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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sir Oliver Lodge-The Survival of Man-D [BOOK]


Book: "The Survival of Man"
Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS
Availability: Out of Print

- Section Four -
Automatism and Lucidity
Chapter 21
General Remarks on Piper Sittings
___________________________________________
          FOR a further account of these sittings my paper in vol. xxiii. of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research must be referred to. It would take too much space to quote further here. I must be satisfied with a few comments.
It will be observed in many of the records how natural it is for a sitter, or for the experimenter in charge, to challenge a "control" to furnish some evidence of his identity, or to demand from him a sudden answer to a specific question.
It is quite natural, and I suppose inevitable: but that it also is to some extent unreasonable, must be admitted. Trivial domestic incidents are not constantly in one's thoughts, and only when in a reminiscent and holiday mood, or under the stimulus of friendly chat, does any vivid recollection of such incidents normally occur.
It is proverbially difficult to control thoughts to order, and a communicator suddenly asked to remember an identifying circumstance, or to send an appropriate message, may feel rather as a person feels when set in front of a phonograph and told to "say something brilliant for posterity." Under these conditions any one with the gift might compose some half-doggerel verse perhaps, or might remember some poetry more or less accurately, - and indeed that is what it appears the controls sometimes actually do - but usually there would be hesitation, requests for delay, and fishing for suggestions, - something like what we find in the records. The controls unfortunately cannot be assisted by the give and take of friendly and stimulating conversation; for, under the conditions of a sitting, the intercourse on our side is nearly all "take" and very little "give." It is admittedly dangerous for a sitter to talk freely, because the conditions then become "loose," and more may be inadvertently given away than was intended, so that thereafter nothing obtained, however otherwise good, can be considered evidential. But then - it must also be admitted - no conversation can be in the full sense stimulating or satisfactory if its animation is hampered by a constant desire to withhold information, lurking in the background.
In order to be human a conversation should be wholehearted and free from arrieres pensees on both sides: but under evidential conditions that seems quite impossible. It is one of the many disadvantages under which the investigation of the subject inevitably labours.
Trivial Recollections, and Relics
It will by some people - who might otherwise be in favour of some form of spiritistic hypothesis - be thought absurd that reference should be made under such circumstances to trifles like ordered but undelivered pictures, and to trivialities like the possession of a handkerchief or other relic. The usual excuse is that these things are mentioned for purposes of identification; but though there may be some truth in that view, there is in my judgment more reason than that for such incidents; and they are not contradictory of the notion of survival. The fate of objects once regarded with affection, or even interest, and possessing any kind of personal association, does not seem to have suddenly become a matter of indifference. Scattered through all the sittings are innumerable instances of this sort of curious memory of and interest in trifles; so that it would be merely tedious to refer to pages where they occur. Every experienced sitter knows that such references are the commonest of all. What is the explanation? I am not prepared with a full explanation; but, granted the most completely spiritistic hypothesis, it would appear that the state after death is not a sudden plunge into a stately, dignified, and specially religious atmosphere. The environment, like the character, appears to be much more like what it is here than some folk imagine. This may be due to the effort and process incidental to the condition of semi-return, under which alone communication is possible: it appears to involve something less than full consciousness. But it goes rather further than this, since a few of the controls when recently deceased (a pious old lady in particular is in my mind) have said that the surroundings were more "secular" than they expected; they have indeed expressed themselves as if a little disappointed, though they nearly always say that the surroundings are better than they are here. Anyhow, there appears to be no violent or sudden change of nature; and so any one who has cared for trinkets may perhaps after a fashion care for them still.
But there must be more than that even. Objects appear to serve as attractive influences, or nuclei, from which information may be clairvoyantly gained. It appears as if we left traces of ourselves, not only on our bodies, but on many other things with which we have been subordinately associated, and that these traces can thereafter be detected by a sufficiently sensitive person. This opens a large subject which I have touched upon once or twice already in other papers - never with any feeling of certainty or security - and which requires careful handling lest its misunderstanding pave the way for mere superstition.
But to return to common sense, and without assuming anything of this kind, even hypothetically, how do we know that we are right in speaking of some things as trifles and other things as important? What is our scale or standard of value?
No one expects people to be wholly indifferent as to the posthumous disposal of their property, provided it amounts to several thousand pounds. They make careful wills, and would, if they knew, be perhaps displeased if the provisions were not adhered to, or if their final will was lost.
Very well, on what scale shall we estimate property, and how shall we measure its value?
It is conceivable that, seen from another side, little personal relics may awaken memories more poignant than those associated with barely recollected stocks and shares.
That at any rate is the kind of idea which naturally suggests itself in connexion with the subject. Our terrestrial estimate of the comparative importance of things is not likely to be cosmically sufficient or perennially true.
However that may be, it is clear that the various Piper controls do not estimate the importance of property, by any standard dependent on pounds sterling. As a variant on old letters, old lockets, and other rubbish, in which Phinuit seemed to take some interest, I once gave him a five-pound note. It was amusing to ace how at first he tried to read it - in his usual way by applying it to the top of the medium's head;- and then on realising the sort of thing it was, how he crumpled it up and flung it into a corner with a grunt, holding out his hand for something of interest. Needless to say, I did not share in this estimate of value, and, after the sitting, was careful to rescue the despised piece of paper from its perilous position.


- Section Four -
Automatism and Lucidity
Chapter 22
Illustrations of Manner
___________________________________________
          SINCE Mr. Myers's death on 17th January 1901, he has communicated through a considerable number of mediums, especially through Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Verrall, Mrs. Holland and Mrs. Piper. But his communications are too long and important to be summarised here. Some very early attempts are quoted in the larger editions of this book.
I will only quote here, from page 213 Of Proc., vol. xxi., an extract from the script of Mrs. Holland in India which was written on January 5th and 6th, 1904, by the Myers control:
"Oh, if I could only get to them - could only leave you the proof positive that I remember-recall-know-continue . . . I have thought of a simile which may help you to realise the 'bound to earth condition' which persists with me. It is a matter very largely, of voluntary choice - I am, as it were, actuated by the missionary spirit; and the great longing to speak to the souls in prison - still in the prison of the flesh - leads me to 'absent me from felicity awhile.'"
This clearly expresses the idea of "service" which I wish to emphasise, and indicates the reason for the labour bestowed by departed intelligences on the construction and communication of proofs of identity. 
General Remarks, Addressed to Religious Objectors
Good and earnest though moderately intelligent religious people sometimes seek to pour scorn upon the reality of any of these apparent communications - not for any scientific reason, but for reasons born of prejudice. They think that it is not a worthy occupation for "just men made perfect" "who have entered into felicity" to be remembering trivial and minute details, under circumstances of exceptional difficulty, for the purpose of proving to those left behind the fact of survival and the continuance of personal identity. It is taken for granted that saints ought to be otherwise occupied in their new and lofty and favoured conditions
What may or may not be possible to saints, it is hardly for me or other gropers among mere terrestrial facts to surmise: nor am I anxious to imagine that all our communicators belong to the category of "perfected and glorified saints," - it seems to me, I confess, singularly unlikely; nor is it necessary to suppose that such exercises as we report - even if they are fully an entirely what they pretend to be-constitute any large proportion of the activity of the people who are professedly concerned in their production - people who are confessedly far from perfection and who have still much to learn. And as regard dignity and appropriateness, does it not sometimes happen that an Archbishop or a Savant is found willing to play a frivolous childish game, and otherwise to disport himself, in spite of his being on the brink of eternity in a world of sorrow and sin?
But seriously, is it not legitimate to ask these good people whether, if an opportunity of service to brethren arises, an effort to seize it may not be made even by saint? Whether this notion of perennial service is no in accordance with their own doctrines and beliefs? and whether they are not impressed by that clause in till, creed of most Christians which roundly asserts that their Master descended into Hades? for purposes which in another place are suggested. Whereby they may learn that, even after such a Life and Death as that, Felicity was not entered into save after an era of further personal service of an efficient kind. Those who interpret the parables in such a way as to imagine that dignified idleness is the occupation of eternity that there will be nothing to do hereafter but idly to enjoy the beatific contemplation and other rewards appropriate to a well-spent life or to well-held creeds, free from remorse of every kind, and without any call for future work and self-sacrifice, - such people will probably some day find themselves mistaken, and will realise that as yet they have formed a very inadequate conception of what is meant by that pregnant phrase "the joy of the Lord."
Further Comments
Those who think that there is anything sensational or specially emotional in these communications are mistaken. The conversation is conducted on the same lines as a telephonic conversation: it is liable to the same sort of annoying interruptions, and likewise to the same occasional surprising gleams of vividness, - a happy turn of phrase, for instance, a tone of the voice, and other unmistakable and unexpected revelations of identity-forged or real-such as may be conveyed by an appropriate nickname or by some trivial reminiscence. When this happens, and when relatives are present, their emotions are certainly perturbed.
These remarks are general, and are applicable to this whole group reported on by me: they are not limited in their application to any one particular series.
I have not the slightest interest in attempting to coerce belief of any kind. The facts will make different kinds of appeal to different people, and to some they will not appeal at all. These will regard the whole business with contempt and pity. They are within their rights in doing so if they have conscientiously read this and the other records. As a rule however that is where they are apt to fail; and when a person's knowledge of a subject is small, we may be pardoned for holding his opinion concerning it in light esteem.
Among messages interesting to me are some concluding observations, part of which were carefully and laboriously reported by the "Nelly" control of - Mrs. Thompson, - the words (repeated below) sounding odd in a childish voice.
(Myers) "I could not say it, but they were translating like a schoolboy does his first lines of Virgil - so terribly confused and inaccurate. But somehow I could not help it. It was not me communicating, yet I saw it going on. . . . I can only think the things, and, false things may creep in without my knowing it."
(Nelly) "He said it was not he, but neither was it fraud. He does not want you to stop the phenomenon, he wants to study it. You are not to say it was wrong and get it stopped. He likes to watch the somnambulistic thing at work it is not he that is doing it, and yet he is looking on. He does not see how it is worked, but he finds this more interesting than the genuine communications. He did not rattle the curtains either . . . but it was not cheating, and he does not want you to make them think that they are cheats. He does not know how it is worked, but he is studying and he thinks it will help a great deal if he can understand how the cheating things that are not cheats are done. . . .
(And then came the laborious sentence)
He says he is finding out how honest non-phenomena are to be accounted for. Apparently dishonest phenomena are phenomena of extreme (interest) apart from the spirit which purports to be communicating."
Whatever their origin, these words do, in my judgment, represent the truth about a good many of these phenomena - that is to say, that they are riot precisely what their surface-aspect implies, yet neither are they fraud. They are attempts at doing something rather beyond the power of the operators, - who arrive approximately at their aim without achieving what they want exactly. They are trying to get something definite through, let us say, and something like it comes. Occasionally they hardly know how it comes, it is a puzzle to them as to us, and often they don't know what it is that we have got. Sometimes they too seem to be spectators, aware of the result, and to be worried by the misconception and misunderstanding which they see will arise, but which they are powerless to prevent, except, as here, by trying to instruct us and awaken our intelligences into a condition in which we too can understand and grapple with the unavoidable difficulties of the situation. "I can only think the things": seems to me likely to be an accurate description of the method. It is a telepathic method, and the reproduction by voice or pen is a supplementary and only barely controllable process.
Manner of the Stainton Moses Group
It will be of interest to those familiar with the script of Stainton Moses to see the names of his old controls cropping up. Not only Imperator and Rector, but "Prudens" also, who appears to act as an accomplished messenger. I conjecture, however, that whatever relationship may exist between these personages and the corresponding ones of Stainton Moses, there is little or no identity. For instance, a "Doctor" is represented as communicating or controlling, but he appears neither to have, nor to claim, any connexion with the nonmedical "Doctor" of Stainton Moses; sometimes at any rate this Piper one is called "Dr. Oliver," and is probably intended to represent a deceased medical man of Boston. It is rather a puzzle to me why Mrs. Piper's personalities should have assumed the same set of names. In general characters they are similar; but I see no very close resemblance in detail. And hitherto the Piper "Imperator" has not given to us the same old earth-name as did the original "Imperator" to Stainton Moses. So that it would appear as if they did not very seriously pretend to be identical.
It is seldom nowadays that there is any marked change of control, such as occurred with Phinuit sometimes. The utterances appear to consist of first-person reporting on the part of Rector, who speaks or writes after the fashion of a dignified and gentle old man.
It may be noted that in America, with the advent of the Stainton Moses controls, the atmosphere of a sitting sometimes became rather markedly "religious". This can be illustrated by the following close of an American Voice-Sitting in 1906, reported to me by Mr. Dorr:- 
("Hodgson" terminating his communication)
Well, I will be off. Goodbye for the present.
(Rector resumes.) All right. That is first-rate. Took him a long time to turn round and get out. He dislikes to go more than anybody I ever saw. The last moment he kept talking to me and talking to me. He could not give it up.
Prayer
Father, in Thy kindness guide Thy children of earth, bestow Thy blessings on them, teach them with Thy presence and Thy power to receive suffering, pain, illness and sorrow, teach them to know that Thy presence is always with them. May Thy grace and everlasting love be and abide with them now and evermore.
Farewell. We depart, friends, and may the blessings of God be bestowed on you. Farewell.
Manner of the Hodgson Control
The atmosphere of a sitting is always serious, but only occasionally solemn; usually it is of an even tenor, and sometimes it is hearty and jovial. The following is a characteristic Hodgson greeting extracted from a sitting with Mr. Dorr and Henry James, Jr., at Boston in 1906:-
Ha! Well, I did not expect to me you so soon. Good morning, Harry! I am delighted to see you.
H. J. Jr. Is that you, Mr. Hodgson?
Yes, it is a great delight to me to see your face once more. How is everything with you, first rate?
H. J. Jr. Very well.
Why, I feel as though I was one among you. Hello George!
G. B. D. Hello!
You people don't appreciate my spirit of fun! But I am Hodgson, and I shall be Hodgson to the end of all eternity, and you cannot change me no matter what you do.
H. J. Jr. I think we appreciate it, Mr. Hodgson.
Well, I hope you do-if you don't, you have lost something, because I am what I am, and I shall never be anything else, and of all the joyous moments of my whole existence, the most joyful is when I meet you all.
This sort of thing is of course not in the least evidential, and yet if I were asked to invent some scheme of salutation more natural and characteristic of Hodgson's personality I should not be able to improve upon it.
Manner of the Impersonation Generally
As illustrating the dramatic activity of the hand in an extreme case-though it is always very marked, for the band is full of "personality" (p. 202) - I quote the following contemporaneous note made by Mrs. Sidgwick during a sitting in which the Myers, control, at length after much effort, had just succeeded in giving Abt Vogler as the name of a poem he was referring to.
"The hand is tremendously pleased and excited and thumps and gesticulates. The impression given is like that of a person dancing round the room in delight at having accomplished something."
But indeed the writing which immediately followed this success is worth quoting. The record runs thus:-
"(Rector communicating)
He pronounced it for me again and again just as you did, and he said, Rector get her to pronounce if for you and you will understand, he whispered it in my ear.
E. M. S. Just as you were coming out?
Just as I left the light.
Volgor, yes.
E. M. S Good.
(Myers communicating)
Now dear Mrs. Sidgwick in future have no doubt or feat of so-called death as there is none as there is certainly.
With regard to the misspelling which occurs here and elsewhere, the difficulty is readily imaginable but it is thus expressed by Rector, later, when he is repeating the name of a poem. The record runs thus:-
"Abt. ABT. Volg.
(Hand expresses dissatisfaction with this.)
Vogler.
(Rector communicating)
You see I do not always catch the letters as he repeat
them. R.
E. M. S. No, I see.
Therefore when I am registering I am apt to misspell.
E. M. S. I see
But if you ask me to correct it of course I can. R."
With regard to "fishing" and making use of indications given by the sitter, it seems likely that with the most transparent honesty this would be likely to happen because Rector, or any other scribe, is evidently in the position of receiving ideas by a sort of dictation, and need not always be able clearly to discriminate their source, whether from the ultra-material or from the material side. For instance the Myers, control attempted to speak about the Odes of Horace, and did so; but Rector, after writing "Odes" without difficulty, appeared doubtful about the word, and wrote "Odessus", "Odesesis," etc., and finally half accepted Mrs. Sidgwick's suggestion "Odyssey"; - a good instance of how ready Rector is to accept a misleading suggestion, even when what he has independently written is right; and also of discontinuity of consciousness between Rector and the real communicator, who in this case was obviously trying to talk about the Odes of Horace, in order to connect them with the quotations

- Section Four -
Automatism and Lucidity
Chapter 23
Brief Summary of Other Experiences and Comment Thereupon
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          SOME rather striking sittings were held by a lady named Mrs. Grove, whose deceased friends, a Mr. Marble and some others, sent many appropriate messages, which were in many respects akin to those which had been received by the same sitter through other mediums.
Her friends were perfectly obscure people, totally unknown to Mrs. Piper, and unknown in any district in which Mrs. Piper had been; hence these utterances have an importance of their own, more akin to that of the time when Phinuit showed himself able to deal with the concerns of miscellaneous strangers. They are reported in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (Vol. xxiii., pp. 255 - 279), but I do not repeat them here, though I repeat an experiment made in connexion with them:-
Experiment on the recognition of a Photograph
The waking stages of the last sitting of the first Edgbaston series, in December 1906 and of the first of the second series, in May I907, - with an interval between them of five months, - are worth recording because of an experiment I made in connexion with the likeness of a person supposed to have been communicating during the trance (in this case Mr. Marble): the point being to see whether there would be any recognition of a photograph by the automatist, before her state had become entirely normal, - that is during the sort of period in which it is customarily possible dimly to remember dreams (see page 204). This stage is referred to by, Dr. Hodgson oil page 401 of vol. xiii. - where he calls it Mrs. Piper's subliminal stage, and says that it is a condition in which she frequently has visions of the distant or departing "communicators."
On the first occasion I waited rather a long time before trying the experiment, - something more than an hour, - and the recognition was uncertain; but faint as it was, it seemed to be a residual effect of the trance: since it was not permanent, and by next day had entirely disappeared.
On the second occasion I tried directly after the waking stage was complete; and then the recognition was immediate and certain. But in a few minutes it had become vague and dim, and before the end of the day it had again completely ceased.
Sequel to sitting No. 13, which had lasted from II.10 to I.10 on 3rd December, 1906
After lunch I took eleven photographs of men, and asked Mrs. Piper if she had ever seen any of them. She looked over them, hesitating on the one representing Mr. Joseph Marble for some time, and then picked that out and said she had seen that man somewhere, but she could not remember where. Nothing was said by me during the process, of course.
Next day, in the evening, I tested Mrs. Piper again with another set of photographs of men, partly the same and partly different, but containing among others the critical one. This time, however, it was looked at without comment and without interest, and no remembrance of the appearance seemed to persist. She remembered the fact of having recognised one before; but when asked to do it again, she picked out, after much hesitation, a different one as a possibility, and said that she thought it had been found in America that the memory evaporated in time, and that it was strongest within an hour of the sitting. The test made the day before had been made about an hour and a hall after sitting at which "Mr. Marble" had been one of the communicators. Next time the experiment was tried more promptly.
Sequel to Waking Stage of No. 14 On 19th May 1907
(A number of men's photographs were placed in a row before her as soon as she had come to: she immediately pounced on one without the slightest hesitation.)
That is the man I saw. I saw him. That is the man I saw. I saw him up there: such a nice face, I could see him. I could see Mr. Hodgson pushing him up to the front.
(The selection was correct; the photograph was one of the person she calls Joe, i.e. of the late Mr. Joseph Marble.) 
(An hour or so later. I again put the photographs in front of her. She looked at them as if for the first time, and said)
I do not know the photographs.
(She then hesitated long over the right one, saying she had "seen him somewhere," but finished up by saying)
No, I do not know.
Comment
The result of this experiment, with other experiences with other mediums also, relating to the description of the personal appearance of a person spoken of in the trance, has satisfied me that-whatever may be the cause - a visual likeness of the people supposed to be communicating in the trance is sometimes really impressed at the time upon the sub-conscious mind of a medium. A veridical dream impression seems to be caused in these cases; but like other dream impressions it fades. The visual impression is merely an extension of the impression of character and of speech, which is also impressed upon the same stratum of her subconsciousness, and is of a similarly evanescent character..
Undoubtedly the existence of real interest and affection on the part of a person present is an awakening cause of a particular veridical impression. It is that which determines the selection, out of the infinite multitude of other impressions which otherwise might equally well be produced, But although sympathy of this kind is the selective and determining, cause, I do not feel that it is the creative or constructive cause. It appears to me that there is an agency or energy lying ready, which is capable of arousing in the subconsciousness of an entranced person, or of persons endowed with appropriate faculty a vast multitude of impressions-good, bad and indifferent; and that out of this multitude of possible impressions some are selected with more or less discrimination as appropriate to a particular case, - the presence of a sitter being the detent or trigger which liberates or guides the energy in one direction and not in another.
On the whole, these experiences, with many, others which are omitted, tend to render certain the existence of some outside intelligence or control, distinct from the consciousness, and as far as I can judge from the subconsciousness also, of Mrs. Piper or other medium. And they tend to render probable the working hypothesis, on which I choose to proceed, that that version of the nature of the intelligences which they themselves present and favour is something like the truth. In other words, I feel that we are in secondary or tertiary touch - at least occasionally - with some stratum of the surviving personality of the individuals who are represented as sending messages.
I call the touch secondary, because in these cases it is always through the medium and not direct; and I call it generally tertiary, because it represents itself as nearly always operating through an agency or medium on that side also - an agency which calls itself "Rector" or "Phinuit." That these latter impersonations are really themselves individuals, I do not venture either to assert or deny; but it is difficult or impossible to bring them to book, and an examination of their nature may be deferred: it is the impersonation of verifiable or terrestrially known individuals to which it behoves us in the first instance to pay attention.
The fact that a photograph can be clearly recognised when the medium has only seen the person clairvoyantly, on the other side of the veil, is suggestive; since it seems to show that the general appearance is preserved - or in other words that each human body is a true representation of personality.
Deductions
A careful analysis and examination of the facts, both for and against the genuine activity of deceased Communicators, has been made by Dr. Hodson, and will be found in his Report in Proceedings, vol. xiii. pages 357-412 (Extracts are quoted above in Chapter XVIII.) He is led distinctly to countenance, and indeed to champion, a cautious and discriminating form of spiritistic theory, - not as a working hypothesis only, but as truly representing part of the facts. His experience was so large, and his critical faculty so awake, that such a conclusion of his is entitled to the gravest consideration. If I had to pronounce a prematurely decided opinion, my own view would agree with his.
The old series of sittings with Mrs. Piper convinced me of survival, for reasons which I should find it hard to formulate in any strict fashion, but that was their distinct effect. They also made me suspect - or more than suspect - that surviving intelligencies were in some cases consciously communicating - yes, in some few cases consciously; though more usually the messages came in all probability from an unconscious stratum, being received by the medium in an inspirational manner analogous to psychometry.
The hypothesis of surviving intelligence and personality, -not only surviving but anxious and able with difficulty to communicate, - is the simplest and most straightforward, and the only one that fits all the facts. But the process of communication is sophisticated by many influences, so that it is very difficult, perhaps at present impossible, to disentangle and exhibit clearly the part that each plays.
One thing that conspicuously suggests itself is that we are here made aware, through these trivial but illuminating facts, of a process which by religious people has always been recognised and insisted on, viz. the direct interaction of incarnate with discarnate mind, - that is to say, an intercourse between mind and mind in more than one grade of existence, by means apart from, and independent of, the temporary mechanism of the body.
The facts indeed open the way to a perception of the influence of spirit generally, as a guiding force in human and terrestrial affairs, - active not under the exceptional circumstances of trance alone, but always and constantly and normally, - so uniformly active in fact that by ordinary people the agency is undetected and unperceived. Most people are far too busy to attend: they are too thoroughly occupied with what for the time are certainly extremely important affairs. A race of inspired people would be hopelessly unpractical, - though Society is usually grateful for the existence and utterance of a few individuals of this type.
The fact that these communications are obtained through subconscious agency is sometimes held to militate against their importance as a subject of study. But have not men of genius sometimes testified that brilliant ideas do surge lip into their consciousness from some submerged stratum, at a time when they are incompletely awake to the things of this world? And ordinary people are aware that a brown study favours the conscious reception of something presumably akin to inspiration, by relegating ordinary experience to the background, and thereby enabling new and unfamiliar ideas to enter or germinate in the mind.
A trance, or any state of complete unconsciousness renders the normal though obscure activity of an unfamiliar psychical region still more manifest. Not indeed to the patient - who is unaware of the whole phenomenon, or remembers it only after the indistinct and temporary fashion of a dream - but to an observer or experimenter, who is allowed to enlarge his experience and to receive impressions by deputy; thereby attaining, at second hand, some of the privileges of intuition or clairvoyance or even of genius, while he himself remains in an ordinary and business-like condition. His experience in fact may be regarded as an undeserved, and therefore only moderately valuable, kind of vicarious inspiration.

- Section Four -
Automatism and Lucidity
Chapter 24
Introduction to the study of Cross-Correspondence
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          THE subject of cross-correspondence is so large and complicated that any one who wishes to form an opinion oil it is bound to study the detailed publications by Mr. Piddington, Mrs. Verrall, Miss Johnson, and others, in recent volumes of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. It would be impossible otherwise to give the critical and substantial study which the elaborate literary references demand. Whatever else they are, they are eminently communications from men of letters, to be interpreted by scholars, and they are full of obscure classical allusions. And parenthetically I may here state, as a noteworthy fact, that nowadays even through Mrs. Piper such scholarly allusions are obtained, - not obvious and elementary ones, but such as exhibit a range of reading far beyond that of ordinary people-beyond my own for instance and beyond that of anyone present at the time.
Returning to the general subject of cross-correspondence, - the main feature of this kind of communication is that we are required to study, not the phenomena exhibited by a single medium actuated by a number of ostensible controls, as heretofore, but conversely the utterance of one ostensible control effected through the contributory agency of several different mediums who write automatically quite independently of each other, who are at a distance from each other, who are sometimes unknown to each other, and who at first were unaware that any kind of correspondence was going on.
In many cases, moreover, the messages as separately obtained were quite unintelligible, and only exhibited a meaning when they were subsequently put together by another person. So that the content of the message was in no living mind until the correspondences were detected by laborious criticism a year or two later; then at last the several parts were unified and the whole message and intention made out.
The object of this ingenious and complicated effort clearly is to prove that there is some definite intelligence underlying the phenomena, distinct from that of any of the automatists, by sending fragments of a message or literary reference which shall be unintelligible to each separately - so that no effective mutual telepathy is possible between them, - thus eliminating or trying to eliminate what had long been recognised by all members of the Society for Psychical Research as the most troublesome and indestructible of the semi-normal hypotheses. And the further object is evidently to prove as far as possible, by the substance and quality of the message, that it is characteristic of the one particular personality who is ostensibly communicating, and of no other.
That has clearly been the aim of the communicators themselves. Whether or not they have been successful is a question which it may take some time and study finally and conclusively to decide.
If a student is to form a first band judgment of an value on this subject, he must, as I have said, read in fill the elaborate papers of Mr. Piddington and Miss Johnson and Mrs. Verrall in the important recent volumes of the Proceedings of the Society; which is no light task.
Discovery of Cross-Correspondences
But as giving the best introductory and purely initial account of this large and evidently growing subject, I will quote from the paper of our Research Officer, Miss Johnson, her Chapter VII, called "The Theory of Cross-Correspondences, since it was through her patient care and perspicacity that the existence of such things, on the way to something like their present striking form, was first demonstrated.
It opens with a quotation from the writings of F. W. H. Myers, which illustrates his attitude to the subject when living:
"It is not we who are in reality the discoverers here. The experiments which are being made are not the work of earthly skill. All that we can contribute to the new result is an attitude of patience, attention, care; an honest readiness to receive and weigh whatever may be given into our keeping by intelligences beyond our own. Experiments, I say, there are; probably experiments of a complexity and difficulty which surpass our imagination; but they are made from the other side of the gulf, by the efforts of spirits who discern pathways and possibilities which for us are impenetrably dark." (Human Personality, vol. ii. P. 275.)
And then it continues:
"In Human Personality Mr. Myers hints more than once at a favourite theory of his that the influence of science on modem thought is not confined to this life alone, but may be carried on into the next, and so tend to improve the evidence for communication from the dead. The latter, he suggests, are coming to understand more and more clearly what constitutes really good evidence, and may gradually discover better means of producing it. [In the above passage he formulates this conjecture most clearly, and] it would seem from our recent investigations that some such experiments as he there foreshadowed may actually be taking place.
"Mr. Myers and Dr. Hodgson made attempts at different times to obtain connections between the utterances - either spoken or written - of different automatists. It is by no means easy even to obtain suitable conditions for trying such experiments, and unfortunately, as far as I am aware, no complete record of these attempts seems to exist. Some references to them, however, occur in a number of letters written by Mr. Myers to Mrs. Thompson for instance, on October 24th, 1898, he wrote as follows:
" 'Dr. Hodgson is staying on in America for the winter, sitting with 'Mrs. Piper. It would be grand if we could get communication between the "controls" on each side.' "
Some interesting connections between the autmatisms of Mrs. Thompson and those of other sensitives were already recorded in Mr. Piddington's paper, 'On the Types of Phenomena displayed in Mrs. Thompson's trance,' in Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xviii. pp 104-307.
But the most notable development of cross-correspondence, and the first appearance of a really complicated and remarkably evidential type of them, have taken place since Mr. Myers's death.
This was shown first in Mrs. Verrall's script, and a considerable section of her Report on it (Proc. vol. xx. pp. 205-275) is devoted to an account of the cross-correspondences between her script and the script or automatic speech of other automatists.
"In studying these in proof in the early part of 1906 - says Miss Johnson, our Research Officer - I was struck by the fact that in some of the most remarkable instances the statements in the script of one writer were by no means a simple reproduction of statements in the script of the other, but seemed to represent different aspects of the same idea, one supplementing or completing the other. Thus, in one case (p. 223), Mrs. Forbes's script, purporting to come from her son Talbot, stated that he must now leave her, since he was looking for a sensitive who wrote automatically, in order that he might obtain corroboration of her own writing. Mrs. Verrall, on the same day, wrote of a fir-tree planted in a garden, and the script was signed with a sword and suspended bugle. The latter was part of the badge of the regiment to which Talbot Forbes had belonged, and Mrs. Forbes had in her garden some fir-trees, grown from seed sent to her by her son. These facts were unknown to Mrs. Verrall.
"In another case (pp. 241-245) - too complicated to summarise here - Mrs. Forbes produced, on November 26th and 27th 1902, references, absolutely meaningless to herself, to a passage in the Symposium which Mrs. Verrall had been reading on these days. These references also applied appropriately to an obscure sentence in Mrs. Verrall's own script of November 26th; and on December 18th, attempts were made in Mrs. Forbes's script to give a certain test word, 'Dion' or 'Dy,' which, it was stated, 'will be found in Myers's own. . . .' Mrs. Verrall interpreted the test word at the time, for reasons given, as 'Diotima,' and a description of the same part of the Symposium, including the mention of Diotima, did occur in Human Personality, which was published about three months later, in February 1903. Further references to the Symposium appeared in Mrs. Forbes's script in the early part of 1903 (see Mrs. Verrall's Report, p. 246).
"In another case (pp. 269-271), October 16th, 1904, Mrs. Verrall's script gave details, afterwards verified, of what Mrs. Forbes was doing; and immediately afterwards Mrs. Verrall had a mental impression of Mrs. Forbes sitting in her drawing-room, with the figure of her son standing looking at her. Mrs. Forbes's script of the same day, purporting to come from her son, stated that lie was present and wished she could see him, and that a test was being given for her at Cambridge.
"I became convinced through the study of these cases that there was some special purpose in the particular form they took, - all the more because in Mrs. Verrall's script statements were often associated with them, apparently to draw attention to some peculiar kind of test, - deseribed, e.g. as superposing certain things on others, when all would be clear.
"The characteristic of these cases - or at least of some of them-is that we do not get in the writing of one automatist anything like a mechanical verbatim reproduction of phrases in the other; we do not even get the same idea expressed in different ways, - as might well result from direct telepathy between them. What we get is a fragmentary utterance in one script, which seems to have no particular point or meaning, and another fragmentary utterance in the other, of an equally pointless character; but when we put the two together, we see that they supplement one another, and that there is apparently one coherent idea underlying both, but only partially expressed in each.
"It occurred to me, then, that by this method, if by any, it might be possible to obtain evidence more conclusive than any obtained hitherto of the action of a third intelligence, external to the minds of both automatists. If we simply find the same idea expressed even though in different forms - by both of them, it may, as I have just said, most easily be explained by telepathy between them; but it is much more difficult to suppose that the telepathic perception of one fragment could lead to the production of another fragment which can only, after careful comparison, be seen to be related to the first.
"The weakness of all well-authenticated cases of apparent telepathy from the dead is, of course, that they can generally be explained by telepathy from the living. If the knowledge displayed by the medium is possessed by any person certainly existing, - that is, any living person, - we must refer it to that source rather than to a person whose existence is uncertain, - that is, a dead person. To do otherwise would be to beg the whole question at issue, for the very thing to be proved is the existence of the dead person.
"Hitherto the evidence for survival has depended on statements that seem to show the control's recollection of incidents in his past life. It would be useless for him to communicate telepathically anything about his present life, because there could be no proof of the truth of the communication. This is the fundamental difference between the types of evidence for telepathy from the living and for telepathy from the dead.
"Now, telepathy relating to the present, such as we sometimes get between living persons, must be stronger evidentially, than telepathy relating to the past, because it is much easier to exclude normal knowledge of events in the present than of events in the past. But it has been supposed impossible that we could ever get this kind of evidence for telepathy from the dead; since events in the present are either known to some living person, - in which case we could not exclude his telepathic agency, - or they are unknown to any living person, in which case it would be difficult or impossible to prove that they had occurred.
"In these cross-correspondences, however, we find apparently telepathy relating to the present, - that is, the corresponding statements are approximately contemporaneous, - and to events in the present which, to all intents and purposes are unknown to any living person; since the meaning and point of her script is often uncomprehended by each automatist until the solution is found through putting the two scripts together. At the same time we have proof of what has occurred (i.e. some special indication that a correspondence is being attempted) in the scripts themselves. Thus it appears that this method is directed towards satisfying our evidential requirements.
"Now, granted the possibility of communication, it may be supposed that within the last few years a certain group of persons have been trying to communicate with us, who are sufficiently well instructed to know all the objections that reasonable sceptics have urged against the previous evidence, and sufficiently intelligent to realise to the full all the force of these objections. It may be supposed that these persons have invented a new plan, - the plan of cross-correspondences, - to meet the sceptics' objections. There is no doubt that the cross-correspondences are a characteristic element in the scripts that we have been collecting in the last few years, - the scripts of Mrs. Verrall, Mrs. Forbes, Mrs. Holland, and, still more recently, Mrs. Piper. And the important point is that the element is a new one. We have reason to believe, as I have shown above, that the idea of making a statement in one script complementary of a statement in another bad Dot occurred to Mr. Myers in his lifetime, - for there is no reference to it in any of his written utterances on the subject that I have been able to discover. Neither did those who have been investigating automatic script since his death invent this plan, if plan it be. It was not the automatists themselves that detected it, but a student of their scripts; it has every appearance of being an element imported from outside; it suggests an independent invention, an active intelligence constantly at work in the present, not a mere echo or remnant of individualities of the past."
Yes, it suggests an independent invention - an active intelligence constantly at work in the Present, not a mere echo or remnant of individualities of the past.
And so the matter has gone on developing, and a still further and more elaborate system of evidently experimental and designed cross-correspondence has now been discovered by Mr. Piddington in the scripts of the automatists mentioned, when independently compared together; with veiled statements in those same scripts which symbolically but definitely claim that such correspondences are to be found if looked for. Those so far discovered are reported in the Society's Proceedingss - a series of documents upon a consideration of which I do not propose to enter, since at this stage they are not capable of effective abridgement.
Summary
Summarising once more our position as regards cross-correspondence - we have in the course of the last few years been driven to recognise that the controls are pertinaciously trying to communicate, now one now another definite idea, by means of two or more different automatists, whom at the same time they are trying to prevent from communicating telepathically or unconsciousIy with one another; and that in order to achieve this deliberate aim the controls express the factors of the idea in so veiled a form that each writer indites her own share without understanding it. Yet some identifying symbol or phrase is often included in each script, so as to indicate to a critical examiner that the correspondence is intended and not accidental; and, moreover, the idea thus co-operatively expressed is so definite that, when once the clue is found, no room is left for doubt as to the proper interpretation.
That is precisely what we have quite recently again and again obtained. We are told by the communicators that there are other correspondences not yet detected by us; and by more careful collation of the documents this has already been found true. The evidence needs careful and critical study; it is not in itself sensational, but it affords strong evidence of the intervention of a mind behind and independent of the automatist.
"If this be so - says Mrs. Sidgwick in a Presidential Address - the question what mind this is, becomes of extreme interest and importance. Can it be a mind still in the body? or have we got into relation with minds which have survived bodily death and are endeavouring which by means of the cross-correspondences to produce evidence of their operation? If this last hypothesis be the true one, it would mean that intelligent cooperation between other than embodied human minds and our own, in experiments of a new kind intended to prove continued existence, has become possible; and we should be justified in feeling that we are entering on a new and very important stage of the Society's work.
Consider for a moment the purport and full bearing of a judgment which, though still in form hypothetical, I hold for my own part to be fully justified: - Intelligent co-operation between other than embodied human minds and our own . . . has become possible.
It is surely difficult to over-estimate the importance of so momentous an induction when it can finally be made.
Man's practical outlook upon the universe is entering upon a new phase. Simultaneously with the beginning of a revolutionary increase in his powers of physical locomotion - which will soon be extended into a third dimension and no longer limited to a solid or liquid surface - his power of reciprocal mental intercourse also is in process of being enlarged; for there are signs that it will some day, be no longer limited to contemporary denizens of earth, but will permit a utilisation of knowledge and powers superior to his own, - even to the extent of ultimately attaining trustworthy information concerning other conditions of existence.


- Section Four -
Automatism and Lucidity
Chapter 25
Tentative Conclusion
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          IF we now try to summarise once more the position at which we have so far arrived - which I have endeavoured to express in the concluding paragraph of the preceding chapter - we shall represent it somewhat as follows: -
The evidence for the survival of man, that is for the persistence of human intelligence and individual personality beyond bodily death, has always been cumulative; and now, through recent developments of the ancient phenomenon of automatic writing, it is beginning to be crucial.
The fame of Mrs. Piper has spread into all lands, and I should think the fame of Mrs. Verralll also. In these recent cases of automatism the Society has been singularly fortunate; for in the one we have a Medium who has been under strict supervision and competent management for the greater part of her psychical life and in the other we have one of the sanest and acutest of our own investigators fortunately endowed with some power herself, - some power of acting as translator or interpreter between the psychical and the physical worlds. There are also other ladies to some extent concerned in the recent unsensational but most intelligent phenomena, - especially the one known as Mrs. Holland - who are likewise above any suspicion of duplicity. But, indeed, the whole thing has been so conducted that no duplicity, either conscious or unconscious, can rationally be supected; everything has been deposited at the time with responsible persons outside the sphere of influence, and we are at liberty to learn what we can from the record of the phenomena, unperturbed by any moral suspicions.
And what do we find?
We find deceased friends-some of them well known to us and active members of the Society while alive especially Gurney, Myers, and Hodgson - constantly purporting to communicate, with the express purpose of patiently proving their identity and giving us cross-correspondences between different mediums. We also find them answering specific questions in a manner characteristic of their known personalities and giving evidence of knowledge appropriate to them.
Not easily or early do we make this admission. In spite of long conversations with what purported to be the surviving intelligence of these friends and investigators, we were by no means convinced of their identity, by mere general conversation, - even when of a friendly and intimate character, such as in normal cases would be considered amply and overwhelmingly sufficient for the identification of friends speaking, let us say, through a telephone or a typewriter. We required definite and crucial proof - a proof difficult even to imagine as well as difficult to supply.
The ostensible communicators realise the need of such proof just as fully as we do, and have done their best to satisfy the rational demand. Some of us think they have succeeded others are still doubtful. 
I entirely acquiesce in this judgment. In fact, I am of those who, though they would like to see further and still stronger and more continued proofs, are of opinion that a good case has been made out, and that as the best working hypothesis at the present time it is legitimate to grant that lucid moments of intercourse with deceased persons may in the best cases supervene; amid a mass of supplementary material, quite natural under the circumstances, but mostly of a presumably subliminal and less evidential kind.
The boundary between the two states-the known and the unknown - is still substantial, but it is wearing thin in places; and like excavators engaged in boring a tunnel from opposite ends, amid the roar of water and other noises, we are beginning to bear now and again the strokes of the pickaxes of our comrades on the other side.
So we presently come back out of our tunnel into the light of day, and relate our experience to a busy an incredulous, or in some cases too easily credulous, world. We expect to be received with incredulity; though doubtless we shall be told in some quarters that it is stale news, that there has been access to the other side of the mountain range from time immemorial, and that our laboriously constructed tunnel was quite unnecessary. Agile climbers may have been to the top and eeped over. Flying messages from the other side may have arrived; pioneers must have surveyed the route. But we, like the navvies, are unprovided with wings, we dig and work on the common earth, our business is to pierce the mountain at some moderate elevation, and construct a permanent road or railway for the service of humanity.
What we have to announce, then, is no striking novelty, no new method of communication, but only the reception, by old but developing methods, of carefully constructed evidence of identity more exact and more nearly complete than perhaps ever before. Carefully constructed evidence, I say. The constructive ingenuity exists quite as much on the other side of the partition as on our side: there has been distinct co-operation between those on the material and those on the immaterial side; and we are at liberty, not indeed to announce any definite conclusion, but to adopt as a working, hypothesis the ancient doctrine of a possible intercourse of intelligence between tile material and some other, perhaps etherial, order of existence.
Some people have expected or hoped to communicate with Mars; it appears likely that recognised communication may some day occur with less removed, and indeed less hypothetical, dwellers in (or perhaps not in) the realm of space.
But let us not jump to tile conclusion that the idea of "space" no longer means anything to persons removed from the Planet. They are no longer in touch with matter truly, and therefore can no longer appeal to our organs of sense, as they did when they had bodies for that express purpose; but, for all we know, they may exist in the ether and be as aware of space and of the truths of geometry, though not of geography, as we are. Let us not be too sure that their condition and surroundings are altogether and utterly different from those of mankind. That is one of the things we way gradually find out not to be true.
Meanwhile is there anything that provisionally and tentatively we can say is earnestly taught to those who are willing to make the hypothesis that the communications are genuine?
The first thing we learn, perhaps the only thing, we clearly learn in the first instance is continuity. There is no such sudden break in the conditions of existence as may have been anticipated; and no break at all in the continuous and conscious identity of genuine character and personality. Essential belongs such as memory, culture, education, habits, character, and affection, - all these, and to a certain extent tastes and interests, - for better for worse, are retained. Terrestrial accretions, such as worldly possessions, bodily pain and disabilities, these for the most part naturally drop away.
Meanwhile it would appear that knowledge is not suddenly advanced-it would be unnatural if it were, we are not suddenly flooded with new information, nor do we at all change our identity; but powers and faculties are enlarged, and the scope of our outlook on the universe may be widened and deepened, if effort here has rendered the acquisition of such extra insight legitimate and possible.
On the other hand, there are doubtless some whom the removal of temporary accretion and accidents of existence will leave in a feeble and impoverished condition; for the things are gone in which they trusted, and they are left poor indeed. Such doctrines have been taught, on the strength of vision and revelation quite short of any recognised Divine revelation - for more than a century. The visions of Swedenborg, divested of their exuberant trappings, are not wholly unreal, and are by no means wholly untrue. There is a general consistency in the doctrines that have thus been taught through various sensitives, and I add my testimony to the rational character of the general survey of the universe made by Myers in his great and eloquent work.
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