling arguments put forth by your skeptical friend. It will be interesting to see if your friend posts his response in event that perhaps he has issues with some of your arguments.

Lee

Lee, Fri 28 May, 14:25

In his 1931 book, “And After,” H. Dennis Bradley reported on a sitting that took place on February 10, 1927 in England, some four months after Professor Whymant’s experiences in New York. It was at the home of Lord Charles Hope in St. James Place.  Bradley, his wife, Lord Hope and the Countess Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, the wife of the Danish minister were there. A voice announcing itself as K’ung-fu-T’su (Confucius) attempted to communicate with the countess, who had lived in China and spoke the language.  However, it was not her dialect and she was able to translate only a few odd phrases.

The countess also heard from her deceased brother, Oscar, who began speaking in Russian and then changed to French.  During the sitting, 18 distinct voices manifested.  Italian was also spoken. More about Bradley in my next blog.

Michael Tymn, Fri 28 May, 08:24

Thank you Don for your kind advice.
To state the obvious, each man’s experience in life is unique and those of us who have experienced a long span of years have accumulated a lot of baggage along the way which for some is increasingly ponderous. One can only hope that there has been some purpose for those burdens and strength will be gained from carrying the load.
I apologize to all for my moment of weakness under the load. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 27 May, 15:04

From another source related to the recorded “voice: of “Confucius” it was reported that when Dr. Whymant listened to it he WAS able to understand snippets, bits and pieces, of it but that it was not clear in its entirety and was “blurred”.  Now to me that is entirely different than reporting that he did not understand any of it.  That is, the fact the some of it was understandable to Whymant (if that is true)  means that there may still be some validity to the idea that the conjured voice or “direct voice” was really that of an ancient Chinese sage. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 27 May, 14:47

Inspired by Don Porteous’s new comment . . .

Dear all, and AOD in particular,

I want to echo what Don says. I wanted to place a similar comment a couple of days ago, but hesitated. Please, Amos, take detailed heed of what Don says. And, Don, I was wondering, and am glad to hear of your recovery. I hope the other problems will self-solve with Higher Being intervention clear and obvious.

I wanted to say that I have many more pressing difficulties than you, Amos, mention, and they are 24/7 ongoing and increasing. Yesterday I had a very minor fire in the cottage extension I am building. At eighty, I saw the reflection of the flames in the stainless vacuum cleaner standing there, and rushed out (with my painful knee) to see. I rushed to get a bucket of water. A couple more buckets and the fire was out, with little damage. The cause of the (small) blaze? MULTITASKING causing a minute or two’s inattention to burning some rubbish, while making breakfast for Dr Maureen Lockhart, looking up her ailments on Wikipedia, proofreading some of Jon Beecher’s books, loading the car with timber required very soon by my sons who are (at last) developing the sustainable life tiny farm I have intended for thirty years (I bought the land 27 years ago), replanting the track hedge which a bogus permaculturist neighbour who has right of way over MY track cut down without consulting me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shall I go on? I repeat that I, like you, Amos, am 80 plus, like Don and Mike too, like Michael Roll, like . . . shall I go on? I could!!

Don is right. We should by all means state facts, “speaking the truth in love” (words of the Apostle Paul, I believe); I state scientific facts and am ignored for my trouble (Touché, Amos?) but we should not whinge. Others have burdens too, just as Don says, and OTHERS HAVE USEFUL KNOWLEDGE TO SHARE. HE, to mention his contribution, has a useful book well worthy of publication but languishing unpublished at the moment. And another book, I believe. (I hope he does not mind me harping on about it again.)

Take courage, Amos. And if possible, ask about the support famous theories of HARD SCIENCE can make to the 98.8% belief-rate.

In haste - a lot of urgent work to do today.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 27 May, 09:39

Dear AOD and Newton…

Firstly to Newton—your encouraging response to AOD’s dilemma was very moving to read. Patience Worth herself couldn’t have said it better.

And to AOD—I’ve also prodded you before to try to “open up” a bit more to the information that’s available to you. Were you to find the ability to do so, you’d rapidly find that misfortunes such as those you mention in your list of present maladies would quickly pale into absolute insignificance.

I’ve just returned from minor surgery this morning; like yours, my car is in the dealer’s shop for a major and costly repair; after a nearly four-month long fiasco, our negotiations to purchase a house from a thoroughly unstable seller have fallen through (while our present house has been sold in the meantime). That’s the tip of our present iceberg. And yet—being intimately familiar, as you know, with the words of Imperatur and so many others—there is absolutely nothing that this life can throw at me that can disrupt the calm confidence for the future that inevitably flows from having “enough” knowledge.

I sincerely hope you’ll heed the wise words from Newton and others. A brilliant future is beckoning if you’ll only be open to it…

Don Porteous, Wed 26 May, 21:36

I just wanted to comment on whether or not Whymant rejected the spirit hypothesis.  Perhaps not in so many words but in the very first sentence of his book “Psychic Adventures in New York” he states “I am not a spiritualist” and he continues, “I am not in any way connected with psychic research societies.  I merely have a story to tell, a few questions to ask in return, although some believe that they can read a message into what I have to say.  But my position is one of extreme simplicity; having no theory to expound, no scheme to foster, my memory is untrammelled in its backward groping, and my vision is unimpaired by any preconceived notions.  Indeed, to be frank, I did not wish to tell my story at all,  .  .  .  “

Perhaps one can surmise from those statements that Whymant did not give much thought to the spirit hypothesis, not that he necessarily rejected it. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 26 May, 14:47

Thanks, Jon, for reminding me of the St. Stephen material.  I might add a quote from Elsa Barker and “Letters from a Living Dead Men,” which you reminded me of:

“Oh, the terrible curiosity to go back and look upon the ‘thing’ which we once believed to be ourselves! The thought comes to us now and then so powerfully that it acts in a way against our will and draws us back to ‘it’. With some it is a morbid obsession, and many cannot get free from it while there remains a shred of flesh on the bones which they once leaned upon.”

And thanks to Newton and Amos for reminding me that I have to get back into the rhythm of rowing properly. I’m splashing all over the place as I try to row the boat ashore.

Michael Tymn, Tue 25 May, 22:22

Thanks Newton for your encouragement.  It’s just that there is a confluence of things in my life right now that just wear me out.  Not unusual of course as my body wears out.  And this morning, my car would not start so I had to have it towed.  So with computer problems and relationship problems and now car problems I am ready for and appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks again. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 25 May, 18:32

Dear AOD (who came to know and love Patience years before me and is now helping me to know and love her even more), let me respond with affection and utmost respect to your latest post. When it comes to spiritual things—the afterlife, what we call God, how spirits and God interact with those of us still in the mortal coil, etc.—it’s likely impossible, and meant to be so, for us “to get our act together,” to reach the level of clarity you desire and feel you need at this point. Might it not be so, in the great scheme of things, that the best we can do here, the most we are called upon to do here, is to strive and repose in trust, in faith informed but never fully defined by reason? Should we not, when confronted by all of these signs and wonders we read and hear about (perhaps are blessed to experience ourselves to some degree), keep in mind that old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth? I, too, have grown “weary of everything.” The way this world is going, who with open eyes could not? I was fortunate to have come to spiritualism (thanks to Michael) late in life, finding in it an elaboration of a firm and passionate belief in God, in a highly personalized and unorthodox Christianity, which had sustained, inspired, and directed me (when I let it) since childhood. Thus I am largely spared what you are now going through and must attempt to understand your situation by imagining how spiritualism would strike me had it been central and not ancillary to my spiritual development. In that case, I believe, I would be as bewildered and frustrated as you are, and that confusion and uncertainty would be one more cross to bear before transitioning into that place where all crosses have served their purposes, and there is only light and love and joy to grapple with and eternally grow into. When I get really depressed these days, which has been every day for more than a decade, I find myself humming a little song we used to sing at church camp: “Michael row the boat ashore.” You, AOD, are rowing in your way, I in mine, all of us here in our own, but I haven’t a shred of a doubt that while “the Jordan River is chilly and cold, deep and wide,” there’s “milk and honey on the other side” for us all. It’s too easy for me to say (so forgive me), but don’t “close the books and just walk away from it all,” my friend. Hell no! Instead keep rowing as you’ve been doing all your life, as hard as it has now become, and I assure you in absolute confidence (Michael’s elusive 100%), that all will be well, more “well” than any of us can imagine. Bottom line, isn’t that what all of these mystifying signs and wonders have been trying to tell us?

Newton E. Finn, Tue 25 May, 16:38

Michael,

You interviewed Rev. Michael Cocks some years ago about his communication via a trance medium with an entity claiming to be Stephen the Martyr, mentioned in the Bible. The communication lasted for 7 years. Michael eventually accepted that it was Stephen speaking in part because of a particularly rare dialect of ancient Greek which was spoken on one occasion. The medium, Tom, didn’t speak Greek.

This an excerpt from Michael’s book where “Stephen” is trying to explain what Amos was referring to when he wrote, “it is difficult to believe that Confucius would be floating around for over 2,500 years and just pop up, conjured by Valiantine to speak to Whyman.”

For the sake of clarity, Stephen is speaking through Tom who is in trance. Michael and the other sitters are asking questions. Stephen speaks in a biblical vernacular but I’m sure you will get the gist of some of it. 

145. Stephen’s Awareness 1.

Olive: Your awareness now.

Stephen: The awareness that I have is the gift of, and is part of the Father, as are we all. We think perhaps that Stephen is separated and that he is aware of everything in the way that Olive might be aware, or feels that she is aware. But this of course is not so. [It is true that] for a long period of what we might call time, after the death of his body, Stephen was separated, as many still are.

In his so-called separateness, Stephen attempted to be of service to the Father. But then in the course of what we call time, Stephen let go of the personality of Stephen, the tent which the Father had given him in which to be housed. And thus unclothed, he gave up his separateness to be one with the Whole. You will understand that when I speak to you, I re-enter this tent, I put on again the clothes of Stephen, I put on the robes of a saint, in order that you may feel comfortable, in order that you may walk with me in a way that to you is familiar.

Michael:  It makes me feel really scared to hear you talk like this. That this Stephen to whom we talk is only a puppet of personality manipulated by the Whole. It reminds me that I, Michael, would be such a puppet too. I get really scared of losing what is me, what I think of as me, and jumping into the void.

Stephen: Then take the comfort that the Father has given you; accept the security of your tent. Return to the tent that is Michael when you wish. It is there for your use. But as for me, I have left my Stephen behind, and I have life that belongs to the Whole, to the Father. Now I can be present in the lives of a thousand others.

Stephen’s Awareness 2. 

Stephen: We are a little out of practice! In what way may I assist?

John: I take it that you are in a time, space, and awareness that is different from ours. How much are you yourself aware of our particular time, space, and consciousness? How much are you aware of what is actually going on in our planet?

Stephen: Firstly, I must disagree with you. You are in a particular time and place with a lack of awareness, and your conscious mind does not always recall.

But your awareness is such that many things, (even though not seen and observed) are apparent to you. You ask of my awareness, of this as a planet. The awareness is of much more, that of a Whole, rather than that of a separate planet.

You too, as you think, are aware of much wider fields than just this planet. You know for certain that this is a part of the universe, and you are aware of the universe. My awareness is not greatly different from yours, except that I do not have some of your restrictions. I do not need to touch, for to know; I do not need to sit, to be aware, I do not need to taste, to be fulfilled, and know what satisfies.

Each of you now - each of you now close your eyes. You are using only some of your senses now, and you are aware not only of what is in this room, but of your vehicles outside, in some cases the families that are at home. You know of a certainty that these things are there.  Such is my awareness of what I know exists.

Miriam: Could Stephen tell me what God is then?
 
Stephen: God is everything that you see, and more. It is all that you cannot imagine,  all that you cannot conceive.

Miriam: That is how I feel.  I feel that I am part of that.

Stephen: You must be part of that, for there are many who cannot conceive Miriam, nor perceive Miriam.  You are part of that, that cannot be seen, touched or conceived, and much of what we call creation, so that we cannot even separate ourselves in this way. We are also the unknown, as well as the known. Can we conceive of Stephen? Is he known to all? Can we feel and touch him?  Nevertheless, we have Stephen here.

Miriam: Do we have Stephen here separate in the sense that Michael is separate?

Stephen: Separate only because we choose to say that Stephen is separate, for none of us is separate from each other. On the other hand, within metres of this place there are many people gathered [in a church] who would deny his very existence, and who would not be able even to conceive this Stephen that we have.

Michael: I continue to confuse myself, for I say to the group that I can infer that I am part of the Whole, that you are also a part of the Whole, but I cannot switch me off.

Stephen: It is [the truth of] your experience of the moment that you are Michael, and I am Stephen.

Why deny what is given to you for experience? For it is [just as] true as the discussion that would go on with this other group of people, were they to deny the existence of Stephen, for to them Stephen cannot and does not exist.

Michael: Do you feel “Stephen” or do you feel “The Whole?” Or do you feel a figment of my imagination?

Stephen: For if I say that I am Stephen, I must first create Stephen, and be he. For I cannot be nothing.  For once I decided I was nothingness, then I have learned nothing of nothing. I will say this however for your guidance and accept this humble advice: do not feel that you must throw a concept to the winds or feel that things that you know have been taken from you. For as I am real to you now, all those concepts that are real to you, are part of your needs. They are your clothing; they are your life and they are what supply your needs.

Jon, Tue 25 May, 15:21

Amos,

Don’t you think it might be wise to stop ignoring what science might contribute to your understanding before you sign off?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 25 May, 14:38

Newton,
One more thing regarding Patience Worth, I think it is interesting that some religious groups ( I am thinking of one Catholic website I had a run-in with) regard Patience Worth as an emissary of the devil.  Obviously they have never read any of her poetry or novels.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 25 May, 14:36

why is it important if it really was Confucius or not? The ideas,thoughts and actions are important, not the name of the person. Is an idea less important if it is thought bij a complete stranger than when it is thought bij a celebrity? How many fine ideas are lost because of the fact that we give so many value on just a famous name?

Chris De Cat, Tue 25 May, 14:33

Michael,
Kardac has a good thought there.  I think I agree with him.  But I think that Spiritualists have to get their act together.  Spirits are either part of an oversoul composed of many previously incarnated personalities or they are not.  Spirits either reincarnate, either on this planet or others or they do not.  Spirits either move on to higher realms, spheres, planes etc. or they do not. All of that has to be taken into consideration when thinking about the Whymant/Confucius case.
If one believes in reincarnation as I do then it is difficult to believe that Confucius would be floating around for over 2,500 years and just pop up, conjured by Valiantine to speak to Whymant and others at Judge Cannon’s home in 1926.  There must be a lot more going on in the spirit world or in one big reality that includes both physical and spiritual realities however one wants to look at it.  But this case of Whymant and Confucius truly is an enigma.  I have reread his book a couple of times and he seems to come off as very sincere and honest as he presents his story for the “fifty-first” time as he says. As Keith references, Whymant does seem somewhat vague or ambiguous about whether or not he accepts or believes in a world of spirits.  That doesn’t matter to me one way or another.

Sorry that I am getting to be so cantankerous in my old age but I suppose I am getting weary of everything. Spiritualism seems to never come to a meaningful conclusion but is just nothing but a lot of “maybes” based on “he said, she said”.  The evidence, whatever it may be (and there is a lot of it, I admit) is always something reported by someone else.  I have no definitive personal experience with any of it (well, probably not) and unfortunately I am increasingly understanding that people like to tell a good tale. These stories can be reported over and over again by each generation of believers and perhaps embellished along the way but that does not establish the reality of any other worlds or dimensions other than the one in which one is currently living. I am at the point of saying what is—-is and whatever will be—-will be and close the books and just walk away from it all.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 25 May, 14:02

I’d recommend watching Keith”s video. It’s a brilliant presentation of the Whymant event with lots of fascinating additional information.

Paul, Mon 24 May, 23:19

Hi Michael,
It is a year since I made my documentary, but being a journalist rather than an academic, I have not kept as good records of my sources as perhaps I should have done. So I have a problem pointing to the sentence which says Whymant did not accept the spirit hypothesis. Since I had to read widely in making this documentary, this view may not even be in ‘Psychic Adventures in New York’. Nonetheless there are numerous hints of Whymant’s position in this book. In the Foreword on page ix, Whymant remarks: “I have frequently been told that there is a message in my experiences.  For some this may be so, but for my own part I have yet to read the riddle”. On page 1 of his book he says, “I am not a spiritualist. I am not in any way connected with psychic research societies. I merely have a story to tell”. On page 32 he states:  “I still maintained my position of strict detachment from the purely psychic side of the affair, but I could not avoid the feeling of puzzlement and the consequent futile efforts to find some explanation which recurred from time to time in the next few days.” And finally on page 45 Whymant underlines that he had no real interest in spiritualism and was very skeptical of it. If I find the direct source for my claim that he rejected the spirit hypothesis I will get back to you.

Keith P in England, Mon 24 May, 23:13

Keith Parsons sent a better link to his you-tube on the matter.  See
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSWk7sAXMJQ&list=PLLB-82YMhiPFPKSm2Ke69aK0DKTftpvo0&index=34&t=221s

Michael Tymn, Mon 24 May, 22:17

Michael,
Regarding Keith’s link.  I too had similar problems of “site not available” or it took me to a YouTube page with multiple videos, none of which were Keith’s . I think there is a browser war going on where Microsoft is trying to force everyone to use Microsoft Edge.  But Microsoft Edge does not work well with all sites.  I have found that the government IRS site does not work well with Microsoft Edge but works perfectly well with the older browser Chrome.  Internet Explorer is being discontinued by Microsoft to force everybody to use “Edge”.  Microsoft could care less that many businesses use Internet Explorer to run many different programs within the business but have reluctantly included an Internet Explorer Mode” in Edge which will have to be programmed into whatever computer one is using if you need to use Internet Explorer for your special programs.  I am having trouble with Intuit Quickbooks forcing me to use Windows 10 for which I will have to buy a new computer.  Otherwise I will have to pay close to $4,000 to get a Quickbooks program to work on any operating system other than Windows 10.  The cost comparison is for three years of Quickbooks support on Windows ten will cost me a little over $400 while 3 years of Intuit special program for other operating systems in Windows will cost me over $4,000, to be paid on a monthly basis for 3 years.  -  Sorry but I am so mad today I can’t even stand myself.-

We are under attack by information technology companies.  They have more power than the President of the United States of America.  As a people we need to demand that Congress break up these power grabbers and start doing what our representatives and Senators are being paid for, namely looking out for the interests of the common people rather than the interests of big business.  AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 24 May, 22:03

Amos, thanks for trying, but your theory seems to stretch even beyond the application of super psi. Incidentally, I wonder how Lodge developed his theory.  It may have come from the writings of Allan Kardec, who said:

“Again, if we consider the immense number of spirits who, since the beginning of time, have reached the highest rank, and compare them with the very restricted number of men who have left a great name on the earth, it will be understood that, among the superior spirits who can communicate, the greater part must have no name for us. But as names are necessary to us to fix our ideas, they can take that of any known personage whose nature is best identified with their own; thus our guardian angels most often make themselves known under the name of one of the saints we venerate, and generally under his name for whom we have most sympathy.  It thus follows that if a person’s guardian angel gives his name as St. Peter, for instance, there is no actual proof that it is the apostle of that name.  It may be he, or it may be an entirely unknown spirit belonging to the family of spirits of which St. Peter makes a part.”

I struggle with that, but I have to continually remind myself that I have no reason to believe that terrestrial ways and means are the same as celestial ones.

Michael Tymn, Mon 24 May, 21:56

Michael,thanks for pointing out the problem with the link to my doc. Here it is again:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSWk7sAXMJQ&list=PLLB-82YMhiPFPKSm2Ke69aK0DKTftpvo0&index=33&t=221s&ab_channel=VaranormalVaranormal

Keith P in England, Mon 24 May, 21:45

Yes Newton, same meter same everything except the image of “If I should die before I wake”  What a horrible thing to make children say before bedtime. whether Pearl or Patience wrote the revised version, in my opinion it is a masterpiece It is one of the reasons I hold Patience Worth in such high esteem!-AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 24 May, 21:29

Dear all,

Let’s approach the problem of K’ung-Fu-Tzu’s genuineness from a radically different perspective. Logically and scientifically.

The Great Being Who is ALL includes every moment of K’ung-Fu-Tzu’s life. Where? When? Right now, of course, in the static timeless ALL that that Great Being is. It is surely easy for that Great ALL to send, or allow lower beings to convey, living words “down” to our cosmos.

If people would only see the relevance of Relativity Theory (Yes, here he goes again, because this is TRUE, despite almost no-one accepting/understanding it) they would find it EASY to believe it possible that K’ung-Fu-Tzu can give an explanation in our “now” of how his words have been mistranslated.

Of course, one can wonder WHY this might happen, but perhaps we should take literally the words in what we call The Bible that assure us that ‘God’ has never left Him(Her?)self without witness. Perhaps we are indeed being granted snippets of beyond-the-boggle-point evidence so that sincere hearts have reason to believe when the cynically proud scientist and other intellectual ruffians deny that there is a god at all.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Mon 24 May, 20:30

Keith and Paul, thank you for the links and comments.  There is, however, something wrong with Keith’s link as it brings up a “not available.”

Also, Keith, I don’t recall Whymant saying he rejected the spirit hypothesis.  I just quickly checked for it, but without reading the entire book I could not find it. Can you provide a page number on that?

Michael Tymn, Mon 24 May, 18:53

One more curious, fascinating, and compelling example c/o Michael—the master of calling attention to such things—of an event which obviously occurred yet seemingly contradicts not only everything so far known by science but also our everyday experience and resulting common sense. Dive deeply into spiritualism, as most of us here know, and it’s no biggie, no mind-boggle, to presume that Confucius or a disciple of his or a group soul member graced Whymant and all of us via the sublime vehicle of poetry. And speaking of poetry, I’ve been blown away (not mind-boggled) by what is undoubtedly one of Patience Worth’s greatest and tenderest gifts, one of the few she had to struggle a bit to compose. Put on the spot by Walter Prince to offer a new child’s poem or prayer, given that previous efforts often included disturbing lines (think of “Now I lay me down to sleep”), here’s what Patience came up with. “I, Thy child forever, play / About Thy knees at close of day; / Within Thy arms I now shall creep / And learn Thy wisdom while I sleep.” Could there be more beautiful words to murmur when we children of all ages close our eyes?

Newton E. Finn, Mon 24 May, 17:50

Let’s say for the sake of argument that Whymant had a number of past lives in which he spoke a variety of different languages, including Chinese. Those many languages of past lives, existing as part of an oversoul of which Wymant was a part influenced Wymant to pursue an interest in language in his present incarnation and made it somewhat easy for him, at least superficially, to learn many languages.  And, during the séance with Valiantine, Whymant was somewhat mesmerized to the extent that these past lives were brought to the forefront of Whymant’s conscious mind and were able to communicate with him seemingly as a ‘direct voice’. Therefore the information and languages might have been coming from Whymant by way of his subconscious mind in contact with his past-life personalities. 

It is not uncommon for mediums e.g., Matt Frazer and others to report that they sometimes hear voices of the “departed” speaking to them (in their mind) so if this be true, perhaps Whymant gained the ability during the séance to hear the voices of his own departed personalities one of which may have been a Chinese sage. (The photograph of Whymant appears to have a Chinese look to me.  Maybe that look was contrived by Whymant as part of his interest in Chinese culture but maybe not!)

As I recall reading, during the séances of Etta Wriedt not everyone present at the séance could hear all of the voices.  As reported it seemed as if the voices were selective as to who could hear them and who could not.  Perhaps it had something to do with who was closest to the trumpet being able to hear the whispers while those farther away could not hear them. Whymant could not understand the recorded whispers of the SPR simply because they did not come from communications in his subconscious mind with his own past lives.

This theory does not hold up when one reads that the “Chinese” voice was heard by Mr. and Mrs. William Cannon prior to Whymant’s attendance at the séance and as I recall that was the reason Whymant was invited to dinner with them, knowing that he was an expert in various languages and perhaps he could decipher them.

I think this is a unique case and one that is unexplainable without accepting a spirit communication hypothesis of some sort.  The case does “boggle” one’s mind and one may tend to just shake one’s head and walk away from it without an explanation.  I think that is what most people, including psychic investigators have done with Whymant and his communications with “Confucius”. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 24 May, 17:39

I’m not sure Whymant’s refusal to accept the “spirit hypothesis” is particularly important (not that Keith said it was). The evidence stands on its own and there is enough to form one’s own opinion I think,

I don’t recall Whymant giving any explanation for the source of the communication, given he didn’t accept the premise. Perhaps he simply didn’t know the answer which doesn’t imply rejection of the spirit hypothesis I suppose,

Paul, Mon 24 May, 16:41

There’s also quite an interesting piece here…

https://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2013/03/confucius-say-.html

Paul, Mon 24 May, 16:16

Very interesting Michael.

I am fortunate enough to have a copy of Whymant’s book and what is particularly interesting is not just the language spoken but also the corrections given to Whymant’s understanding of the poems and to grammatical errors of which Whymant didn’t seem to be aware (nor any other experts in this field), which made portions of the writing understandable for the first time. This is in addition to the use of correct honorifics from ancient China.

It’s a shame it isn’t such a well know report as it is, Imho, very difficult to undermine or dismiss.

I don’t see why it couldn’t have been Confucius himself. There’d be no reduction in evidential value if the purported communicator had identified themselves as someone else or even given no identify.

Paul, Mon 24 May, 15:11

I really enjoyed this piece, Michael, since it included information about Whymant’s background that I missed when making (or have forgotten since producing!) a documentary on Confucius entitled ‘Is Confucius Dead?” This contains other interesting & relevant material on this issue not covered in this piece, so here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch v=rSWk7sAXMJQ&list=PLLB-82YMhiPFPKSm2Ke69aK0DKTftpvo0&index=33&t=217s&ab_channel=VaranormalVaranormal

I have two comments. Firstly, the idea that the voice was really a ‘spirit group’ communicating from the other side, reminded me that the ‘Annalects of Confucius’ available to study today are also not simply the words of the sage himself but consist of the interpretations of his words by others, plus the expression by these disciples of their own ideas, despite Confucius being credited as their only author; a group effort, you might say. Secondly, powerful though your arguments are, in favour of the spirit hypothesis (with which I thoroughly agree), unless I missed it in my reading, you omit to mention that Whymant himself did not accept the spirit hypothesis, despite the evidence. I am amazed at this but there is no accounting for people. Hamlin Garland is another example of an eminent author who refused to accept the overwhelmingly evidential material that resulted from his seance investigations.

Keith P in England, Mon 24 May, 11:31


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Proof of Survival by Lord Dowding – I think that "Raymond" is a very important book because its main purpose appears to be to convey to the world proof of human survival after death. This proof is conveyed by the publication of a series of messages from Raymond Lodge, the son of Sir Oliver Lodge, the famous scientist and author of the book. Read here
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