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Scientific Telepathy








The investigators of the Society for Psychical Research, of England,
started by giving a broad definition of Telepathy, as follows: "Telepathy
is the communication of impressions of any kind from one mind to another,
independently of the recognized channels of sense." They took the rational
position that the actual distance between the projector and the recipient
of the telepathic message is not material; and that all that is required
is such a separation of the two persons that no known operation of the
senses can bridge the space between them. They wisely held that telepathy
between two persons in the same room is as much telepathy as when the two
persons are located at opposite sides of the world.

The investigators then ruled out all instances of thought-transmission in
which there was even the slightest muscular contact between the projector
and the recipient. They held that though there might be genuine telepathy
in such cases, nevertheless, there was always the possibility of fraud or
collusion, or of unconscious muscular action on the part of the projector.
They demanded absolute and actual separation of the two persons, in order
that their experiments might be above suspicion. They were wise in this,
for while there is undoubtedly a psychic communication in the cases in
which there is the slight physical connection between the two persons (as
I shall point out to you a little further on), still the element of doubt
or suspicion must be entirely eliminated from a scientific test, in order
to render it valuable and valid.

They, therefore, confined their investigations in Telepathy to the two
following classes, viz.: (1) where actions are performed without physical
contact with the person willing; and (2) where some number, word, or card
is guessed apparently without any of the ordinary means of communication.
The investigators recognized the possibility that in the first of the
above-mentioned two classes of experiments there is a possibility of
suspicion of collusion, fraud, or unconscious suggestion, in the matter of
the motion of the eyes of the party, or some member of it, which might be
seized upon, perhaps unconsciously, by the recipient, and used to guide
him to the object which was being thought of by the projector or the
party. They sought to obviate this difficulty by blindfolding the
percipient, and by placing non-conductors of sound over his ears. But,
finally, they came to the conclusion that even these precautions might not
prove sufficient; and, accordingly, they devoted their attention to the
second class of experiments, in which all ordinary means of communication
between projector and recipient were impossible. They took the additional
precautions of limiting their circle to a small number of investigators of
scientific reputations, and well known to each other, always avoiding a
promiscuous company for obvious reasons.

One of the earliest series of investigations by these special committees
of investigators was that of the family of the Rev. A.M. Creery, in
Derbyshire, England. The children of this family had acquired a reputation
in what was known as the "guessing game," in which one of the children,
previously placed outside of the room, then returned to the room and
attempted to "guess" the name or location of some object agreed upon by
the party during her absence. The results were very interesting, and quite
satisfactory, and have frequently been referred to in works on the subject
written since that time. I think it well to give the results of this
series of experiments in some little detail, for they form a basis for
experiments on the part of those who read these lessons.

Prof. W.F. Barrett, Professor of Physics in the Royal College of Science
for Ireland, conducted the most of the experiments. The report to the
Society says: "We began by selecting the simplest objects in the room;
then chose names of towns, people, dates, cards out of a pack, lines from
different poems, etc., in fact, any thing or series of ideas that those
present could keep in their minds steadily. The children seldom made a
mistake. I have seen seventeen cards chosen by myself named right in
succession without any mistake. We soon found that a great deal depended
on the steadiness with which the ideas were kept before the minds of the
thinkers, and upon the energy with which they willed the ideas to pass. I
may say that this faculty is not by any means confined to the members of
one family; it is much more general than we imagine. To verify this
conclusion, I invited two of a neighbor's children to join us in our
experiments, with excellent results."

The report gives the methods of the experiments, as follows: "The inquiry
has taken place partly in Mr. Creery's house, and partly in lodgings, or
at a hotel occupied by some of our number. Having selected at random one
child, whom we desired to leave the room and wait at some distance, we
would choose a pack of cards, or write on a piece of paper a name of a
number which occurred to us at the moment. Generally, but not always, this
was shown to the members of the family present in the room; but no one
member was always present, and we were sometimes entirely alone. We then
recalled the child, one of us always assuring himself that, when the door
was suddenly opened, she was at a considerable distance, though this was
usually a superfluity of caution, as our habit was to avoid all utterances
of what was chosen. On re-entering, she stood--sometimes turned by us with
her face toward the wall, oftener with her eyes directed toward the
ground, and usually close to us and remote from the family--for a period
of silence varying from a few seconds to a minute, till she called out to
us some number, card, or whatever it might be."

In the first experiments, in "guessing" the name of objects, the child
guessed correctly six out of fourteen. She then guessed correctly the
name of small objects held in the hands of one of the committee--five
times out of six. She guessed fictitious names chosen by the
committee--five out of ten, at the first trial. The committee then tested
her by writing down the name of some object in the house, fixed at random,
and then, after all had thought intently of the thing, they sent for the
child and bade her try to find the thing thought of, the
thought-concentration of course continuing during the search. The result
is thus reported: "In this way I wrote down, among other things, a
hair-brush--it was brought; an orange--it was brought; a wine-glass--it
was brought; an apple--it was brought; and so on, until many objects had
been selected and found by the child."

Passing over the details of many other experiments we find that the
following remarkable results were obtained by the committee: "Altogether,
three hundred and eighty-two trials were made in this series. In the case
of letters of the alphabet, of cards, and of numbers of two figures, the
chances of success on a first trial would naturally be 25 to 1, 52 to 1,
and 89 to 1, respectively; in the case of surnames they would of course be
infinitely greater. Cards were far most frequently employed, and the odds
in their case may be taken as a fair medium sample, according to which,
out of a whole series of three hundred and eighty-two trials, the average
number of successes at the first attempt by an ordinary guesser would be
seven and one-third. Of our trials, one hundred and twenty-seven were
successes on the first attempt, fifty-six on the second, nineteen on the
third--MAKING TWO HUNDRED AND TWO, OUT OF A POSSIBLE THREE HUNDRED AND
EIGHTY-TWO!" Think of this, while the law of averages called for only
seven and one-third successes at first trial, the children obtained one
hundred and twenty-seven, which, given a second and third trial, they
raised to two hundred and two! You see, this takes the matter entirely out
of the possibility of coincidence or mathematical probability.

But this was not all. Listen to the further report of the committee on
this point: "The following was the result of one of the series. The thing
selected was divulged to none of the family, and five cards running were
named correctly on a first trial. The odds against this happening once in
a series were considerably over a million to one. There were other similar
batches, the two longest runs being eight consecutive guesses, once with
cards, and once with names; where the adverse odds in the former case were
over one hundred and forty-two millions to one; and in the other,
something incalculably greater." The opinion of eminent mathematicians who
have examined the above results is that the hypothesis of mere coincidence
is practically excluded in the scientific consideration of the matter. The
committee calls special attention to the fact that in many of the most
important tests none of the Creery family were cognizant of the object
selected, and that, therefore, the hypothesis of fraud or collusion is
absolutely eliminated. The committee naturally came to the conclusion
that the phenomena was genuine and real telepathy.

Prof. Balfour Stewart, LL.D., F.R.S., who was present at some of these
experiments, though not a member of the committee, expressed great
amazement at some of the results. He reports: "The thought-reader was
outside a door. The object or thing thought of was written on paper and
silently handed to the company in the room. The thought reader was then
called in, and in the course of a minute the answer was given. Definite
objects in the room, for instance, were first thought of, and in the
majority of the cases the answers were correct. Then numbers were thought
of, and the answers were generally right, though, of course, there were
some cases of error. The names of towns were thought of, and a good many
of these were right. Then fancy names were thought of. I was asked to
think of certain fancy names, and mark them down and hand them round to
the company. I thought of and wrote on paper, 'Blue-beard,' 'Tom Thumb,'
'Cinderella.' and the answers were all correct!"

The committee also conducted a number of experiments with other
recipients, with very satisfactory results. Colors were correctly guessed
with a percentage of successes quite beyond the average or probable
number. Names of towns in all parts of the world, were correctly "guessed"
by certain recipients with a wonderful degree of success. But, probably
most wonderful of all, was the correct reproduction of diagrams of
geometrical and other figures and shapes. In one case, the recipient, in a
series of nine trials, succeeded in drawing them all correctly, except
that he frequently reversed them, making the upper-side down, and the
right-hand side to the left. The Society, has published these reproduced
diagrams in its Illustrated reports, and they have convinced the most
skeptical of critics. Some of the diagrams were quite complicated,
unusual, and even grotesque, and yet they were reproduced with marvelous
accuracy, not in a hesitating manner, but deliberately and continuously,
as if the recipient were actually copying a drawing in full sight. Similar
results have been obtained by other investigators who have followed the
lead of these original ones.

So you see, the seal of scientific authority has been placed upon the
phenomena of telepathy. It is no longer in the realm of the supernatural
or uncanny. As Camille Flammarion, the eminent French scientist, has said:
"The action of one mind upon another at a distance--the transmission of
thought, mental suggestion, communication at a distance--all these are not
more extraordinary than the action of the magnet on iron, the influence of
the moon on the sea, the transportation of the human voice by electricity,
the revolution of the chemical constituents of a star by the analysis of
its light, or, indeed, all the wonders of contemporary science. Only these
psychic communications are of a more elevated kind, and may serve to put
us on the track of a knowledge of human nature. What is certain is: That
telepathy can and ought to be henceforth considered by Science as an
incontestable reality; that minds are able to act upon each other without
the intervention of the senses; that psychic force exists, though its
nature is yet unknown. * * * We say that this force is of a psychic order,
and not physical, or physiological, or chemical, or mechanical, because it
produces and transmits ideas and thoughts, and because it manifests itself
without the co-operation of our senses, soul to soul, mind to mind."

In addition to investigating the above mentioned classes of telepathic
phenomena, the English Society for Psychical Research investigated many
remarkable cases of a somewhat higher phase of telepathy. They took down
the stories told by persons deemed responsible, and then carefully
examined, and cross-examined other witnesses to the strange phenomena. The
record of these experiments, and investigations, fill a number of good
sized volumes of the Society's reports, which are well worth reading by
all students of the subject. They may be found in the libraries of nearly
any large city. I shall, however, select a number of the most interesting
of the cases therein reported, to give my students an idea of the
character of the phenomena so investigated and found genuine by the
committees having this class of telepathy under investigation.

An interesting case of spontaneous telepathy is that related by Dr. Ede,
as follows: "There is a house about a half-mile from my own, inhabited by
some ladies, friends of our family. They have a large alarm bell outside
their house. One night I awoke suddenly and said to my wife: 'I am sure I
hear Mrs. F's alarm bell ringing.' After listening for some time, we heard
nothing, and I went to sleep again. The next day Mrs. F. called upon my
wife and said to her: 'We were wishing for your husband last night, for we
were alarmed by thieves. We were all up, and I was about to pull the alarm
bell, hoping that he would hear it, saying to my daughters, "I am sure it
will soon bring Dr. Ede," but we did not ring it.' My wife asked what time
this had happened, and Mrs. F. said that it was about half past one. That
was the time I awoke thinking that I heard the bell."

In this case there was manifested simply ordinary physical plane
telepathy. Had the bell actually been rung, and heard psychically, it
would have been a case of astral plane hearing, known as clairaudience. As
it was, merely the thought in the mind of Mrs. F., and her strong idea to
ring the bell, caused a transmission of thought waves which struck Dr. Ede
with great force and awakened him. This case is interesting because it is
typical of many cases of a similar nature within the experience of many
persons. It is seen that a strong feeling, or excitement, accompanied by a
strong desire or wish to summon another person, tends to give great power
and effect to the thought waves emitted. They strike the mind of the
recipient like the sudden ringing of an alarm clock bell.

Another interesting case is that of two ladies, both well known to members
of the committee, and vouched for as of strict veracity. This case is
unusual for the reason that two different persons received the
thought-waves at the same time. Here is an abridgment of the case: "Lady
G. and her sister had been spending the evening with their mother, who was
in her usual health and spirits when they left her. In the middle of the
night the sister awoke in her fright and said to her husband: 'I must go
to my mother at once; do order the carriage. I am sure that she is taken
ill.' On the way to her mother's house, where two roads meet, she saw Lady
G.'s carriage approaching. When they met each asked the other why she was
there. They both related the same experience and impression. When they
reached their mother's house, they found that she was dying, and had
expressed an earnest wish to see them."

Another case of a similar nature is this: "At the siege of Mooltan, Major
General R., then adjutant of his regiment, was severely wounded and
supposed himself to be dying. He requested that his ring be taken off his
finger and sent to his wife. At the same time his wife was at Ferozepore,
one hundred and fifty miles distant, lying on her bed, in a state half way
between waking and sleeping. She saw her husband being taken off the
field, and heard his voice saying: 'Take this ring off my finger, and send
it to my wife.'"

This case bears the marks of very strong telepathy, but also has a
suspicious resemblance to clairvoyance accompanied by clairaudience. Or
perhaps it is a combination of both telepathy and clairvoyance. It is
impossible to determine which, in absence of more detailed information.
The message of persons dying, or believing themselves to be approaching
death, are frequently very strong, for certain reasons well known to
occultists. But there is nothing supernatural about the phenomena, and in
most cases it is merely a case of strong telepathy.

The Society also reports the following interesting case: "A. was awake,
and strongly willed to make himself known to two friends who at that time
(one o'clock in the morning) were asleep. When he met them a few days
afterward, they both told him that at one o'clock they had awakened under
the impression that he was in their room. The experience was so vivid that
they could not go to sleep for some time, and looked at their watches to
note the time." Cases of this kind are quite common, and many
experimenters have had equally good results with this phase of thought
transference. You will remember that there is no actual projection of the
astral body, in most of these cases, but merely a strong impression caused
by concentrated thought.

Another interesting case is that of the late Bishop Wilberforce, and is
recorded in his biography, as follows: The Bishop was in his library at
Cuddleson, with three or four of his clergy with him at the same table.
The Bishop suddenly raised his hand to his head, and exclaimed: "I am
certain that something has happened to one of my sons." It afterwards
transpired that just at that time his eldest son's foot was badly crushed
by an accident on board his ship, the son being at sea. The Bishop himself
recorded the circumstance in a letter to Miss Noel, saying: "It is curious
that at the time of his accident I was so possessed with the depressing
consciousness of some evil having befallen my son, Herbert, that at the
last, I wrote down that I was unable to shake off the impression that
something had happened to him, and noted this down for remembrance." There
is nothing unusual about this case, for it has been duplicated in the
experience of many persons. Its chief importance lies in the fact that it
is recorded by a man of wide reputation and high standing, and also that
the Bishop had taken the precaution to note down the thing at the time,
instead of merely recalling it after he had heard of the accident.

You will notice that in many cases of this kind the phenomenon closely
approaches the aspect of true clairvoyance, or astral sensing. In some
cases there appears to be a blending of both telepathy and astral
clairvoyance. In fact, there is but very little difference between the
highest phases of ordinary telepathy, and the more common phases of
clairvoyance. Here, as in many other cases of Nature's forces, there seems
to be a gradual blending, rather than a sharp dividing line between the
two classes of phenomena. Moreover, the student developing his telepathic
powers will frequently find that he is beginning to unfold at least
occasional flashes of clairvoyance.

In the case of telepathy, the recipient merely senses what is in the mind
of the projector. In some cases a picture in the mind of the projector may
be seen by the recipient, and may thus be mistaken for a case of pure
clairvoyance. But, in investigating closely, it will be found that the
real scene was slightly different from the impression, in which case it
shows that the impression was simply telepathic. Clairvoyant vision shows
the scene as it really is, or rather as the physical eye of the recipient
would have seen it. The astral sight really sees the scene, and does not
merely receive the mental impression of the projector. The first is
original seeing; the second, merely a reproduction of images already in
the mind of the projector, and colored by his personality, etc.

In the next lesson, I shall give you a number of exercises and methods
designed to develop your telepathic powers. You will find the practice of
these most interesting and entertaining, and at the same time most
instructive. You will find that as you practice the exercises given
therein, you will become more and more adept and proficient in producing
telepathic phenomena. From the lower stages, you will be able to proceed
to the higher. And, in time, you will be surprised to find that almost
unconsciously you have passed into the stage in which you will have at
least occasional manifestations of clairvoyance, psychometry, etc.

In fact, there is no better way known to practical occultists to develop
in a student the powers of clairvoyance than just this method of starting
the student with the exercises designed to develop the telepathic power.
It has been found by centuries of experience that the student who develops
telepathic power, in a systematic way, will gradually unfold and evolve
the clairvoyant and psychometric power. It constitutes the first rungs on
the ladder of psychic development.

Of course, under the head of clairvoyance, etc., you will be given methods
and exercise designed to develop clairvoyant powers--some of them very
valuable and effective methods, at that. But, notwithstanding this, I feel
that I should impress upon you the importance of laying a firm foundation
for such instruction, by developing yourself first along the lines of
telepathic power. Such a course will not only keenly sharpen your powers
of receptivity to such vibrations as you may wish to receive; but it will
also train your mind in the direction of translating, interpreting, and
recording such impressions when received.

You must remember that proficiency in a mental art is attained only by
means of training the attention to concentrate upon the task. It is the
same way in clairvoyance and psychometry. Telepathy trains your attention
to concentrate upon the reception of impressions, and to hold them firmly
and clearly in consciousness. The result is that when you really develop
clairvoyant receptivity, your attention has already been trained to do
the necessary work. I need not tell you what an advantage this gives you
over the clairvoyant who has not received this training, for your own good
common sense will assure you of it.

So, now for our training in telepathy--not only for itself, but also as a
means of preparing for the higher stages.





Next: Mind Reading And Beyond

Previous: Telepathy Explained



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