Monday, 9 November 2009


Photograph from the booklet, "The Remarkable Mediumship of Minnie Harrison" by kind permission of Tom Harrison

How is a materialised form built up and how is it animated?

In a lecture in 1909, Elisabeth D’Esperance, an excellent materialisation medium from the North East of England, gave the following explanation:

We put these questions to Stafford. (Humnor Stafford, the chief control in spirit for her materialisation work) He bade us learn the answer by careful observation and study of the phenomena. So we were thrown upon our own resources, and forced to use our senses, observation and, reason for the gathering of information, which was a very good thing for us in many ways, and made the knowledge the more valuable because of the price we had to pay for it.

Our theosophical friends, I believe, answer this question by propounding the theory that all physical manifestations, including materialisation, are caused by the extruded etheric body of the medium, animated by the subliminal consciousness of the medium, and not by the consciousness of disembodied spirits, as we are told by the materialised spirits themselves.

This appears to me a very difficult and unsatisfactory explanation. To say the least, it gives one a vast amount of trouble to understand it; and when one has succeeded to some extent in grasping the idea, one finds one’s self involved in a maze of new theories, and complications of theories, till one is bewildered. Why should we throw aside as untrue the statements of the spirits that they are the spirits of persons who lived, and who died to find death but a change of life, and that they have found means to come and acquaint us with the fact? Why, instead of believing this, should we prefer to invest mediumistic persons with such fabulous powers, as those of being able, by the exercise of will and the concentration of thought, to produce a human form, and having produced it to endow it with the genius of a clever actor, the craft of a Macchiavelli, the memory of the person whose role it plays, and the duplicity of the father of lies himself? They who accept such theories are in many respects like the dog in the fable, who dropped his piece of flesh in the stream in order to grasp the shadow which was reflected there. (Hear, hear)

The medium, by the exercise of his will, can at any time prevent manifestations. In fact, the opposition of any person in a circle will act as a hindrance to the work of the unseen operators, but so far as I have yet seen in thirty years of experiment no medium has yet, by his will power or thought concentration, compelled a spirit to manifest itself.

Concerning my own observations as to the building of a materialised form, I can say very little more than others who have witnessed the process. It has varied according to the skill, or perhaps the knowledge, of the unseen worker; no two operators working exactly alike. I have watched the gathering together of the faintly luminous, hazy material I have before spoken of, seen it grow denser and more material in its consistency, so that it was visible to every person. Sometimes this is of a greyish white colour, sometimes of a dead whiteness, sometimes slightly luminous, becoming more so as it appears to condense, till it sheds a faint radiance on surrounding objects. To the touch it at first appears of a light, fleecy character, resembling combed, finely-drawn cotton wool, but quickly, even under the fingers, it seems to assume the character of a textile fabric.

I shall continue this description in tomorrow’s blog but should just like to comment on Madame D’Esperance’s observations about the views of Theosophists on this subject. Madame Blavatsky, a former Spiritualist, who founded Theosophy, enjoyed a wide reputation for her “intellectual” approach to spirit manifestation. Isn’t it surprising how often, so called intellectuals, prefer to accept a complex but erroneous theory to the simple facts? It as though for them, the more complex an idea, the more likely it is to be true! More often than not, the reverse is the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment