The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 6

Mediumship. Materializations. Seances.

Peculiar phases of form destiny and psychic destiny are furnished by persons in whom “astral senses” are developed prematurely or improperly, as in cases of mediumship, clairvoyance and the practice of certain breathing exercises; and, on the other hand, by those who are endowed with personal magnetism as the result of right living.

It is dangerous to develop away from the physical towards the ethereal, which is the solid state of the form plane. One needs a gross or solid physical body to be on the physical plane and to protect his fluid-solid, airy-solid, and radiant-solid bodies from the forces which are concentrated in the solid-solid state, (Fig. III). When lust, anger, vanity, envy and greed are controlled according to the dictates of reason and morals, the physical body is able to withstand inimical forces of the finer states of the physical plane.

As an immortal doer now comes to life in the solid state of the physical plane and becomes aware of it, so the doer will at some time become conscious in and aware of the finer, the fluid, airy, and radiant states of the physical plane. To do this with safety, the doer must become alive to these finer states in the regular course of development and without leaving the fourfold physical body.

Since the finer bodies or masses develop as the solid-solid physical grows, any attempt to give them special attention and to develop them is not only injurious to the solid-solid physical body, but calls upon the finer bodies to do more than they ought. Until the feelings and desires are mastered any attempt to force an entrance into the finer states of the physical plane is almost certain to end in control and obsession in that life, followed by a similar fate in the next.

One phase of psychic destiny is mediumship. The differences in degree and development of mediums are many, but generally speaking there are two kinds. One is the medium whose feelings and desires are under his control, whose astral body and breath-form are trained and whose doer remains conscious and in control of the body while that body reports the impressions which the doer would have it receive. The second kind abandons the body to outside controlling entities and is ignorant of what is done with it while the human is in the mediumistic state and under the control of spooks or elementals. Mediums of the first kind are few and not likely to be known to the world; the second kind is becoming more numerous, because of influences of discarnate beings to lead the human race into ancestor worship.

Mediums radiate a peculiar and subtle odor in their physical atmosphere, as a flower emits a perfume which attracts insects. Elementals, spooks, shells, dwellers and vampires seek the physical atmosphere of a medium and through his body as a channel to reach the physical plane in order to satisfy themselves. Such a medium is one who has in the past or in the present life desired the inner use of his senses, principally sight and hearing. Nearly every medium thinks that he is specially favored by the “spirits,” who tell him that he, the medium, has some special and important mission in the world.

One who desires to develop mediumship frequents seance rooms and desires apparitions; or, sitting in the dark in a negative condition, waits for impressions, the appearance of colored lights or spectral forms. Or he gazes at a bright spot so as to become negative and unconscious in order to induce control. He may sit as one of a circle where all desire communication of some kind with the “spirit world”; or he may use a planchette or ouija board to get into such communication, or hold a pencil and yearn to have something push it. He may gaze into a crystal to throw the vision into focus with astral pictures. Or he may take narcotics to have his nerves affected and put in touch with the radiant-solid, or astral, state of the physical plane.

The psychic destiny of all who trespass upon this state, is the same, whether these practices are followed or whether one chooses to be hypnotized and so forced into the astral state by the will of another. They become slaves of irresponsible beings of that state. The known history of some of those who kept open house for unknown beings, which have then obsessed and controlled them, should be a lesson to others who want to be mediums and to all those who desire to develop their senses astrally.

It is hardly possible for one in a thousand to escape the clutches of the inimical creatures which are likely to obsess the unprotected on the form plane or on the astral plane. At seances, public or private, there may be present elementals of the four elements, or mere astral forms, or wraiths of dead men and desire ghosts of dead men, called spooks, shells, monsters, cloaks of vices or elementaries, which may be either feeble and innocuous or strong and malignant. Desire ghosts of still living men may be there too, but this happens rarely. All these entities crave sensation through the activities of living beings. They want to bathe in and absorb the feelings and force of the living, which they cannot do in their own state but only through a human body. The desire ghosts of living men want more power to add to their own. If the moral nature of the medium is strong, the unseen entities that may enter are either of a better class or are too cunning to oppose at once his moral standards. As the astral body of the medium is used by these entities, it loses its force and its power of resistance until there is no opposition to the controlling influence, which is seldom the same for any length of time.

When the astral counterparts of organs are weakened and broken down, the entities which have used them discard the medium’s body for other bodies furnished by new persons longing to be mediums. So that even if a medium is at first controlled by an entity which seems above the usual inane beings which are called controls, this entity will discard the medium when he is run down. Then creatures of still lower orders will in turn obsess the medium. Finally there is the sorry spectacle of a human ridden by creatures less than human, which goad him in various directions, as a monkey astride a pig will bite and drive it. The medium and the control both desire sensation, and both get it.

The entities that come from the other side of death are exceptions to the multitude of doers who have passed on. Death is followed by a coma from which some doers do not recover for a long time. After the coma some dream, and some live over events of the past life. But all awaken at some time, become conscious that they have passed through death, and after a time they are judged; then they go through purifications, and then into a state called heaven, or rest, (Fig. V-D). While they are being judged and while they are being purified, they cannot return to earth. But before their judgment, some of them may on rare occasions return to the radiant-solid state of the physical plane.

Sometimes if the departed doer dreams of one of those present, it may drift into the physical atmosphere of the medium. But then its whisperings and breathings will be only the vaporings of the dreamer. After waking from the dream and before going to its judgment the departed doer may, on rare occasions, come or be drawn into the atmosphere of the medium to communicate with one of the living, either to give some information or to express regret; it appears when its breath-form is clothed with matter taken from the medium’s astral body.

Another class, few in number, of doers that may return, are doers who when overtaken by death know that they have left undone something which they had wished to do. Another class are suicides, drunkards, murderers, misers and those with whom money was almighty; their dreams bind them closely to the earth. Another class are doers who have thought little in life, and will not have much of an after death state. All these are at least doers. Also, doers that are in a coma or in a dream may be awakened by the strong desires of the living who would hold converse with them. So a husband would disturb the doer of his wife, or a mother that of her child. If they come into contact with a medium, they, because of their strong desires, can, through the atmosphere of the medium, reach and pull on the departed doer and bring it back to the radiant-solid state.

There the doer is like one suddenly awakened from a dream, confused, uncertain and unfamiliar with its surroundings, and so can give little information as to its condition, though it may be able to answer some questions. Such doers are ignorant of their own status and of their future. They do not know any more than they did in life—they do not know as much. The doers of the restless and the worried, who have left something undone and therefore seek the earth, are sometimes allowed to come back to have what they wished carried out. The great majority, however, are the earth-bound doers, those of the hard-hearted, inhuman and fiendish and with them suicides and drunkards. These often seek the earth through the atmosphere of a medium. After a while they are taken away and so deprived of the means of satisfying their greed, lust and cruelty. No doer can return after the judgment.

The desires that were shaken off are nothing more than cloaks of vices, without conscience and without a form, but are venom, lust and greed. These are again earth-bound, but they are not doers; they are writhing, shapeless or monstrous things, which seek the earth to fasten on a human and obsess him. They are sometimes called elementaries, or “soulless” beings. They seek the atmosphere of a medium so that they can fasten on it or on some other human through it. If they get a human they lay hold of him at the sex part or the solar plexus, like a poultice or a crab, and ooze in, or they jump on the neck like a cat and eat into it and disappear, sinking into the body.

What is called materialization takes place through the preparation of an atmosphere and a channel through which the creatures which manifest pass from the radiant-solid to the solid-solid state. The atmosphere is made by the audience; the friendlier its attitude the more complete and easy will be the materialization. These persons think: “What will come?”—“I want to see my husband.”—“I want Black Hawk, the control.”—“Will my investment in Blue Sky Petroleum shares pay?”—“Is my lover faithful?”—“Shall I make the voyage to Brazil?”—“Will Bright Eyes tell me if I have a tumor?”—“Who stole the silk from Weaver’s store?”—“Was Mabel murdered or has she eloped?”—“Is Johnny safe in Heaven?”—“What do the spirits do in Summerland?”—“Where do we go when we die?”—“Have the spirits any message for me?” These thoughts, selfish, inquisitive, emotional and silly, are so many currents in the room. They revolve around the medium and they may interfere with each other. Sometimes it is asked that a melody be sung. A melody produces a magnetic bath and arranges the currents so as to prevent their crossing. The thoughts roll around the medium, and soon create a whirl which is drawn into the medium as a center. Then the conditions are ready for a materialization. The atmosphere has been created and the channel is ready.

Like a mob no longer restrained by gates, swarms of spooks and elementals are ready to rush in. But there is a law that too many cannot come at once, else they would destroy the medium. Usually the medium has a so-called control which protects him after a fashion against the onrush.

Then there issues, usually from the side of the medium, a soft, bluish, phosphorescent, plastic stream, which is matter withdrawn from the fourfold physical body, and visible because of the radiant matter. This stream gives body to the materializing spook or elemental, then called a “spirit.” This may have an entire human form, or only a head or a hand or other part. One or two or even more forms may be manifested at the same time, depending upon the vitality furnished by the medium and the audience. Not only human bodies, but fabrics, flowers, musical instruments, bells, tables or other things may be manifested. These bodies and things are hard or flexible to the touch. They can be examined. The “spirits” may lift someone in the audience, or they may be lifted themselves. All these manifestations are made of the material furnished by the medium, and reinforced by effluvia drawn off from the fourfold physical bodies of the sitters through their physical and psychic atmospheres.

The manifestations may last for a few seconds or for hours, depending upon the vitality of the medium and audience and upon the harmonious wish to have that particular form remain. Skepticism, ridicule, disbelief and opposition to the manifestation will interfere with or dissipate it. The manifestations cannot usually be done by daylight, any more than a photographic negative can be satisfactorily developed in sunlight. Sunlight and strong artificial light interfere because such lights are harsh in their action on this finer matter, preventing its expansion and formation. The manifestations are easier and better in the dark, or by soft moonlight or low artificial light and in a cloudy or moist air. Such air furnishes a better magnetic condition.

A seance is like a play in which the actors converse with the audience. The medium furnishes the costumes in which the actors appear, and the audience, though unknowingly, decides what characters the spooks shall assume. Sometimes the characters represented are genuine spooks; then, if anyone in the audience will help them, they can tell about their own past experiences and present condition. They can do this, however, only because of the Light available through the thinking of the audience. Most frequently the spooks or elementals masquerade as the person desired by the audience. Frequently thoughts are in the atmospheres of people in the audience, of which they themselves are not conscious. But the spooks and elementals sense these thoughts and impersonate them. So the ordinary Bills and Janes, the many Napoleons, Shakespeares, Cleopatras and Queen Marys, appear. The spooks have no intelligence, nor have the elementals. Whatever reasonable information is given is developed from such intelligence as the audience may furnish. In rare instances a disembodied doer may impart information of moral value. It is possible that information of a higher order may be given at certain periods. It is possible, but actually has been so rare as to be negligible.

Everyone taking part in such materializations gives something and gets something. The sitters, be they one or many, give a portion of their finer bodies and vitality, whether they will or not; and they get the entertainment, such as it is, and the experience; but they get no information except such as may be brought out from the other sitters; no new information is given. The elementals and spooks give amusement and pretend to give whatever the sitters desire, and get the sensations afforded them by direct association with human beings. At seances the admonition is given to believe in “spiritualism,” in order to excite the curiosity of the sitters, to hold their thoughts and to get them to think of the departed as also living but in the “summerland,” another world connected with the earth. The purpose is to raise recruits for mediumship, and to open the partition between the physical and form planes and let the ghosts of dead men partake of the desires of the living. The medium gives his personality for exploitation by the spooks, and they give to the medium thrills and stimulation. This is at the seance; when the medium is later alone the body may be simply obsessed and the elementals and spooks do with it what they want, to get sensation.

At seances another class of entities may appear; they are nature elementals. There are hosts of them, too numerous to classify, but one category will illustrate. In one of the after death states, during the purification of the doer, the scenes which were lived through and which are made up of elementals are separated and thrown off by the doer. Other nature elementals seeking sensation and fun will coalesce with these ejected bits of scenery and will appear at a seance to enact them through the finer bodies of the medium.

A danger that faces the present race as its possible psychic destiny is that, like many older races, it may adopt a new form of ancestor worship, which is a worship either of the shades, that is, the astral bodies or of the desire bodies of the disembodied doers. In the growth of human races there is a tendency to leave the normal path of progress and to branch off towards the worship of ghosts of the dead. Such worship has always been disastrous to a race; not only would it stop civilization, as it did with those who worshipped the spirits of ancestors in China and parts of India, but it would shut out the light of knowledge. This condition, however impossible it may seem, might be brought about by the increase of what is called communication with the dead or the “dear departed.” Fortunately the great majority are against the ghastly and ghoulish practices at materialization seances.