To relate the history of hypnosis we have to go back to 1760, when a German doctor settled in Paris observed that the power of attraction of the magnets could be used on the sick without being arrested by the police and put behind bars. The doctor in question was called Mesmer and his discovery was baptized, in a display of inventiveness, with the name of "mesmerism." Mesmer soon saw that magnets could be dispensed with and even the sick, so he began to practice mesmerism on healthy people throu
It seems that every day is Shabbat eve in Chelm for a week now. As soon as it starts to get dark, the villagers rush to lock themselves in their homes. Not to celebrate the arrival of the Shabbat, no. But to avoid bumping into the dybbuk! (Or into the Golem. Or into Frieda Zalmatscka the-frog-eater. Or into the gigantic frog that ended up eating Frieda Zalmatscka. Or into Frieda Zalmatscka the-frog-eaten.) Fortunately, the wise men of Chelm finally decided to reveal the existence of the Golem to
Like the rest of the country, New York in the thirties suffered a terrible social scourge: unemployment. Michael Schlimazl and Jacob Schlemilh had no material ambitions, hence much of their income was donated to charities that helped the unemployed and their families. The responsible for one of these charities, Father Gregory, priest of the Church of the Nativity, was the one who told them for the first time about a case of possession that affected his parish and that he had been managing unsucc
Scottish castles are really scary. Especially because of the low doors. After two days entering and leaving the infinite rooms of Castle Menzies in the Highlands, Holmes and I had got a tremendous headache. Those damn stone lintels! Holmes had the outlandish theory that the Middle Ages were populated by dwarves. However, the ghost we had seen the first night in the castle was of a larger stature, which led Holmes to think that the ghost that harassed Menzies family was not of medieval times; tha
Another of the famous expeditions of the Society for Psychical Research was the one organized to unravel the mystery of the Loch Ness “Monster”. I place the word monster between quotation marks because Conan Doyle was exasperated when he heard that they called it that way. He said that it was an inconsiderateness and a great lack of respect towards a creature that they didn't even know if it exists. “And how the hell do you want us to call him?!” Gurney blurted out. “The Enigma!”, he answered. T
O Lord I prayed
‘Protect us from them”.
“There is no ‘them’, the Lord responded,
there is only Me”.
“What you do to ‘them’
is felt by me,
as well as wounding your own soul”.
“For I the Lord,
carry the pain of all,
as well as their deaths”.
“Out of love I freely do this,
on the cross, I show this,
for it is there that all souls rest”.
“Awaiting the third day--BrMD
The root of the matter
Jesus talks about receiving back what was given up; in the way of community and family; not in beautiful “things”. We are to seek love, and the reward is to constantly grow in our ability to love and embrace others. The reward is to see all whom we meet as our brothers and sisters, to truly see others as other-selves; or as Christ stated; “whatever you do to the least, you do unto me”.--Br.MD
What is God’s Compassion?
Never Lose Hope in God's Mercy (Rule of St. Benedict 4:74)
I have always been thankful for the Elders in the community. When I was a young monk in my mid-twenties, until I was around 35, Fr. Matt was my Spiritual guide. I still remember much of what I learned from him.
So as far as I can remember this is what Fr. Matt said: “It was an act of supreme mercy on the part of Jesus to ask Peter three times. For each time he asked Peter: “Peter do you love me?” It e
Obviously the succubi do not exist. The problem is that they act as if they existed. The last week I went to sleep after an exhausting backgammon game and a succubus came in through the window to ask me for a few cents. I panicked and started to whimper in a corner while the succubus ate the carpet. When I opened my eyes again, the succubus had disappeared and the carpet was all bitten. Damn succubus!
Yesterday, for the first time, I gathered enough courage to face a
In one of the halls of the headquarters of the Society for Psychical Research in West Kensington, one of the most conspicuous debates of the celebrated Society took place. The subject of the debate was Numerology, and to elucidate it two prestigious mathematicians were invited: the English Professor H. D. Killyar and the American Daniel Sokorovitzi. In the hall only the presence of the secretary of the Society was allowed with the order to record all that was said. The senior staff of the SPR wo
It was his interest in sleepwalking that put the father of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud in relation with the Society for Psychical Research. One night Sir William Barrett was walking on the sidewalk after leaving a pub in Soho when he crashed into a man who walked with his eyes closed and arms outstretched. The man woke up at that moment, and a few meters behind him Barret heard a voice grumbling and complaining. It was Freud, who was following one of his patients in order to discover where he w
Misinformed people tend to believe that in the Society for Psychical Research everybody was very naïve and willing to believe in anything. That you could tell them that you were a vampire about to transform into a bat and they ran to close the windows for fear that you would fly away. And well, I will not deny that there was someone who was very credulous (talking about vampires, a certain member wore several strings of garlic as necklaces). But it was the exception. As a rule, they were eminent
When the senior staff of the Society for Psychical Research learned that the city of Savannah in Georgia had the largest number of haunted houses per square kilometer in America, an expedition was organized with that destination. They went to a real estate agent and asked him to rent the most enchanted house of all. The greatest specialist in haunted houses of the SPR was Frederic W. H. Myers, who for a whole year had lived with a ghost in his house in London: the spirit of a woman with an apron
Professor Stewart, distinguished member of the SPR, did not believe in coincidences. Gurney used to prod him, commenting on some coincidence that had happened to him. Then Stewart burst into a loud laugh and mocked him for being so gullible. “There is no need to believe in coincidences to explain the phenomena of the universe”, he used to say, “things are much simpler". According to him, everything obeyed a perfectly structured secret plan and in that plan there was no room for the slightest err
In the West Kensington spacious loft where the SPR files are gathering dust on the shelves, I discovered under old canvases a drawer full of folders that had been torn from their filing cabinet. It was, I think, a kind of graveyard where the cases over which someone intended to draw a thick veil finished their days. Among these, I found the case that I am going to refer now. Its protagonist was a young girl of the London high society. One day the president of the Society for Psychical Research r
William Barret came and went constantly from London to Brighton. Not for work reasons. Nor for pleasure. In fact, there was no reason whatsoever, simply he had that compulsion, he could not help it. One evening, in an after-dinner conversation he mentioned that, on each of his round trips, he sighted a very tall figure standing at the edge of the road saying goodbye with his hand as if in slow motion and with a swing of his whole body. This figure managed to stay always in the shade, so that Bar
Another of the warhorse issues of the Society for Psychical Research was what in the Victorian era was known as “sixth sense” and today is called Extrasensory Perception (ESP). For a whole day, through the laboratories of the SPR headquarters in West Kensington, dozens of volunteers paraded, with the help of whom it was intended to establish the frequency with which the “sixth sense” manifested among the population in general. They were given a choice of four alternatives: a circle, a square, a
Aaron Koperman, the famous teaspoon bender, received an invitation from the Society for Psychical Research to demonstrate his skills in a controlled environment. The invitation was accepted, and the night before the experiment, H. G. Myers surreptitiously burst into the large kitchen of the SPR headquarters in order to stock up on teaspoons. When the next morning Koperman arrived, Myers himself accompanied him to the laboratory where the experiment was to take place. For the control of it, had b
I will tell you how the Society for Psychical Research first heard about what we call today flying saucers or Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), but in 1890 (when this story is placed) they still did not have a name. (The testimonies referred to them as "that"). It turns out that in Burnley, County of Lancashire, lived a man capable of interpreting the song "If Ever I Cease to Love" with the laces of his shoes. For Sir Henry Sidgwick, this was an unprecedented paranormal phenomenon. As Sidgwick
One day, during breakfast, Sir William Barret announced that he wanted to test his mediumistic gifts. Henry Sidgwick asked him what was he based on to suppose that he possessed such gifts. He replied that when he was ten years old, he once dreamed of his father and when he woke up he found his father in the family room sitting in his favorite chair reading “The Times”. Then, he suddenly lowered the newspaper and, pointing to his son with his finger, asked "Have you read the Bible?". This story h
My dear, a ghost is a lonely being by nature. You will never see a ghost accompanied by another ghost. In fact you will never see a ghost: at least that is the most likely. And the most advisable, I assure you. A ghost is not a pretty thing to see. And I’m not speaking from hearsay! Yes indeed, my dear, I have seen a ghost. In the typical haunted house, you know: those isolated houses on the top of a hill that seem to be built expressly to be inhabited by a ghost. How did I end up there? You wil
We the fans of the UFO phenomenon handle a classification when we treat of the “close encounters”. Depending on how close we've been to the aliens, we talk about "close encounters of the first kind", "close encounters of the second kind", "close encounters of the third kind", and finally there's the kind in which you cut and run. There are fans to whom going from one phase to another takes a lifetime. I, however, went through all these phases in just a few minutes. Now I tell you.