Thursday, 12 November 2009

Materialisation – Part 4

Yolande as she appeared when materialised (Photographed by magnesium light 8 March 1890)

Respecting the methods of building of the materialised form, that adopted by the spirit ‘Yolande’ came most frequently under my notice. She seemed by practice to have become an adept in the art, and her methods seldom varied. She appeared also to have overcome the dispersing effect of the light to a great extent, for after a few hundred experiments she was able to carry on her operations in a sufficiently strong light to enable the sitters to observe every detail. A good description of her methods is given in “Shadow Land” by an eyewitness, who had many opportunities of observing the phenomenon. My own observations in no way differed from those of the sitters during such manifestations, but my sensations were strange and curious. ‘Yolande’ came and went entirely independent of my will. I lost physical strength, but no particle of my individuality. On the contrary, the loss of physical power seemed but to intensify that of the senses. Distant sounds, beyond hearing at other times, became painfully audible; a movement of any of the sitters sent a vibration through every nerve; a sudden exclamation caused a sensation of terror; the very thoughts of the persons in the room made themselves felt, almost as though they were material objects.

If anyone was suffering, I could feel the pain. If anyone was anxious or sad, I was constrained to weep. At the same time the desire to follow the proceedings intelligently was always strong enough to overcome the longing to put an end to the torment.

I found that ‘Yolande’ was dependent on me for her material existence, and that if I grew weary of the terrible weakness, and made an effort to throw it off, ‘Yolande’ was compelled to return to where I sat, and as I regained my strength she lost somewhat of hers. On one occasion, just previous to a séance the sleeve of my dress caught fire, so that my arm was scorched and caused me a good deal of pain. During the manifestations ‘Yolande’ was noticed to touch her arm gingerly, as though it was in some way uncomfortable. Then I found that the pain had left my arm entirely, and did not return until the séance was over. But, at another time, when a dislocated shoulder necessitated me wearing a surgical bandage for a few days, ‘Yolande’ appeared with both arms uninjured. Nor did she exhibit any signs of weakness, for she lifted with ease a pitcher of water in her right hand, a feat which under the circumstances, would have been quite impossible for me.

One can only reconcile these contradictions by presuming that ‘Yolande’ had found sufficient material (on that occasion) from the persons in the circle, which in this case numbered over twenty. On the occasion of the burnt arm under ten persons formed the circle.

I could quote numerous instances proving that the consciousness of the medium, subliminal or otherwise, has nothing to do with the intelligence animating the materialised forms. One however will suffice; I have chosen it in preference to others because it has been well attested and much spoken of in the country where it happened.

This I will relate in the next blog. It is fascinating is it not, to realise just what it cost Madame D’Esperance to insist on remaining conscious throughout the proceedings. It also of course enables us to receive information about the process from the medium’s point of view that would have been quite impossible had she been unconscious. Lionel

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