Belief, disbelief, reality and purpose
Posted on Friday, 22 September, 2006 | 4 comments
Columnist: J. Patterson
Without digging into the history of the paranormal and all its accompanying accoutrements (perhaps another column), definitely the central and primary theme in most events and issues relating to the "paranormal" is the idea of life after death and/or spirits, etc. Although this theme goes back into prehistory, undoubtedly, somewhat more recent times saw the establishment of groups and organizations such as the (British) Society for Psychical Research in the 1800's, whose main imperative was the investigation of and proving (or disproving) of what they termed "The Survival Theory", meaning whether an individual survives the death of his physical body (ie, becomes a "spirit" or whatever term you wish to apply).
The thing that separates the SPR's endeavors from other earlier groups of mystics and occultists was their attempt to establish and follow rational, logical, scientific ideals; indeed, most SPR founders and early members were all academics, professors, doctors or other men of high intellectual and professional standing, whose interest in the Survival Theory was so strong that they felt it was important enough to pursue the matter publicly, sometimes at the expense of their own reputations, for being associated with such "nonsense". Other SPR-like groups would be founded, in England and the United States as well as many other countries, well on into the 20th century, with most attempting to maintain the "hard science" credentials of objective empirical experimentation and observation in the spirit of the original SPR.
But what has come of all of these investigators, groups, data and observations? What conclusions have been, or can be drawn, about the spirit world? Likely much as it was in the dawning of science itself, your answers will even now still vary, depending on whom you are asking, and their own personal system of belief and mental picture of the way the world truly operates. Much like religion, there is sometimes very little agreement among even those who share some of the same basic ideas and tenets, let alone those of wholly different and sometimes rival perspectives and viewpoints. This is to say nothing of the further division of “hard-line” skeptics, who believe, just as in the 1800's and before, that these “believers” in paranormal and psychical phenomenon were wasting their time with “nonsense”.
So what then when those of a skeptical bent “investigate” and experiment with things and subjects with which they're not much in agreement? As one who tries to let facts and data speak for themselves, I, as one such skeptic, at least in this particular instance and subject, will present to you, the reader, some excerpts from some of my earlier experiments I myself have done with so-called “automatic writing”, wherein a person is believed to “receive” messages from spirits or ghosts – I would say its similar to channeling, though more passive, more like taking dictation – “hearing” the words in your head, or rather having the thoughts in your mind, and simply writing them down.
Below are excerpts of automatic writing, dated around 1995 - the works below consist of numerous different sessions, on various subjects. These transcripts are typed in and reproduced as faithfully as possible, though some writing can only be done justice seeing it in its normal form, as some letters look like others and handwriting has a certain character.
(apparently a short biography from “Encedus”)
One night, as I slept in my tent, which I had managed to lease for a small fee with the money made from doing odd jobs and filling in for Gilda, I went to sleep and began to dream of my secret love. I think she knew all along that I was infatuated with her, but that night, she surely did.
I was in a dark forest, with low branches and a fog pouring over the moors. I saw Gilda, lovely, in a fine satin robe of irridescent white. I approached her from behind and moved to caress her shoulder with my hand. I touched her, Gilda turned, startled. "Encedus" she admonished, quite startling me. "I had no idea you had grown so in the ways of the Walk." She smiled and took my hand. "You must never enter my dreams again. Unless I wish it. Or anyone's, for that matter. This is a very private place where our secret heart and fears can relax and be free, without thought of reproach. I will teach you what I know of the Walk, but you must be careful how you use it.”
In the olden times, when I was a lad in my father's tailor shop in England, I was allowed to roam the booths at the bazaar. After a small number of years, I eventually became well known to all the tent-dwellers and hawkers, fishmongers and yes, the fortune tellers, or soothsayers, as we referred to them in those days. One in particular, I liked to visit - she was of fair hair and complexion, a mere decade older than myself. I was in love, or at least thought I was. She allowed me to come around and talk to her when she was not busy. She was a safe but fasinating diversion for me, a child of only 14 years, and a way to pass the time between clients, for her.
Only after a great while did Gilda begin to reveal to me some of her arts in soothsaying. At first, I was shocked; some practices were no more than shams. Later I came to realize that you had to do those things to make a living. Other things she showed me were of a decidedly curious nature. She taught me how to focus my
mind for crystal gazing. Tarot practically worked themselves - interpreting them was the tricky part. Soon, I had become her apprentice (much to the chagrin of my father) and became a man of my own right in time, known for my own talents.
(An apparently random line)
The word is that one which can only be upon the heart of the beggar and the prince.
(Perhaps an unknown tie-in?)
Partly his own fault, Anthony Taylor was a guest at the Queen's Royal Banquet, 3rd of May 2000. Began as rain poured down upon the murky(?) bazarre shop owners, minstrels and mongers, who headed for shelter at the outset, the lute strings bent and twisted, twang with dissatisfaction as the spectator's faces become more morose, fallow. Only the brickmason remained, bricking a wall he had started
early that morning, his shoes shining in the sunlight like gold in the rainbow.
(I am being directly addressed here by Encedus. This was fairly common to be directly addressed, sometimes in the middle of a narrative or message.)
Hello. I fear this is a bad time for introductions, but my name is Encadus. I was once a powerful and wealthy nobleman from what you call Rome. Never fear - we all think the same thoughts and have the same fears, but this is the most insignificant beginning to our friendship. I have seen great times but am now not a worldly man. A favor I ask of you. Please choose better liquor. The pleasures I have now are few so please choose more carefully.
Dreams were my specialty – as Dream Oracle, I worked in the temple. It amused me.
Three strikes the hour. Three knocks the door. Three burns the candles. Three are the days to fulfillment - the right to ask is yours, grasp it and hold on <-n.
(He signed his messages <-n for ENcadus).
And the sky was filled with hoofbeats, which thundered across the mesa. Enjoying the spectacle, astride his charger, sat the great Railhazad. Clad in the finest silks and embroidered cloth from many countries, he adjusted his cutlass by his side. Peering through the approaching dust cloud, he saw the teeming army of the barbarian invaders (incomplete)
(This excerpt I'd classify as partial stream-of-consciousness, as I “received” it as I was thinking about how best to summarize some of the earlier points – and some of it seems to rely on some of my own experiences, yet I myself do not necessarily share most or all of the reasonings and beliefs that are expressed. I have no documentation to indicate who, if anyone specifically, is responsible for any of this.)
Perception in the spirit realm, at least in most cases, differs from normal human perception. There doesn't appear to be a differentiation of the senses, such as sight and sound, etc. but it appears to be an overall experience, at least for spirits. Some spirits claim that they rose out of their bodies and death and could see themselves and the rest of their environment, but they simply wouldn't interact with it. This seems to indicate normal perception (seeing their own corpse, hearing the sirens of the ambulance), but may also be accounted for by a type of perception beyond what the living know.
The spirit is focused on the physical (his death scene to be precise), and can wander around, able to "see" and "hear" but unable to interact. It seems at some point the spirit loses interest in such a boring place and the physical world begins to fade from view, replaced by darkness. This darkness is not physical, but mental, as the spirit , because of his state of being, perceived things by thought, and fails to perceive things by absence of thought. "Out of sight, out of mind" and vice-versa, are both literal laws of perception for spirits. Whether there are diffferent planes (astral, spiritual, mental) and whether perception in each is open to question, but most spirits that interact with humans are all subject to the same set of rules, which are in effect what I will call the astral plane, but I mean that as a generalization, meaning non-physical (unlike our own plane).
Spirit communication, either by voice-trance, ouija board, automatic writing or some other form, can be confusing, frustrating and scary, owing to the fact that most spirits that contact humans are what are called discarantes or "earth-bounds" - spirits which either won't or can't leave the earth and go to the Light, but instead roam the earth in a state of depression and helplessness.
When asked if he could see a group of people using a ouija board, one spirit said he could see forms of energy (their auras?) and the different colors and rates of the energy. Another spirit described his perception of the medium as the silhouette of a woman enveloped in a bright flame (a very strong vibrant aura?). You will notice that most spirits can see obvious items (people around a table, animals, doors), but can rarely provide details about their physical appearances, possibly because they are perceiving them as thoughts rather than actual objects. The example, if I asked you to think about your best friend, you would have a mental picture in your mind (in fact, more of a composite of many different poses) and heard things he's said over the time you've known him. If I then asked you what he was wearing, unless he has a favorite shirt, you would be unable to tell me what he's wearing, only your idea of him looks like.
In a similar manner, spirits know what living humans look like, and how they act, generally, and thus have a thoughtform, which is more of an outline than an actual picture of the physical world. This the spirits can only see what thoughts they pick up or what auras they detect. It seems almost as if some spirits are incapable of independent creative thought, which would allow them to see the physical world or the Light, but are instead trapped in cold lonely darkness of their own making. Outside stimulus, such as a living person suggesting that a spirit's relatives have actually arrived to take him "home" seem to force the spirit to think of this, and his thought becomes real (to him at least). Strength of will (and perhaps consequently of aura) has a definite effect upon his actions and outside influence.
From personal experience with the ouija board, errant spirits who wished to communicate via the board were often times confused people who wanted to talk or were curious. When asked if they could see us, most confirmed that they could, but when asked where THEY were, the spirits either didn't answer or took a long time before saying things like "dark", "cold" and "alone". When asked why they were there, talking with us, they indicated they had seen or sensed a light, warmth or energy, and had come to investigate. This seems to indicate that rather than a place, spirits exist in a state of mind, which, unless outside forces disturb it or influence it, will remain a boring, dark realm devoid of anything to do or people to talk to. It seems that activities and devices dealing with communication (automatic writing, ouija) are perceived as windows or perhaps astral telephones, which the spirits learn to use. At one point, we kept asking a spirit if he saw anyone else until he confirmed that he did (which is how depossessions are done), except they were not near the white light (because we had forgotten to mention it). The first spirit could see the second, but not vice-versa, as we didn't mention there was one already there, to the second. Eventually, with the help of a spirit guide, we sent these two, plus quite a few other lost souls, to the Light, that night.
The more familiar you make a spirit with the communication device, such as a ouija board, the more clearly and efficiently he can communicate, as you provide helpful thoughts on how to use the apparatus as you verbally describe the object and its uses (this is "yes", this is "no", these are the twenty-six letters of the alphabet). It is also likely that doing this ingrains the instructions in the instrument itself for other spirits to use, like "online help". A framework is established and your particular channel even becomes "famous" in a fashion, among the spirits, for its particular aura, or how it has been used. If you send a lot of spirits home, your board will glow or vibrate in a particular manner indicating this to the spirits which come across it. You will also most likely then have a backlog of spirits which all show up at your board, for the same reason, but almost all of them will think they're there alone; unless you mentally explain the situation, they won't perceive the other spirits waiting for the board to "work". It is unclear how the spirits perceive spirit guides and how the two interact if not in the process of a typical dispossession exercise.
(Personal bio given to me, and my thoughts)
Randy McCarthy, schoolteacher 21 years, Hasbrook Elementary School, Wathampton, Illinois.
(I get the image and feeling of someone from "Little House on the Prairie" days, but have never looked any of this up - I'll be very surprised if any of this is even close to the mark. However, not only Encadus from the first story but also Randy here communicated with me a number of times, which I have not posted here.
(Personal bio given to me)
Andy Carpanello 328 SW 28 years, auto mechanic
Pane 7 years
(this is "given" apparently by the entity identifying itself as "Randy McCarthy", who basically seemed to be a "guide" for a time)
8-5-95 (the date is provided by me, JP)
Some would say of the occult phenomenon, that it truly doesn't exist, and the participants are merely deluding themselves. To this I take offense, as it should be obvious to anyone who pays attention to this field of research the work that has been done. To clarify the various results obtained from numersou tests is no longer the basis for the skepticism of today, it is also the based on the fear and loathing which is frequently encountered by any and all delvers into this mystery.
I am not speaking merely of this type of communication, it is in and of itself, no proof or anything solid, rather it is the way in which the information given is disseminated that should ultimately determine what or how much allowance should be made for occult phenomena. In a similar vein, no one may, in retrospect, ever claim responsibility for the current state of affairs, either good or bad. Shifting to a different gear, you can't always get what you want, but in the meantime, you make do with what you've got, even to the extent of celebrating a new accord.
Happily, no set of unfortunate circumstances lasts forever, and all the bright light at the end of the tunnel can always be seen, if not necessarily reached. Someone who has mastered the art of oracular divination which will increase the pace of their life will undoubtedly be subjected to many forms of harships, rarely understanding the root. This is to be expected and is never a particularly hairy situation, although to the person concerned, it will most certainly appear insurmountable.
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Penance is how you could think of my current situation. Not necessarily the biblical penance for a sin committed, but in the larger picture of what I have done, now that I see the plan, or at least a very small portion of it. It can only be said that no good soul is punished, but they certainly can be reprimanded for past deeds done.
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No one but the most foolhardy will attempt communication with the basest of criminals, from an 'outside' point of view. Choose any communicants with care and resolve not to let them take you too far afield. Many have done so. There is a great risk to opening yourself up to outside influences, and the lower of humanity's cases make it doubly so. There is no safeguard against every pest, but be sure you do everything you can in preparation. Walking among the 'dead' here are heroes, nameless and faceless, and a lot of things you cannot yet know about. As the sun warms the earth outside, so too it warms us here, though in a very different way. Tantalizing effects from this side may cause some to be entranced and follow the oracle into the depths. Alas, this is a wholly unwise idea; there is a boundary that is not meant to be crossed, and it WILL NOT be crossed, regardless of what it takes.
Even at this day in time, you think of us as mere figments, or some elusive phenomenon of the brain. We are real, on this side, as you are real on your own. We affect totally and physically what enters our realm; this includes people not yet departed from the flesh. The mistake most make is that they can't affect living matter when in the astral, so they believe it is that way as well for us, but it is not. We are of the astral, and when you cross into it, you are under OUR influence. To clarify this, what you are doing now is crossing over, be it ever so slightly, into the hidden realm, else I could not communicate with you. Hence, you are at my mercy, so to say, as long as you are here.
There are varying degrees of control one can exert over a living being in the astral, depending on how far he is in the realm. This writing is not a particularly risky venture, as crossing occult boundaries go. Were I stronger, however, I might be able to hold you in your current state, or even, rarely, drag you further in. Besides that, no one can muster much defense on this front, being raised in a materialistic, science-worshipping society as you are. Yes I lived in Illinois as I told you, but not for very long. I died early in my span, as these things go. So no matter what anybody tells you, you never know what's going to happen, or when. Barely a dozen people in the United States know enough about this realm to work in it freely, as agents of goodwill and charity. Of those, only two are willing to expend their life energy to free those trapped in this plane. It is a tense moment, the meeting between two worlders, but one that often results in an enjoyable compromise of ideals and commonisms. The same could be said about any meeting, but you must admit there is a justification in attaching a special significance to an astral conversation, or combat, for that matter. Indeed, one of the most common occurrences here is combat, as more people now than any other time in history are gaining access to what has remained hidden so long. So many of these battles are one-sided (in our favor - by that I mean the existential beings) that I do not pretend to know the true number, but it must number in the millions, over the years of course.
You are not just contacting he spirits world when you do any occult exercise, you are letting the door open that holds all of the things that cause unnatural events on your planet. This doesn't mean that a lot of good doesn't come also, but that merely, by virtue of being man, like attracts like. Someone once said that to fo to the ends of the earth for one asnwer is too far to travel for just a couple more questions. Do you think society would have gotten anywhere at all if anyone had that man's view of life? Ralph Waldo Emerson may or may not be that man's name, it escapes me at the moment. So before you go trudging off to no man's land, and before you even pack your supplies, make sure you know the way to where you're going, cause thats the last sure knowledge you'll have for a long time to come. Keep up the (illegible - of course) and you can't go too far astray.
As far as I know, legend is all I have heard about anyone being 'possessed' by a spirit from the ouija board, and never when there is a large group of people (this apparently in response to a question I mentally wondered about, comparing the ouija and A.W.).
Pearl Curran was a difficult woman, as I remember. Her host used to groom her for hours on proper thought and meditation techniques to facilitate communication, sometimes for naught. We were all quite surprised when poems were published, crediting Patience Worth; but it is no big feat, really. I did not know Patience personally, but know of the reputation she had in both worlds, of being a real linguist. I have heard she studied many different languages when she was training Ms. Curran. Patience has gone on, long since to return to earth as a lady of some import by now, in Suffolk, England, I believe. No one knows anything about it and I doubt very much she remembers being here. This is the price that we have to pay for returning, as you well know. (?) I will not go into detail here but suffice it to say you and I have met before, under rather unusual circumstances to be sure.
I sense you are tired, and I as well am exhausted. Let us continue this another day, until then, goodnight. (finished: 5:57 pm - unfortunately, I have no idea when I started).
(This next bit I experimented by writing my questions down and then the answers as they came to me, but for the sake of brevity, I will simply paraphrase and give the salient responses and clarify them when needed. I asked about past lives, mine specifically.)
Well, it isn't really something you just casually say, as you are implying. The reincarnation doctrine has been around a long time, even for me, and had many followers. Yes of course there are past lives, multiple lives for each person, but knowing each of them is a task best left alone. No one may know all their histories, else whow would you learn what you are supposed to? Alright, though, I know what you are saying, you want me to describe a past life of yours in detail. You have already discovered two, which is a little surprising, from my point of view. You see, I never really expected you to latch onto anything meaningful in your time exploring the unknown. (thanks... =/ ) That sounds terribly, I know, but its the truth. Where were we? Oh, yes, your past lives. Forty four, by my count, is the number of times you have returned to earth. How do I know this? I know you, for one thing, in a great majority of these. Also, a guide like myself may access with permission, the energy stored in your being. Your experiences also, are stored in this way. As your friend is so fond of saying about you, "I can read you like an open book" (correct and amusing). That is not to say I know everything about you, per se, but most of what you have done can be easily read by anyone, even a human. Now perhaps you're wondering how I get this information; when you're where I am, you are instructed on how to do these things, as I told you, I'm doing the spirit world equivelant of community service, if you will.
No one may remember much of their past lives, at first, but in time, with study, they will come back. However you look at it, it is certainly interesting, the past lives phenomena. I of course, can speak from experience and state unequivocably that it is real, but what will that mean to you if you can't believe I'm real? It doesn't matter now, so don't worry about it. Just know that I am some form of unusual manifestation, whether you call me a spirit guide, troll or ok, yes, higher self, if you wish, though thats such a limiting term, almost insulting. But before I forget your question, back to the past lives (ha ha, regular comedian). I thought you would like that one (thats kind of weird, him responding to me responding, but I got used to it).
Nearing the end of a span on earth, the floodgates of the soul are opened to allow access to the Akashic records, but not the ones spoken of in legend, only the ones pertaining to that person dying. Upon remembrance of these records, the entity ceases to fear death, and goes willingly (usually). Those who don't are oft-times ripped from their flesh, causing irreparable soul-damage. Now when I say that, I mean it cannot be repaired by any of us. The mighty one of course can fix all, but only when the lost soul allows it. Those who refuse to leave the body, that aren't forcibly removed, can become what are known as zombies, wraiths, vampires and the lich. Some of these are quite dangerous, existing in neither the material nor spiritual world completely. The vengeful actually begin to wreak havoc on both fronts, while the neutral or innocent take to performing a repetitive task, losing themselves in it to avoid the reality of where and what they are. These apparitions are not, as you and Sir Doyle believe, etheric impressions; they are quite real people, who, unable to face the truth, attempt to create their own reality, succeeding at times, by rendering themselves insensitive, or even destroying their own minds, after such a time they may dissolve or go on the rampage like other twisted individuals.
If, however, and this is what you've been waiting for as I lead my diatribe, a soul willingly gives up the ghost ("a charmingly accurate assessment made by some great mind"), they return to a "waiting room" within this realm of dusk. In response to your mentally asked question, I use such metaphors out of habit and because the more mysterious and detailed a communication is, the more you are apt to pay attention to it ("though not necessarily believe it").
So, now we have a dearly departed, arriving at the Limbo Lobby. They meet with what you would call a social worker, who helps put everything back into perspective and reviews the life's lesson. The entity has a number of options at this point, which may include returning to the Great Consciousness, the ultimate step on a long, dirty trail. If they are not yet ready, they may, unless some serious problem or injury has occurred, always choose to go back to earth. Either way, they are doing good. Some, who either actually do have "karmic debts", choose to help the living people from this side, as I am you. There is no one right choice, as all people are different. You have chosen, forty-four times, to return. I couldn't really say how that number stands on average, but I believe it is pretty high and probably involved a death at a young age, I know some of them did. Your deal with -friend's name- is alright as these things go, but be warned that not always does everything turn out as you envision it. I sense you don't know what I'm talking about and I really shouldn't have said anything, so forget it for now. Back to the matter at hand - you have been a World War I Ace. Not a flying ace, though you have dealt extensively with Sopwith Camels, your favorite plane (I used to like to see them but I can't say I have a "favorite plane" or was all that interested in war). A mechanic, technician perhaps is the word I'm looking for.
Because it happened so long ago and has the least to do with your current state, I can reveal things about your thirty-seventh life. That means from 1930 to now, you've reincarnated seven times, which averages out to ten years each. Quick and deadly I would say. Your regimen consisted of working on all kinds of planes in Britain, though you were not a British officer. The Allies had their greatest victory the days you overhauled the planes, giving you a kind of patriotic pride and sense of above average accomplishment, even though you knew it was coincidence. The boys would stand in line to make sure you got to their plane next, which earned you the ire of some of the other hanger technicians. Barfights were a common scene in those days, and you were never above a good scrap, as long as it went no further than that - there were other enemies to fight. Suddenly the world was turned upside down when Essex was hit by a band of marauders (? weird terminology for WWI); many died, the advantage of air power went with them. With only a few planes left, the hanger was shut down, the survivors sent to Edinburgh and you were shipped to Mahalia (?!). You never quite recovered from the shock of that day. Tuesday, February 17, 1912. Eventually, you became more and more withdrawn until finally at the fall of 1918, you were honorably discharged from active service. After years of wandering, performing odd jobs and maintenance tasks, you returned to home port in Sydney, Australia, where you found all family and friends either dead or gone. Your sister married Commodore Fleming of Her Majesty's Royal Navy and died with him three days after your return home, on the HMS Sentry, on the coast of Barbados. Food posioning took their lives, and with the last of your family gone, you were eventually placed in a sanitarium in 1919, where you lived until your death in 1930.
From what you are thinking, I can tell you don't think the dates I have given are accurate. This can only be due to one of the following things:
1 - I do not remember the dates exactly, or read them wrong
2 - I am lying
3 - You do not know the dates and since you are making this up, the information is bound to be wrong.
I can only say that what I have given you to put down on paper is exactly what I read in your Akashic records. Therese are not like files kept in a cabinet, so I doubt that an incorrect date is due to clerical error. It is at times difficult to get specific dates, as the records are not actually things you read, but memories you realize and emotions you re-experience. I could be clouding the reading with errant thoughts or not reading them right, paying attention to the wrong details; like skimming over a page, but instead, skimming over a life. At any rate, I have given you the dates, take them or leave them for what they're worth. You on earth have a data obsession, which is understandable, given society's current status, but it makes it difficult for those of us who are trying to help you to do so if you reject us because we cannot provide an exact time, date, and list of details concerning an event. You do not require other humans to provide you with such an exhaustive caseload of information to back up a statement they make. Sorry, but after years of doing this, it gets frustrating. So, there is your obligatory past life recountement. Your name was Arthur Gurndsen, but you were a Sydney native, believe it or not. I am not going to look back over every detail at this time to find out why you have a Germanic or Swedish name but were from Australia, that can wait until another time. Right now, we will discontinue this communication, I'll talk to you again in a day.
There are about 16 or so pages remaining in my automatic writing folder, that range from a personal advice session regarding my uncle, to my friends, to a strange idea of a "newsletter" I was being encouraged (by Randy) to start, that would perhaps ("do a bit on the environment each week, as no one can feel threatened by automatic writing than originates from a squirrel"). I have NO idea where that came from, I never had ANY desire to do a newsletter, especially nothing on the environment and that is the last writing I did. In that mess though, Randy gives a bit more on his own history and views and how the spirit world operates, and, at my request, provided me with a 9 page (hand-written, front-and-back, so 18 page) manual for automatic writing. THAT will be quite a bit of typing if I decide to transcribe that - I know it was a VERY long session. I am at a loss regarding a lot of the fighting and war ideas, as I'd be surprised to learn, if past lives have any relevance, that I was much of a fighter in any of my "forty-four"...)
(Hmm. Interesting, I'm really rusty, but the below snippet is what I got just now, using the dictation method, not just hitting keys - I had to cut the above writing off though, as its been a while since I've been receptive enough to just let things flow, so I could tell I was beginning to consciously write.)
"Every person allowed the right to free expression is able to practice some form of automatism, whether it be singly or in a group. Another sport that most enjoy is the dance of automatic speaking, and going on and on about things..."
(Here is a summary of a "how to" manual for automatic writing that my communicant in 95 "put together" at my request.)
"...I do prefer felt tipped pens; they provide a smoother medium than ball-point and pencils, but that is only my preference - I'm sure there are some who prefer chalk to be used to take down their revelations."
(Odd, this went on for about half the page, of me trying different pens, and getting various "hmm not bad" or "yuck I don't like that" responses until "we both" tired of it and just went with what I had in my hand. He also liked black ink better than blue, but went on to say:)
"...don't get distracted by minor details such as this; the important thing is to pay attention to what you're doing. Okay you need to go back to the other pen. Fine, now I'll go on before you hunt for something else.
The idea of past lives and reincarnation, combined with that of the afterlife (meaning not necessarily reincarnated immediately), has led to an interest in communications with loved ones, going so far back as Indians and further. So from this you have such notables as Doyle, Blavatsky, Pander (?) and others who either practiced or studied automatic writing. John Dee, Alastair Crowley and Albert Hobarth (?) were also big on the AW scene, but did not appreciate it the same way as modern automatists.
Patience Worth was a very forceful personality; so forceful that she did some harm to her student, Pearl Curran, who had no knowledge of many of the things she wrote about, as has been stated by many texts. One thing that Patience overlooked was that Pearl should NOT have known about some of the things she revealed to her. Some say Ms. Curran became more outgoing and social, which was true, but her health started to fail as well, which worried friends and family - Patience had slowly begun to "possess" her, as the term goes. This was not done maliciously, as Patience was a good woman, albeit a strong, stubborn one. She had a lifetime of experience bottled up and had to express it, and Pearl Curran was the closest outlet. Patience did not realizing what was happeneing, even when she would occasionally take Ms. Curran's body out for a stroll. The information I have makes it unclear as to whether anyone knew pearl was possessed, but both her husband and her priest were gravely concerned over her odd behavior, but not to the point of exorcism. Patience eventually realized what had happened and withdrew from Pearl, who believed herself demented after being pushed for so long, and the medical community certainly did nothing to dissuade this rumor. Pearl eventually recovered mentally and physically, with the help and support of family and friends, and went on to live out the rest of a mostly normal life.
I did not mean to turn this into a dissertation on Pearl Curran/Patience Worth, but she is one of the most well-known figures in this field, plus a favorite study of yours (**me, JP, and that's true), that I felt her story appropriate to instill in you and idea of the lengths that anything can be taken. True to my word, the next sections will actually cover preparation and performance of automatic writing.
1 - Keep a Journal - officially (at least to yourself) designate a folder or notebook as your "automatic writing" folder - this will help focus your attention on what you're doing and will also be a good place to keep papers that shouldn't fall out on a classroom floor.
2 - Try to keep an open mind. This does not, as some would assume, refer only to automatic writing, or even occult phenomena in general. The idea of open-mindedness is something that must be applied to all things, including race and sex, social class and apparent intelligence quotient. Only by being non-judgmental in your daily life can you hope to gain any useful information from automatic writing, plus your normal life will go much smoother.
3 - Don't try to dare or tempt fate or the spirits to prove they're real. Doing this is an extremely bad idea. I don't mean to frighten anyone new to automatic writing; I'm not saying you'll get killed for doubting the spirits (or gods), though I suppose there is always that chance, just that you should approach this activity the same you would approach any other new experiment: with curiosity, caution, and a willingness to listen and learn (something lacking in a great many of my former students).
4 - Soon, when you feel you are ready to attempt automatic writing, you may want to tell a friend you can trust not to spread your new hobby around. Doing this is a good precaution in case you run into something you can't handle. Your friend will act as a "ground" to remind you of who you are, and to judge any odd or different behavior, in case any sort of obsession is becoming apparent. This journal will take the place of this friend if there are none available that you can tell. If you look back over your past entries and see an ominous trend, train of thought or shift of morality developing, you should probably quit until you can analyze the situation more objectively. Also, in an extreme scenario, someone will eventually search your room and find your journal because of your bizarre behavior, if it got really bad - this generally ends your problem as well.
5 - Now that you have made precautionary arrangements in the event of trouble, you should now take any other steps you feel are necessary. A short (or long) prayer or meditation period is always a good idea, as well as visualizing the "Christ light" as the New Age books call it now. This serves to attune you to the proper authorities (light and goodness) who will initially help you on your way. You should put aside any preconceived notions or ideas and rule out any ideas that could prove to be dangerous.
6 - Very well, you have a piece of paper, clipboard or notebook and writing instrument. As with everything else in life, the proper tools will depend on luck and compromise. Some spirits like pens, pencils, chalk or even paint brushes. Their students may be less than thrilled to find out they don't have the same ideas as their guides. This is to be expected, but we on this side usually don't haggle over a pen or pencil, unless there is a good reason. Also remember that some people will set out to automatic write, but to their amazement, will end up drawing. Some guides may choose to write songs or poems, or work on mathematical formulae. If this is alright with the medium, then there usually isn't a problem. If there is a problem, an automatist can mentally (or verbally) ask that his host choose a different form of expression. If this is refused, an automatist can always ask for a new guide, more in line with himself. In most cases, if you receive a positive response, or no response, your request is granted and a new guide is being chosen (which may take days). Harsh or cold refusals mean you should break off contact immediately and perform any precautionary and/or defensive steps you feel necessary (ie praying), then have a light snack (such as crackers or a glass of milk). Do not attempt to do this again until you feel you are ready, then make sure you maintain your focus on beneficial feelings.
7 - When you write, you should choose the method that is best for you. As all people are different, there will be varying levels of success depending on the method employed. You, my student, began with the distraction method, which did not work very well, though I did manage to get a few words through. This particular method was in vogue in the 1800's and early 1900's and involves talking or doing something else, until the pencil that you are holding lightly against the paper begins to move. This can also include the spontaneous and sometimes uncontrollable movement of the automatist's arm (sometimes by his unconscious, sometimes by unseen entities). This is the method with the highest risk of unwanted influences, and should not be used, even by adepts. Believe it or not, the method shown on Phil Donahue (**see how OLD this is? And he was watching Donahue with me?) is the more passive and least likely to draw resistance. Not until your friend's clarification of "I listened" did you truly understand what the guest psychic was doing.
Simply clear your mind, or let it wander. At first, write down whatever words come to mind, no matter how foolish. These are "mind fragments", exactly as the woman said (**? I don't even remember this) and must be purged in order for coherent thoughts to come through. Some may write for weeks (or months, rarely) before they achieve any result.
When you begin, try not to have a question or topic in mind, so that when you receive a message, you'll be able to differentiate it from the rest of the garbage on the pad. When you become more comfortable with the process, you may wish to ask your guide's name, and other details. Avoid mentally having a conversation. Writing down the information that comes to you slows down the data so it doesn't overwhelm you and helps "ground" you in reality. After you finish, you should have a light snack and concentrate on some action, such as stomping your foot, blowing out a candle or even tying and untying your shoes.
8 - Hand cramps frequently interfere with automatic writing. The first few times, stop and take a break or even end the session. If your physical endurance is compromised, your mental endurance has to support it and may lose track of the message or be unable to prevent unwanted intrusion. No session should ever last over two hours and in fact one hour is the suggested maximum. Some people like to set a certain time each day, or a certain day each week for a session. It is true that getting into a habit does facilitate communication, but that is solely for those who are not well-trained. Automatists that are adept in their art may perform at any time. Do not confuse adeptship with one practice, to carry over to another. A man skilled at automatic writing is no more automatically skilled at palmistry than a carpenter is at computer diagnostics. Above all, keep an open mind, be cautious and be willing to broaden your horizons.
This was an extremely long session for both of us and you need to get up early tomorrow. Rest now, have a good sleep and we will talk again later. "
And that is basically the extent of my automatic writing. I really don't agree or believe... well, most of what is said in any of these excerpts, but received them nonetheless. Although I'd like to say I keep an open mind, I will admit I don't think these are “spirit communications”, as I feel I could write this sort of material, with all the reading I've done and interest I've had in the subject.
On the following page are a few last-minute notes I'm providing to round out this article, dealing with famous “channeled spirit”, Patience Worth.
"A Prayer" - Patience Worth
I, Thy Child forever, play
About Thy knees at close of day;
Within Thy arms I now shall creep
And learn Thy wisdom while I sleep.
This alternative prayer offered by Patience Worth, channeled via Ouija board to Pearl Curran.
On another occasion, a skeptical scientist gave her such an unfair task that even those who still doubted her, protested strongly. She was asked to compose a poem of twenty-five lines, each line beginning with a letter of the alphabet from A to Z, excluding the letter X. Without hesitation, Patience reeled off the following poem:
A task is
Can I, O God, perform it?
Dole me patience
Enough that I be sustained,
For I am indeed in need of strength.
Give me, O God, Thy grace.
Hear my suppliance;
I am a beggar for a crumb;
Justly deal in mercy;
Keep me within the pale of judgment.
Leave me wit that I may perform the duty:
Make the task perfect,
Neither constrained nor o'er done.
O beloved God, keep tryst with me;
Prithee give ear to my prayer.
Quiet the turbulence of my heart.
Righteously shall I endeavour,
Steeling me against the tongue of irony
That I suffer not upon the judgment of this.
Upon me distill Thine aid;
Vouchsafe Thy succour
Wound not with indifference,
Yea, this Thy servant upon the path of folly.
Zealously endeavoring that she follow a fool. Article Copyright© J. Patterson - reproduced with permission.