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DID THE WORDS COME
FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE? > Tj^Ty DENTS of the Supernatural Are lnterested [iri the, So-Called Com .* Sa ] munkations from the Spirit vf Professor William James Dr. James H. Hyslop. Photo by Pach Bros. • WHKTHPIR Professor William James, who passed from this life last August, has sent a message from the undiscovered bourne is the question which is again raised by the latest connminication alleged Ao have been received from his spirit. The medium of hi:- supposed spiritual manifesta tion is a young woman of Washington, who believes she is to be inspired to write a book descriptive of his experiences in the vale beyond mortal ken.. With her there is no doubt that the often repeated in quiry. "Has Professor James been heard from?" has been answered in the affirmative. .As yet her assertion may not convince the sceptic, but so insistent is she in her theory that she is in tcuch with the mind of the noted psychologist that she is making preparations for the receipt of more messages from him which she believes are sent in waves through the interstellar spaces. It would seem, however, from the communicatir % given by the feminine medium that the soul of ts savsnt is undergoing inconvenience and is being de prived of special privileges in the spirit world by rea- \u25a0 son of the importunities of those whom he loved on earth who seek -to know from him of his life beyond. He is not yet prepared to give much concerning the present state, because "of his difficulties in becoming attuned with the sphere of mortals from which he has so recently gone; ' t William James; professor of mental science at Harvard university and for many years the . close fr'end^of the late Dr. Richard Hodgson, secretary of the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research, departed this life on August 26 last. He v.as in correspondence with numerous delvers in psychic lore, including Dr. James H. Hyslop, secre tary of the Society for Psychical Research of New York, who has been an investigator of spiritism for years. • After the death of Doctor Hodgson and also of Professor Myers of England, many efforts were made to communicate with them, and in these Doctor Hyslop and Professor James took an active interest. The- mediumship of Mrs. Leonora E. Piper was employed by Doctor Hyslop and others to obtain re puted communications from Doctor Hodgsoji, in which it Svas believed he had at least established, his identity. The Myers tests in England were not especially suc cessful and the medium was unable to give the con tents of a letter left by the scientist with the under standing that if he could he would from the vale of the unknown attempt to reproduce.it. "The efforts of Mrs. Piper and of other mediums did not in any way represent the actual contents of this missive. It is stated on the authority of a member of the so ciety in Boston that Professor James before his death left in some secret repository, known only to a few intimates and carefully^ sealed, a letter the words of which he might, if he could, attempt to communicate to some inhabitant of earth. Doctor Hyslop even has no knowledge of any such missive, and it is problematical, indeed, whether it will ever come. to light. In the meantime the secre tary of the American Society for Psychical Research, as far as he has been able, has made incidental and unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the spirit of the Harvard psychologist through mediums. All that has been considered so far on this subject is tf^eussed upon Professor Hyslop, and it is believed by ttiose who have given the subject study that the most satisfactory communications from Professor James, if any do come, will be intended for him. If any \u25ba messages alleged to be from Professor James come to him, however, Doctor Hyslop will first 'seek elab orate and convincing proofs of the identity of the communicator before he gives them serious consider- DID NOT KNOW HIM The young woman who believes she is en rapport with the impulses which come from the spirit of Pro fessor James does not at this time wish to have her name made public.' She had for six months before the death of the scientist been sending accounts of some of her psychical experiences to Professor Hyslop. She ' did not know Professor James and had, indeed, never read any of his writings. The first message purporting to come from him which she obtained was on Tues day, August 30, only four days after, his death, and within an hour after she had expressed the opinion to One of Ihc Most Rapid of His- Alleged Com* munications Was Delivered While the Young Lady Was on a Train* t * \u25a0 •--'.\u25a0<\u25a0-\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0'"\u25a0 . i some residents of Boston that he had not been dead long enough to pierce the veil. She avers, therefore, that it came as" a great sur prise to her suddenly to become conscious that his spirit desired to communicate through her. hand.- She had had some experience in so-called automatic or spirit writing. The practitioners of this art believe that the souls of the departed control the arm and fingers of the writers and' cause them to transcribe thoughts of spirits. The Society for Psychical Re search haSiSome of these supposed messages from the Harvard psychologist which have been sent by the, young woman. She is in no sense a professional medium-and merely submits the communications in the hope that they may throw light on the mysteries of the future state. The -first leaf of so-called jTames ' manuscript, marked, as 'revealed on . August 30, near Boston, is as follows: : '•\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-.' - "I'm William James. Tell Hyslop to be patient and I will know more soon. I can't send him much as yet, but will when I can. For the present I can only help s \ \u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 -•:. •-.-\u25a0, you. I want you to write a work on the mysteries \u25a0 - . \u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0 ' \u25a0\u25a0•• i •..\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0- \u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0 . . . • of the next life. There is a tremendous unfolding of these matters that will soon be given to the world. I want you to help prepare people for.it. "Death is awesome but a wonderful emancipation. , I did not realize what a burden the flesh trammels were till I laid them aside. Before, I believed there was such a thing as immortality. Now, I know that, it is real— and'our vision is now like theview; from mountains where before I dwelt in the valleys. Hys lop knows some of the things I wanted to find out I know ?,ome of them now, but the mysteries of the spiritual world are still a tremendous complex, and I fetl but a babe in r knowledge here, but will learn. by" absorption what I need to: know and will: tell you what I am allowed to tell. It is not possible; or advis able to unfold all of the mysteries of this life to those stilLon the mortal plane. Law rules here as well as there and we must obey the law. "Goodbye I will help you all I can when I know, more and have learned better how-to transmit my thoughts to' the living." • , i • This communication is similar in many respects to one^ received at a seance, where there was a profes- sional medium, which was held on Monday," Septem-x ber 5 at 8 o'clock\in the evening, at Harwichport, Mass. Several spiritualists were present. It was: as follows that the spirit\of Professor James js said to '\u25a0 have spoken on that, occasion : "I am at peace, peace t * * with. myself and all: mfnkind. I have awakened to life far beyond; my highest. conception while a denizen'of, earth." Tell my \u25a0 brothers that I , will communicate a message \u25a0 through this instrument that will prove\my individuality when I can manifest more clearly than at this time. I did not realize how difficult it would.be to manifest from this plane of life to the mortal plane. • "There is much for me to learn frnd many condi : tions to overcome." \u25a0/ • " i : V-, 'Additional communications . . came- to the amateur.. \u25a0"'": -. : •:\u25a0; •\u25a0•-• \u25a0 \u25a0:. \u25a0. '- ' ' \u25a0":." i Mrs. LeonorafiE. Pipefc , Fhota by P«<fr Bro* medium on the night, September 7, and' in her manuscript she" has begun with the words, "I'm Will James;" and then has carefully marked , out the abbreviation,- as though- she considered if undignified, and has;used the name "William." As a matter of fact, although it is -known to few, the eminent^ scholar had often referred to .himself as "Will" in addressing his intimates, and in communications supposed to be from Doctor Hodgson there are references "to "Will James." :\u25a0 Thus, with well considered strokes, of the pen, the young woman elided what might be consid ered in some quarters as a mark of authenticity, and, indeed, it is one of. the few things in the whole manu script which has any direct bearing on the identity of the spirit, alleged to be communicating." J THE SECOND MESSAGE \u25a0This is the second message in full: "Boston, Mass., September 7,- 1910, 8 p. m. . "I'm Will- (William)" James. Yes, I am much obliged to you for .writing ':me again." Why didn't you write on. Sunday, as you planned to do? I was longing to send a message through you then. "There are so many others who want to talk to you that . l find them hard to manage. . Your mother wants to talk. to you, butxan't do much as yet. She watches over you muclr of the time. Your father transmits im pulses to you and guiding instincts, but can v not get into the way of transmitting direct verbal messages to any extent. .1 _'teir you this that you may better appreciate the difficulties connected with communica tions between the two worlds. Even ' l, with all, my training (nV'this line), find it hard myself. "My friends are; awaiting for a revelation from me. They look on me as one cut-loose from all trammels, but I am not \u25a0 ..Will "people never learn from biological analogies that life is progressive and developmental? As; the germ of vitality, assimilates matter so -as to develop its physical form, so the soul takes into the next life ; only the germ of .it's spiritual life, and this is more or less encysted by the thought veils' or robes of the earth life \vovenby\hemi n^ so^ on . e ! ssc^ an^ others.- This I intimated to you the other day. Thus while the capacity for. developing a tree may lie- in the seed,/yet the actual growth of. the tree from the seed is helped or hindered more or less by adventiti ous conditions. For this reason, the dead need your prayers as well as thel living. : :• "I wish. you could take from me a biaplasmic re velation to the world.. It- is so wonderful : here to see the , unfolding o.f that which ion : the earthly plane seemed fraughr with' impenetrable \u25a0 mystery.^ ; You had a dawning, glimpse of the truth in what you wrote on the ; glandular evolution of human. faculties. Man has fettered his powers of spiritual insight till the faculty for using them has nearly atrophied. "Keep on with'your listening: to 'hear the, voice of God: speak to ypu direct or through spirits such as I, who seek only the enlightenment -of the world. Your night of waiting has been long, lit though it has been by -the starlight of many inspirations. By, and by you wiin*lihd that as you ascend in spiritual life the appar ent stars that light the "way will . reveal themselves as suns whose sizes and brilliancy will ; far surpass the. light'of the. sun which you see with-your mortal eyes. ; "Tell Hyslop to keep up his faith though his night of waiting for illumination may also seem long. When the fuller light comes the gulf that hides the spiritual from the material world will be bridged and those who arc fitted to understand will be endowed with a knowledge far ..transcending that of the present. , "Goodby. .Thanks for your time and attention:' Pages after pages in the same strain are given. The language does n6t seem to Professor Hyslop to sug gest thai of the^departed psychologist. It may be that 'the individuality of the medium has influenced it to a large degree, if such a communication could corae from the source from which it purports to be derived. :\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 ,\u25a0.--•--.\u25a0 \u25a0 - \u25a0. \u25a0. - THE TEST . Again, on September 12, a message is sent for Doc tor Hyslop' that he wait and that he place no confi dence in the "letter test," which, is characterized as "foolish," as "any one who is in the proper mood. can .get the gist of it from -the living- subliminal if not the conscious thought." / • '• "Sound,"; communicates the supposed shaded "is -the mere "Vulgar manifestation ' of the vibrations of thought: Those whose spiritual intelligence is prop erly developed fan dispense with sounds. Words are "the silent, manifestations of the forms of sound, but they also, can be dispensed with in the transmission of thoughts, and as the mental force and intelligence become more sublimated they, too. can be dispensed with. . The' effort to transmit thoughts to my fellow -workers is causing me more trouble and loss of spirit ual privileges' than they realize. To try to harness seemingly limitless concepts within the petty- con fines of words intelligible to mortal mind is no mean taskr 1 assure you.' "It is one reason why there are.no more revelations from the spiritual to the material world. I beg to rise to rite higher, more jqyous, platnes, but am fet tered by the claims made by those who love me. Tell those who love me to let go. .The new lite is so full .and 'wonderful/ that ;.-I am "not rcady^to tell all about it, for I can. not comprehend it all myself as yet. When I do I will try to send a full illumination to those' who are- ready to receive it. ' "The mysteries" of ages is not death, but is the un seen life of the spirit ordinarily hidden from one's dulled senses on earth. Marvelous is this stage of existence, where life is wrought out in the light and the ethereal essence of the divine life and light is manifested throughout our whole being. These are things that can not be explained fully in phrases in-^ ' telligible to the' human understanding. • "The spiritual-eye and soul of man and the spiritual car- alone comprehend the beauty .and development processes of this life.. Eye haUi not seen nor ear heard the glories that can.be revealed in man after death : has stripped the fleshly* fetters from his prisoned 'spiritual senses. "The process of spiritual evolution, however, is not accomplisht all at once, nor is it the same with all. For some the spiritual punishment or purgation '61 a reincarnation, oftentimes many times repeated, is Professor William James. Courtesy of L*»Ue*« Weekly. necessary. If men realized this they Would expend more effort to develop their "dormant spiritual forces and rise above the plane : of .selfish material' enjoy ment. •' The creative force of their spirits is inces santly active to- endower .thoughts and things with, power for good or the not good— there is no middle ground— which become a help or a hindrance to man when death separates him from his body, for these thought forms cling to him like a garment, and if evil they become vampires to devour his soul." " It will-be ; observed that in the foregoing paragraph the, supposed spirit for the first x time uses the reformed orthography; of thei word "accompli stit." He was one of the founders of the simplified spelling board en dowed by Mr. Andrew Carnegie in 1906, and was con nected with it until the time of his death. He does not. appear, however, to have made any extensive" use of the. new style in his writings. - : One of the most rapid of his alleged communica tions: was delivered while the young woman was on a train, on September 20, at 9 minutes to 3 o'clock in the afternoon, on her"way to New York. It is brief andfat first polished in- its phraseology. This was-Message V^as reported: -\ "William James.- Yes", Miss— — , you may well be surprised that 1 write 'so soon again, but I Want you. to say. more for. me that I maybe free: . \"Hyslop is thinking of^your: communications (from me). They have interested him, so tell him this as a supplement. '**••; v "Just as involvement of spirit in flesh is a marvel ous, prolonged and intricate process, so fs the evolve ment of the spirit from the body* audits earth condi tions.^The pathr leading" out of the' labyrinth' is as ' long as the path' leading into it. For this, reason the spirit must work out its more or less gradual emanci pation y from the labyrinthine earth conditions.". REGRET EXPRESSED . * His last communication; delivered on October IS, begins with ; an expression of regret that-he could .not arrive sooner and, again: complains "6f*being disturbed by ,the«»effort .to ; communicate at^this stage -and promises more. details of the, state^beyond when all things are; in readiness. " ' '-" ,' . ,'\u25a0". \ "Individuals who earnestly seek*Sit,-V concludes, the message,' "will receive the light which] they need "on the • hidden : path of • spiritual / development, bringing - The San'Francisco'Snnday Call them jnto' fellowship^ and communion, with alt \u25a0 that is best in the universe of God.* They who will not seek this for -themselves must remain in the twilight." . Professor Hyslop fails to" find in the alleged com munications anything which suggests the style of Professor James while writing here on earth. Somei idea as to the differences in, the method of expression of living savant and shade may be gleaned from the following quotations from Professor James, which appeared in Professor Thompson's "Proofs o£ the Lite After Death," which was largely a sym posium. In this the eminent Harvard psychologist wrote: "When the physiologist who thinks"T!:at his science cuts off" all hopes of immortality pronounces the phrase 'Thought is a function of the brain' he thinks of the matter just as 'he thinks when he says 'Steam is a function of the steam kettle.' 'Li^ht is a function of the electric circuit,' 'Power is the function of the moving waterfall.' In these latter cases the several material objects have the function of inwardly creat ing or- engendering their effects and their functions must be called a productive function. Just so he thinks that it must be with 'the' brain. "But in the World of physical nature productive function of this sort is not the only kind of function with which we are familiar. We have -the permissive or releasing function and we have a transmissive function. The keys of the organ have only a trans missive function.' They open successively the various pipes and let the wind in the air chest escape in vari ous ways. The voices of the various pipes are consti tuted by the columns trembling as they emerge. But the air is not engendered in the organ. » "My thesis now is that "when we think of the law that thought is a function of the brain we are entitled to consider also permissive of transmissive function.** One of the characteristics of the style of Professor James was its force and clearness. He would in life have scarcely used the involved language which is employed in these alleged communicatiuns. The rhet oric and nomenclature of spiritualism, somewhat tinc tured with the vocabulary of Christian Science, have developed little since the early days ot the practice. The communications with the references to earth planes and spirit planes are couched in the same mys terious jargon which has been in vogue since the days of the. Fox sisters. Spiritualists and mediums have insisted that this is the proper form for the spirits to use in addressing mortals here below, and the for mulae have become set with the lapse of time. Hundreds of communications are said to have been received from Professor James from circles of spirit ualists all over the country, all expressing the same inability to communicate and promising light yet to come. The burden of this psychic song is "The time is not yet." - . SEEKING THE LIGHT Professor Hyslop said, in speaking of the somewhat lengthy communications purporting to come from the spirit world, that the question was whether one who could make such use of the word forms used in this world might not give more details. He is planning to make extensive researches, with rfo professional mediums in his effort, to come into communication with Professor James, a proceeding which he could undertake with thoroughness had he any funds available for that purpose. HeVeceives no salary from the society, and railroad fares and other expenses, besides the payment of stenographers to t?ke records, cause the quest of the spirit world to'be more or less expensive. "Communications so far," said he, "are of no value because there have been no proofs of the identity of the entity or spirit, if there be such, which 13 making them. Such writings as those which have been sub mitted by the young woman in Washington seem to be: such as many another well 'educated person may have written. / . » "Professor James was. a well known man, yet at the same time there are undoubtedly many incidents in his life which "are known to few which might serve as a basis for his identification. The proper identifica tion of a spirit is no easy task under such conditions. In some cases it has,\in my opinion, been done, and I would consider that an existence after death has been demonstrated. In order to establish definitely whether the spirit of Professor James is actually in communication it will be necessary to have reading* Dr. Richard JJodgson. from many mediums with cross references from one -^ "There arc many things to be considered. The com munications from the spirit will perhaps be affected by-the^mind or the control .and the mind of the medium.- In some cases, however, I have known mannerisms and expressions to survive such trans mission. It may be, although I do not profess to be lieve it, that the spirit of Professor James in space. is able to make an impression upon a thousand intellects at once. •.../. > "The difficulties of . spirits in communication with mortals through various mediums must be very great. In the case of the young' woman from Washington it might be that some impulse from the spirit of Pro fessor James had come to her, thus causing her to put lown in her own words such "communications as she offers. A bell is struck by a stick and the bell vibrates with its own tone, yet it has from , an outside source received the impulse." . Professor Hyslop points out the absurdities'ad vanced by professional mediums and by untrained ob servers which often cause psychical science to be dis credited. He believes, however, "that the time is at tiand when many mysteries will be pursued with as much ', energy and. enthusiam, as researches are made in the domain of physical science.