Tag Archive: parapsychology


Ferdinand Ossendowski

The physicist Ferdinand Ossendowski asks the Lama if anyone has ever seen the King of the World.  The Lama replies:

“Yes.  During the solemn festivals of Ancient Buddhism in Siam and the Indies, the King of the World appeared five times.  He was on a magnificent chariot drawn by white elephants, decorated with gold, precious stones and the finest cloths;  he was dressed in a white coat, and wore on his head a red tiara from which hung rivers of diamonds which masked his face.  He blessed the people with a gold sphere surmounted by a lamb.  The blind regained their sight, the deaf heard, the paralyzed began to walk again and the dead rose inside their tombs everywhere that the gaze of the King of the World landed.  He appeared also one hundred and forty years ago in Erdeni-Dzu and visited, too, the ancient monastery of Sakkai and Narabanchi Kure.

“One of our Living Buddhas and one of the Tashi Lamas received from him a message written in unknown characters on tablets of gold.  No-one could read these signs.  The Tashi Lama entered the Temple, placed the tablet of gold on his head and began to pray.  Thanks to this prayer, the thoughts of the King of the World penetrated inside his brain and, without having read the enigmatic signs, he understood and accomplished the King’s message.”

I asked him how many people had been to Agharti.  He answered:

“A great number, but all these men kept secret what they had seen.  When the Olets destroyed Lhassa, one of their detachments, finding itself in the mountains of the South-West, arrived right at the limits of Agharti.  There, they learned some of the mysterious Sciences and brought them back to the surface of the Earth.

“That is why the Olets and the Kalmuks are clever sorcerers and prophets.  A few Black tribes of the East penetrated Agharti too and lived there for several centuries.  Later on, they were chased out of the Kingdom and returned to the surface of the Earth, bringing back with them the Mystery of Predictions by cards, herbs and the lines of the hand.  They are the Bohemians.  Somewhere, in the North of Asia, there exists a tribe which is disappearing and which came from the Cavern of Agharti.  The members know how to recall the spirits of the dead when they float in the air.”

The Lama remained silent for a while.  Then, as if he were replying to my thought, he continued:

“In Agharti, the Pandita scholars write on stone tablets all of the Science of our planet and of other worlds.  The Chinese Buddhist scholars well know this.  Their Science is the highest and the purest.  Each century, one hundred wise men from China gather in a secret place, on the banks of the sea, where one hundred immortal tortoises emerge from the depths.  On their shells, the Chinese write the conclusions of the Divine Science of the century.”

This reminds me of the story recounted to me by an old Chinese Bonze from the Temple of Heaven in Peking.  He told me that tortoises live for more than three thousand years without air or food and that this is the reason for which all of the columns of the Blue Temple of Heaven were placed on living tortoises so as to prevent the wood from rotting.

Do these statues sculpted in the rock of a mountain, thirty miles from Lhassa, indicate the place of one of the hidden entrances to Agarttha?

The librarian Lama said to me:

“Several times, the Pontiffs of Urga and of Lhassa sent Ambassadors to the King of the World, but it was impossible for them to discover him.  Only one particular Tibetan Chief, after a battle with the Olets, found the Cavern bearing the inscription:  ‘This door leads to Agharti’.  From the Cavern came a man of beautiful appearance who presented him with a tablet of gold bearing mysterious signs, saying to him:

‘The King of the World will appear before all men when the time has come for him to lead all the good people into a war against the evil ones;  but this time has not yet come.  The most evil humans have not yet been born.’

“The Chiang-Chun Baron Ungern sent the young Prince Punzig on an embassy to the King of the World, but he came back with a letter from the Dalai-Lama of Lhassa.  The Baron sent him a second time;  he never came back…”

***

To be continued.

Rosette Tamisier.

To those who attempt to relate what their eyes have seen, Abbot Caval replies:

“I have much better things to do than discuss this…  I’ve seen enough as it is, I’ve made up my mind…”

In vain does Doctor Bernard solicit an official analysis of the traces of blood that he has collected from the bleeding picture.  The intransigent Abbot answers:

“We know how to find the truth better than you do, Sir…”

It is hoped that, inside the locked chapel, the awaited miracle will occur in the absence of any witness.  It doesn’t.

It is Rosette herself who gives an explanation for this:

“The violent contradictions which are perturbing people’s minds are disturbing the operations of grace at the moment,”

says she to Doctor Bernard, with great presence of mind.

The ecclesiastic authorities want to move quickly, even more so as, in Spain at the same epoch, an enormous scandal has just exploded, certain aspects of which recall what is then happening in Saint-Saturnin.

Imprint of Rosette Tamisier's bloody stigmata, believed to represent Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.

A certain Sister Patrocinio, who was carrying stigmata fairly similar to Rosette’s, had been thrown into prison by the Prosecutor and her wounds had healed with a few cataplasms.  The nun had finally confessed to keeping her wounds open with a mysterious stone which had been given to her by her Confessor.  The Patrocinio is locked up in a convent from whence Queen Isabella soon removes her to make her her favourite, causing great scandal at the Court and among the population.

The Episcopate fears that similar things might occur in the South of France.  The conclusions of the Commission are quickly collected and they proclaim that it is impossible to see in these facts which have been submitted to it “the characteristics of a true miracle”.  Curate Grand resentfully writes that same day in a letter:  “Hell roars around us…”, while the satirical Parisian Press makes fun of the Sous-Prefet.

The uproar caused by this conclusion is far from being calmed, when the said Sous-Prefet, who is seen as a hero by some and an idiot by others, receives a letter signed by a certain Abbot Charvoz from Orelle.

It is this letter which will precipitate Rosette Tamisier’s sad destiny, without any recourse.

In 1953, the statuette of Saint Anne d'Entrevaux (Alpes de Haute-Provence) suddenly started to bleed. Laboratory analyses showed that it was human blood which was dripping from the finger of the plaster saint. Dr Tropini from Nice is seen here radiographing the statuette and discovered no trickery.

Abbot Charvoz was in fact the pontiff at the Oeuvre de misericorde and had been one of the first disciples of Vintras, the famous Norman heretic whom Barres evokes in La Colline inspiree.

In his letter, Abbot Charvoz takes the side of the miraculous thesis with great finesse and accuses the episcopal authority of wanting to stamp out the divine manifestations by lying about them.

At this epoch, the Roman Catholic religion was a State religion and heresy was hunted out.  It took no more than this for the Sous-Prefet to accuse Rose of being a vintrasian heretic, and for the Public Prosecutor’s Office, prodded perhaps by the Archbishop of Avignon, to take hold of her case.

As soon as the judiciary machine entered into action, witness statements poured in.  On the laic side, opinion is clearly favourable to Rosette at first.  The Judge of the Peace at Salon sends an eulogy of the young woman which emanates from the Sisters of the Presentation and confirms that, during her stay in the Sisters’ House, Rosette had been fed by Communion wafers which had come to her miraculously.

The Judge of the Peace at the Isle includes with his report, which is also favourable, an undershirt which supports the authenticity of the stigmata of her adolescence.  Even the Mayor of Saint-Saturnin sends a pathetic letter in which he is firmly on the side of the miracle.

Meanwhile, Curate Grand is begging Heaven for the prodigy to be renewed before the pilgrims who are more and more numerous and are leaving disappointed.  Rosette has been ill since the beginning of the year and cannot even be moved.  Evil gossipers use this to say that she can no longer slip into the chapel to prepare her “miracles” herself.

On the morning of 5 February however, a capital event will occur.

The "Descent From the Cross" which was in the Church of Saint-Saturnin.

During the preceding night, she suffered atrociously and in the early morning she whispered to those at her side:

“I suffered too much for there not to be something exraordinary to have happened up there…”

When the Curate penetrates the chapel with a group of pilgrims, the spectacle is stunning.  From all of the crucified one’s wounds, including his head, blood has flowed with an abundance never before observed.

The most sceptical people should have bowed to this evidence, but it is the complete opposite that takes place.  Pressed to end it all, the Prosecutor of the Republic listens only to gossip and charges Rose with two offences:  fraud and affront to religion.

In 1955 at Englancourt (Aisne) the faithful saw the gilded statue of the Virgin Mary blink its eyes several times.

The judge goes immediately to Saint-Saturnin and lengthily interrogates the miracle girl.  With a gentleness and a politeness which appear very excessive to Curate Grand…  The holy man fears that all this must hide a trap.

He was right:  the magistrate has an arrest warrant signed which is executed the same day.  Of what exactly is she accused?

Of something as vague as “affront” and as exorbitant as “theft”…  Because of some Communion wafers which had disappeared for a while from the Curate’s taberacle…

The judge’s report concludes like this:

“Approximate value of the stolen objects:  nothing.”

The little cabriolet which, the following day, carries Rosette to Apt is more or less her hearse, for from this moment she is going to disappear from the chronicles of the epoch.

In Apt and on the road which leads there, thousands of people, mysteriously alerted, line up and firstly watch in silence as the carriage passes by with drawn curtains.

When the coach arrives in the streets at the centre of the town, the crowd becomes extremely dense.  A versatile and cruel crowd from whence rise the first cries, female voices of course:

“Let her be whipped!…  Let her be whipped!…”

A few moments later, preceded by four gendarmes on horseback, who open a path for it with difficulty, the carriage penetrates the gaol.

From now on, it will be experts, chemists and magistrates who will take centre-stage.  After having revoked the Sous-Prefet who was tenaciously defending Rosette, the Minister of the Interior hands the case over to the Minister of Justice who names a pharmacist to examine the picture.  Laboriously, he attempts to demonstrate that Rosette used a leech to colour the wounds or a mixture with a potassium cyanide base.

The Accusation Dossier  deposed on 10 July is so weak and so badly presented that the tribunal is obliged to dismiss the case.  Abbot Grand and those faithful to the miracle girl are triumphant.  Not for long, alas…

An old enemy of Rosette, Abbot Caire, thinks that this is the right moment to insinuate that the judicial complexity of this case itself well proves…  the presence of Satan…

Immediately, taking for pretext an Article of the Code which punishes with imprisonment those who have insulted or defaced a religious object, the magistrates send the case back to the Correctional Tribunal of Carpentras.

***

To be continued.

Rosette Tamisier.

Sous-Prefet Grave has spent a rather bad night.  Up at five o’clock, he had prowled around his bedchamber in prey to an exaltation which he was having more and more trouble containing.  This young public servant is convinced of the authenticity of the Saint-Saturnin miracles and this day is his day.  In front of the atheist world, the incredulous of all kinds, the sniggerers of the “prefectoral”, he intends furnishing brilliant proofs of the miracle.

At eight o’clock on the dot, he climbs the mystical hill.  Seeing him, the gendarmes stand to attention, and Abbot Grand, who is already there, tries to stop the impetuous public servant from opening the chapel door.  He tells him that they should wait for the Archbishop.  Using his police rights, the Sous-Prefet goes to the entrance grille, on the pretext of organizing the edifice’s interior security.

When Monsignor arrives, out of breath, a few minutes later, carried on a human tide difficult to control, the miracle is, it could be said, finished.  With a precipitation which leads Curate Grand and Doctors Bernard and Clement to question his basic equilibrium, the Sous-Prefet has leapt onto the altar.

The "Descent From the Cross" which was in the Church of Saint-Saturnin.

With an immaculate piece of linen, he has collected many drops of blood, after having applied the piece of material several times on the different wounds.  Finally, and despite the adjurations and indignant trepignations of the doctors, he has even finished cleaning the picture by energetically rubbing all the wounds.

At the foot of the altar, Rosette is lost in her ecstasy, as pale as death.

Monsignor and the other important people present do not hide their disappointment.  The Prelate still climbs onto a step-ladder that two gendarmes hold still and collects a few drops of red liquid but of a colour and an abundance which are much less than a moment before.

In the group of officials, everyone is elbowing his neighbour to try to see, and disappointment is written on all faces.  On all faces except that of the Sous-Prefet who, in this consecrated place,  is not afraid to speak to the audience.

“The prodigy has just been renewed!  I saw drops of blood well up after I’d wiped them off…  You must believe me!…”

This is too much for Monsignor who turns to leave.  Passing in front of Rosette, who is of frightful pallor, he orders that she be taken home.  The two doctors do this.

They support the young girl who walks with difficulty, and appears to be suffering a lot.  When she arrives at the top of the chapel steps, the depressed crowd quietens.  In the first row, a few pious women fall to their knees.

Among all those who had come this day to witness decisive events, rare were those who did not return home disappointed.  Doubtless too much had been expected of this day, spoilt as well by the Sous-Prefet’s initiatives.

From this day on, many in the region begin to doubt, and the renown of these events throughout the countryside, only reinforces the controversies everywhere.

The day after the Archbishop’s memorable visit, another, even more spectacular, emission of blood occurs before numerous pilgrims.

Journalists rush from everywhere during these last days of the year.  Those from the Gazette de Provence and from the Commune d’Avignon notably, who are rather favourable.  But as Rosette’s reputation grows, the ecclesiastic authorities stay out of it more and more.

There is no doubt that, in the minds of the men of the Church, something is really happening at Saint-Saturnin.  But what?

The Devil is starting to be evoked by several people to explain these phenomena.  Not without perfidy, a missionary from Notre-Dame-de-Lumiere, Abbot Chavard, prepares a trap for Rosette in the form of a long, sick letter which relates invented prodigies, which this religious man says to have seen.

He asks Rose to give him an explanation of these mysteries by return mail, and is sure that he will be able to decode in her answer the diabolical influences which he says are being exercised on Rosette, who confesses in her letter:

“I am very proud and full of self-love, but I do not believe that it comes from the demon…”

In this missive full of humility where she confides to what point her poor life is torn among household worries,  the vendanges and the mystical ordeals, this singular Father believes that he can clearly read the influence of the evil one.

Curate Grand is the only one who remains convinced of his parishioner’s sainthood and, some time later, he lets it be known, as a new mark of providence, that his joke has rapidly brought Abbot Chavard to despair and that he bitterly regrets it.

Between those who think that it is the Devil and those who believe in Heaven’s intervention, between Rosette’s laic partisans and the religious men who almost all swear to expose her, confusion is at its height at the beginning of 1850.

In light of this plague which is now attacking his good town, the Archbishop of Aix asks the local clergy for some explanations.  The Bishop of Le Mans, the Bishop of Gap and also the Bishop of La Rochelle, without looking to give an opinion founded on anything, cry that it is trickery, while the occultists, led by Monsieur de Mirville, the author of the book Des Esprits, who was famous in his time, demand that information on this prodigy be sent to them so that they can “proclaim it in the whole Universe”.

Imprint of Rosette Tamisier's bloody stigmata which appeared several times on her chest. It is believed to represent Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.

Rosette remains unperturbed and announces for the 1st January a miracle of unprecedented force.  The stigmata of her childhood have now returned in the form of bloody lines on her chest which form crosses or a heart whose imprint can be perfectly collected on a piece of linen.

On the eve of the Saint-Sylvestre [31 December], the partisans of one or the other side begin to physically fight in the region’s cabarets, and the journalists openly write that the devil is walking the streets of Saint-Saturnin.  This is too much for the religious authorities.

At the moment when Curate Grand is putting the conditions of control into place, also without precedent for an imminent miracle, the Archbishop’s decision to constitute a Commission of Enquiry is communicated to him, and the Commission immediately arrives on the scene to seal the chapel’s door.

Then the Church’s investigators gallop around the region and the famous chapel at lightning speed before going to hear the Sous-Prefet of Apt.  Who is flabbergasted for a moment when one of the members of the Commission, Abbot Caval, says straight out to him that Rosette Tamisier is assuredly a member of a sect that wants to install the reign of the “Spirit of Darkness” on Earth.

To be continued.

Rosette Tamisier.

After six months of Noviciate, Rosette Tamisier is admitted into another House of the Order of the Presentation of Mary, in Salon-de-Provence.  There, she almost immediately, and for long months, falls seriously ill.

So seriously, that soon she will no longer be able to eat.  This is when angels bring her Holy Communion which allows her to survive.  A rigorous surveillance is exercised around her bedchamber.  But, for the whole time that her fast lasts, it is impossible to discover the slightest fraud.

Her health remains so precarious that, on doctors’ orders, she is obliged to return to laic life.  Back in her family, she has to remain in bed, and her poor days are spent embroidering Church ornaments.

The Good God does not desert her, however, during these ordeals, and there again, she is miraculously supplied with wafers that angels remove from Monsieur the Curate’s ciborium.

One day, in the Saignon church, she falls into ecstasy.  As is indicated in the judicial dossier on the affair conserved in the archives of the Nimes Tribunal, totally trustworthy witnesses see her levitate.  One of them several times passes his hands under her knees and notices, like other members of the congregation, that she is no longer touching the floor.

Over the years, Rosette’s reputation for sainthood grows, and to those who complain about the development of de-christianization, Vicar Sabon replies:

“You’ll see that a daughter of Saignon will do extraordinary things and that this will do a lot of good to religion.”

In 1845 one of Rose’s young brothers marries a Mademoiselle Jean, of Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, who is mistress of an inn.  The couple settles in this little town and Rose makes frequent visits to her sister-in-law’s home.

Of course, she is too weak to take part in heavy duties, but what does that matter?…  she is such a good person, with such beautiful elevation of the soul, that the whole household is illuminated.

So when, in 1847, during one of her stays at Saint-Saturnin, she again falls very seriously ill, the family devotedly cares for her for long months, happy, it seems, to attenuate a little the sufferings of this girl with the frail body, but so loved by God…

The "Descent From the Cross" which was in the Church of Saint-Saturnin.

As soon as the miracle of the picture that bleeds is known throughout the countryside, people come in the hope of seeing the prodigy repeat itself.

Doctor Bernard, a doctor in Apt, makes a very careful investigation but decides to postpone his conclusions until a new supernatural manifestation occurs.

He won’t have to wait long.  On 13 December a new miracle happens.  At eight o’clock in the morning, Josephine Imbert goes to the presbytery and asks Curate Grand to climb without delay to the chapel.

When he pushes open the door, he notices, in the dim light, Rose’s little frail silhouette.  She is on her knees before the altar and her whole being looks as if it is being sucked toward the picture.

Josephine and Rosette’s sister-in-law are on the Curate’s heels.  The ecclesiastic, who is very myopic, lights a candle, climbs on a step-ladder and approaches the flame to the picture…

Christ’s right hand which hangs down vertically has a big drop of blood on it…

When he moves the candle’s light, he then sees that the crucified one’s side bears a bloody trace and four reddish drops around it.

Called to the scene, a young, twenty-eight year old doctor, Doctor Clement, draws up a statement.  This is repugnant to him for he is a free-thinker and fears the sarcasms of his entourage.  The next day, however, he signs a witness statement which is very favourable to the supernatural thesis.

On 16 December, Rose announces that a new miracle is in the making.

A great part of the Canton rushes over in the morning, and the piety of the faithful is rewarded with a first prodigy.  Even before the picture starts to bleed, the chapel bell joyfully peels.  The chapel’s little bell-tower has, however, no bellringer in it.

This time the Mayor is there, flanked by Doctor Clement and Gendarme Allard.  At the moment of the miracle, everyone can only respectfully bow his or her head.  Doctor Bernard from Apt, who was one of the first to be convinced, goes to Saint-Saturnin as fast as his horse can carry him, but arrives too late…  The blood has already coagulated…

In vain, certain people present emit doubts, Doctor Clement notably, who suggests that Rose evidently has a sick nature.  Doctor Bernard interrupts him:

“They are supernatural ills,”

and reminds him that Rose’s pains are worse on Fridays.

The Sous-Prefet himself, notified by the Mayor, arrives and submits Rose to an extensive interrogation.  The result is that this public servant is troubled by Rosette Tamisier’s intelligence and indiscutable logic, and praises her modesty and beautiful elocution qualities.  He receives from her mouth the announcement of another miracle which could take place on 20 December.

On the evening before this great day, the whole Canton is set in motion.  Even the Archbishop of Avignon, alerted by numerous letters from the faithful, has decided to see for himself.  So as not to be retarded along the way, he sleeps at the presbytery, while the Sous-Prefet, a Judge and an Assistant Prosecutor spend the night at the inn.

When night falls, the chapel is surrounded by a double row of gendarmes…

This time, Doctor Bernard is being more prudent.  At seven o’clock in the evening, his cabriolet had entered the village, making its way with difficulty through the many carriages which had converged on Saint-Saturnin from throughout the whole region.

Where are all these good people going to spend the night?  No-one cares.  They are all only thinking of the following day and, while waiting, prayers and canticles rise from the chars-a-bancs, while the poorest among them shuffle around in the mud without daring to curse the glacial rain which has been falling from the sky for two days.

The next day, the presbytery awakes well before Dawn.

Monsignor had asked to be woken very early.  His request was obeyed but, at eight o’clock, he is still seated in front of his broth.

His Excellency should have known that Heaven does not like waiting, and his robe is not yet done up when the bell announcing another miracle begins to ring.

In fact, if the Prelate is frustrated this morning of the essential manifestations of the phenomenon, it is also because of the excessive zeal of Monsieur the Sous-Prefet Grave.

To be continued.

Saint Joseph of Copertino.

Other people famous for their levitations are Saint Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, who rose to the vault of the cathedral, on the day of the Ascension…  There is Saint Etienne who was raised from the ground while he was praying in his tent, Saint Catherine the Admirable who, during her funeral service, rose to the vault of the church.  It was then noticed that she wasn’t dead.

Others are:  Saint John of the Cross whose friends often found him a few feet from the ground and who levitated one day in company of Saint Teresa of Avila;  Saint Peter of Alcantara, Reformator of the Franciscans who, the witnesses say, flew like a bird to the tops of the trees;  Maria of Agreda, the author of Cuidad de Dios, whose body, in the moments of ecstasy, was as light as a feather to the point that it was a game for the sisters to blow on her to make her float away;  Father Suarez, one of the greatest theologians of the XVIth Century;  Philippe of Neri, the founder of the Oratory;  Maria Villarri, a famous Dominican nun of the XVIIth Century;  Tommasso of Cori, who was raised to the roof of the Civistella Church with such force that it was feared that he would crush his skull on the rafters;  Pope Pius VII;  Mary Magdalene of Pazzi who, one day, at the Carmel of Saint Mary of the Angels, rose to a corniche ten metres high and remained balancing on a twenty centimetres wide ledge;  John-Joseph of the Cross who, in Naples in 1734, while he was going to venerate the blood of Saint Janvier, flew above the crowd;  the Venerable Antoine Margil, who was seen by the monks of the Franciscan Priory of Mexico levitating very high inside the steeple and “spinning round, his arms extended, at an incredible speed”;  Mary of Crucified Jesus, a Carmelite in Pau, in the XIXth Century, who went to perch on the top of trees and forgot her sandal one day in a lime tree;  etc.

***

All these people had the same attitude as Saint Teresa of Avila.  They all felt shame and were uncomfortable about it.  As Aime Michel writes in an article that he consecrates to levitation:

“It is evident that in their eyes, nothing is more incomprehensible, nothing is even more opposed to the gravity of an authentic religious sentiment than these evolutions in the air devoid of any apparent signification.”

Most of them, judging these phenomena absurd and derisory, never ceased praying to God to free them from them.

***

Levitation is not at all connected to sainthood.  Many saints have never levitated.  Only mystics or contemplatives are subject to this mysterious phenomenon, those who are called the ecstasy saints.

***

Saint Joseph of Copertino.

What is ecstasy?  This is an embarrassing question, those who experience it being unable to describe what they see and what they feel…  Let us say that it is a state of superior consciousness of which, scientifically speaking, we know nothing, but that scholars no longer deny.  Many physiologists now perform research which will allow us perhaps one day to know more about these illuminations – these states of awakening as Doctor Godel calls them – which are nearly always accompanied by surprising secondary phenomena.

Levitation is one of them.  There are others.  For example, irradiation.  We cite only two cases:  when Francis of Assisi is surprised “floating at the height of a beech tree”, he is surrounded by such light that he is barely visible;  and the day in April 1602 when Tobias de Ponte discovers Bernardi Realino “two and a half feet above the floor”, the monk is surrounded by a “light like that of a metalworker’s fire”.  These irradiations are accompanied by another, secondary phenomenon:  hyperthermia.  When Mary-Magdalene of Pazzi entered into ecstasy, she emitted heat “formidable like that of a stove”.  Renee-Paule Guillot, who has consecrated an article in Historia to these phenomena, tells us that Padre Pio, famous for his bilocations and his levitations, “made thermometres explode”.

***

This yogi, lying in the air, is leaning on a stick covered in material and simply placed on the ground. The fact that this photo exists excludes all possibility of collective illusion.

All these cases are connected to Christian mysticism but of course they have also been observed in other religions, in Hindu and Muslim mysticism, among others.    They are also found outside of any religious context.  For example, with mediums like Eusapia Palladino or Daniel Dunglas Home.

***

It is also possible to reach ecstasy by the use of drugs.  This ecstasy can be accompanied by levitation.  Blaise Cendrars, who wrote a remarkable book on Joseph of Copertino, recounts that he saw, in Amazonia, some Indians smoke a plant called ibadou, which provokes ecstasy and puts the body in a state of weightlessness, to the point of making it capable of rising in the air and moving around without any point of contact…

***

When Aime Michel asked an eminent French physicist if the human body could fly, he replied:

“Why not?  Physics have no reason to be reticent before the hypothesis of a phenomenon which does not violate the principle of the conservation of energy.  The trick is to determine where the mystic in levitation finds the energy which raises him from the ground, and on what it is applied.”

In conclusion, let us quote these words from Saint Augustin:

“Man has in himself something that even his own mind does not know.”

***

I should like to add a personal note to Guy Breton’s text.  When I was eight years old, I levitated in the street.  The phenomenon was preceded and accompanied by a wonderful feeling of joy and love for the world and all that was in it.  I wanted to hug the sky.  I only rose thirty to forty centimetres, I think, and did not immediately realize that I was no longer touching the ground.  As soon as I did, I started to worry about how I was going to land on the concrete footpath under me (I was on my way to a dancing lesson and was afraid of hurting an ankle) and if anyone could see me making a fool of myself.  This put an end to the levitation.  I landed safely and have flown many kilometres since then, but always inside an aeroplane.

I believe that our feelings alter the way in which our bodies vibrate and that this change can cause temporary (even permanent) physical change.  When I felt fear, the levitation ceased.  I think that the “walking on water” story in the Bible about Jesus and one of his disciples is a demonstration of this.  Exhilaration – realisation by the non-swimmer that he is above water – fear – fall.  (For those who don’t know the story, it has a happy ending.  He doesn’t drown.)

I should like to add that I have never, ever, at any time, been considered a saint by anyone and, while some very weird things have happened to me in my life, they only demonstrate that absolutely anybody can experience or perform “paranormal” things.  It would, however, be a lot better for the nerves if they didn’t tend to occur unexpectedly.

***

On this Thursday, 15 January 1846, a storm has been threatening all day over the hamlet of Bouvigny.  We are in the Perche, not far from the Sarthe, a rich and humid region, where heavy, grey work-horses have prospered for centuries.  The sky is so leaden this evening that snow is expected before nightfall.  In the Loisnard cottage, they have had to light the candle even earlier than on the preceding days:  Monsieur Piedaleu, glover in Mamers, has ordered some urgent work.

So, in the low-ceilinged house with whitewashed walls, Julie Loisnard, the daughter of the master of the house, her cousin Angelique Cottin, and a little neighbour, Marie Hamel, get busy.

All day, and even in the evening, they weave fishnet lace from which Mr Piedaleu will make gloves for the beautiful town ladies.  Huddled around an oak side-table, they pass a wooden shuttle back and forth in the woof, fixed by a nail in the table.

One of them, Angelique, aged fourteen, is a lot less deft than the other two.  She prefers the axe or the pitchfork to the embroidery shuttle.  To show off her biceps, they say in the village.  Poor Angelique is not very bright.  Her mind is even a bit clouded, and the village children call her “the idiot” or “half-a-loaf”.  With her perpetual servant’s poor chunky fingers, she does what she can, the poor girl, the ugly one, that the Loisnards have taken in because Cottin, her drunkard of a father, hit her more often than he should…

The clock placed on the beautiful wardrobe of polished oak, the pride of the Loisnards, chimes eight o’clock.  The last chime has not finished ringing when, suddenly, Angelique’s shuttle falls from her hands and speeds like an arrow across the room, almost blinding Marie Hamel on its way past.

“Idiot!”

“It’s not my fault!…”

Angelique rises to pick up her shuttle which has rolled under the credence…  She brushes against the little table in solid oak, which immediately begins to wobble as if it is coming to life, rocks, bounds, knocking over the candle, then rolls throughout the room, before crashing heavily against the wall, its legs in the air.

The three young girls begin to scream.  Even more loudly because they are plunged into darkness, the room being lit only by the embers in the fireplace.

Angelique sobs loudly and rushes with outstretched arms towards her cousin Julie…

This gesture sets off another catastrophe.  The scissors hanging at her waist shoot like a rocket towards the ceiling, flutter like an appalling bird of iron across the room, before falling into the bread-hutch.

Little Marie then lets out a frightful cry, throws herself at the door, and takes off like a madwoman into the night.

Julie follows her, hurling for her parents to whom she recounts, while sobbing, the terrible prodigies that she has just witnessed.  Mother Loisnard signs herself and tells her husband to fetch the Curate.

“Better let ‘our gentlemen’ know too,”

the father grumbles as he hurries off.

Upon returning to the cottage, the Curate and father Loisnard find that there is already a whole gathering in front of the house.  They had made a detour to the manor of “our gentlemen”, Bertrand and Alcide de Faremont, two elderly aristocratic gentlemen who live not far from the Loisnard home.  Alcide accompanies them, and they cut through the circle of peasants, who are worried and vaguely hostile.

There are about twenty of them and they surround, at a respectful distance, Angelique who is standing, crying.  The Curate gently murmurs to her to pull herself together.

Angelique sits down on a chair that someone has brought…  and finds herself on the floor, for the chair has flown into the air, as if pulled by an invisible thread.

When she leans on the side-table to help herself up, it shakes like the bear at the Mamers Fair.  Terrorised, Angelique backs towards the fireplace…  and immediately sets off a waltz of tongs and andirons, while the pot suspended over the fire begins to jump and spill it contents everywhere.

Alcide de Faremont and the good Curate exchange knowing looks.

If they say what they are thinking, if they comment aloud this evident case of possession, they fear that the rednecks who surround them might hurt the poor girl.  So, they say nothing.  Faremont at last says, with the authority that no-one contests in the village:

“Let us all remain calm.  Angelique is ill.  That is all!…  Believe me…  the Devil has nothing to do with it!  Angelique emits a sort…  a sort of electricity…  isn’t that right Monsieur le cure?”

Perhaps for the first time in his life, the Curate permits himself to utter a white lie:

“Of course, Monsieur le chevalier, Angelique is ill.  She is ill…  She’s an electric girl, nothing more.  The doctor will cure her.”

At these words, the unhappy young girl, knocked out by all these emotions, falls fainting into Alcide de Faremont’s arms.

The next day, Angelique awakes late, with a heavy head.  Mother Loisnard greets her by telling her to sort some beans.

Angelique Cottin moves objects by simply being present.

Angelique grabs a saucer and immediately the vegetables begin to dance around the kitchen, just like in the Tales of Perrault, and the chairs repeat their tricks of the day before.  Leontine Loisnard calls her farm valet in to help.  But they can fight the furniture as much as they like, as long as the electric girl is in the room, the chairs continue their farandol.

Monsieur de Faremont arrives right in the middle of all this, and this time he decides to discover the truth.  He is known as “Voltairian” in the village, that is to say, a free thinker and vaguely “anti-clerical”.  Which doesn’t stop him rushing off to see the Curate to tell him to leave his breviary and his exorcism treatises.

“Come later to The Muzerie, Monsieur le cure and you will have the proof that your parishioner is truly an electric girl!”

Before a full house, Mr de Faremont presents a pendulum suspended on a copper stick to Angelique.  His treatises on electrical fluid, such as described by Mr de Volta, are very clear.  At the approach of the living “battery” which is Angelique, the pendulum will start to oscillate.

Everyone holds his breath…  but the pendulum remains perfectly motionless.  The bread-hutch, on the other hand, which is full and weighs a good quintal-and-a-half, takes off and falls heavily onto the floor.  Only because the young girl brushed against it as she was backing away.

This is the beginning of an incredible scene, which this time involves the fall of a heavy shelf that had been solidly fixed to the stone wall.

Angelique rolls on the floor screaming that she is going to kill herself.

Soon the circle of peasants disintegrates:  they are all afraid of being possessed too.  At The Muzerie all is consternation…

On this same day, at nine o’clock at night, loud knocking is heard at the cottage door.

The dogs hurl death…  is it the Devil?

No, it is only Cottin the drunkard, armed with his carter’s whip and all smeared with wine.  He is only stopping on his way past…  He yells to the poor Angelique, who is busy at that moment running after a wayward fork:

“You’re good for a side-show at the fair!”

Then he disappears, grumbling, into the night.

***

To be continued.

The Pensionnat Neuwelcke.

The story of Emilie Sagee is known to us through the people who saw her.  Mr Buch’s pensionnat received only young ladies of the nobility.  Having become elderly ladies, some of them wrote their souvenirs, as was often done at the time, in this society.  And one of them, Baroness de Guldenstubbe, the little Julie that Mr Buch was so proud of having in his establishment, wrote so many things about Emilie Sagee in her souvenirs, that the English writer and philosopher, Robert Dale Owen, wanted to meet her.  The Baroness furnished many details to the writer about the duality of the French teacher.  Details that he reported in one of his books which bears the very beautiful title Sounds of Footsteps at the Frontiers of Another Life [Bruits de pas sur les frontieres d’une autre vie].

***

Collective hallucination has been mentioned.  However, before entering Mr Buch’s establishment, Mlle Sagee, who had started teaching at the age of sixteen, had passed through eighteen colleges…  eighteen colleges from which she had been fired because of her phenomena of bilocation…  It appears difficult to admit that the pupils, teachers and directors of eighteen establishments had suffered the same hallucinatory influence about the same person…

***

Mlle Sagee wrote nothing about her own case.  For the simple reason that she had nothing to say;  for at the moment of her divisions, she felt nothing.  She was absolutely unconscious of what was happening and – she has often repeated this – she only knew about the phenomenon because of the expression on the faces of the people who were there…  It was by seeing their frightened faces, their eyes staring at something invisible which seemed to be moving near her, that she understood…  But she had never, herself, seen her double;  neither had she noticed the stiffness and slowing down of her movements when her double appeared…

***

It was noted that the phenomenon took place when Mlle Sagee was very worried or very immersed in her work.  The double could also manifest itself in a place about which she was thinking.  For example, she has recounted that, on the day when she was picking flowers in the garden, glancing at the sewing room, she had seen the empty armchair and was saying to herself:

“The supervisor has gone, I’m sure that the young ladies will take advantage of it to gossip and waste time…”

And, as a teacher worried about discipline, she had thought:

“Ah!  If only I were there!”

And she was…

***

It is difficult to know whether or not Emilie Sagee’s double appeared far away from the pensionnat.  It could have, without being noticed.  At Neuwelcke, the pupils sometimes saw the double in the college itself, while Mlle Sagee – as everyone knew – had gone for a walk in the forest or in the neighbouring village…

***

There are other striking examples of ubiquity.  Among others, the case of Padre Pio, the Italian monk who died in 1968 and whose phenomena of bilocation were noted by hundreds of people, notably journalists…  But there are many, many others…

***

Parapsychological magazines periodically cite cases of bilocation.  And numerous researchers, among them Doctor Richet, Doctor Osty, Doctor Goodrich and above all Doctor William Barnard Johnson, who created at Reno in the United States of America, an Institute for the study of these phenomena, have published extremely troubling reports.  According to these documents, it seems that, most of the time, the double is only seen by other people;  but sometimes, it can also be seen by the subject himself (autoscopy).

***

It is, in fact, a sort of “phantom of a living person”.  But parapsychologists, who detest using the word “phantom”, and don’t like the word “ubiquity” because it belongs to theological vocabulary, give these phenomena the name of “bilocation” or “bicorporeity”.

***

For the moment, these wise parapsychologists emit no hypothesis to explain the facts.  They prudently content themselves with stating their existence with as much rigour as possible.  And they have already been able to obtain a few certitudes mentioned by Danielle Hemmert and Alex Roudene in their work L’Univers des fantomes.

“The positive attitude of the facts permit today to establish that the existence of the human phantom (of a living person) is objectively noted by concording witness reports, by photographs of the double accidentally obtained;  by the influence that this apparition produces simultaneously on humans and on animals;  by the effects exercised by the double on matter.”

***

We are therefore able to conclude that we are in the presence of a double acting, at certain moments and for inexplicable reasons, outside its physical envelope.

***

Most parapsychologists who have studied the problem think that this double is totally distinct from the soul and that it draws its substantiality from the body of which it is an emanation.  In short, as surprising and as mysterious as it might be in the present state of our knowledge, this phenomenon is probably quite natural…

***

After having left Mr Buch’s pensionnat, Mlle Sagee retired to the home of her sister-in-law, the mother of several children who very quickly grew used to the phenomenon to which the young woman was subjected.  They said:

“We have two Aunt Emilies!”…

For children accept all miracles…

***

The pupils of the Pensionnat Neuwelcke sometimes saw Mlle Sagee in two places at once.

In the middle of the XIXth Century, in Livonia (Lettonia), between Riga and Volmar, there is a college for noble young ladies which is called the Pensionnat Neuwelcke.  The boarders belong to the greatest Livonian families, and the Director, Mr Buch, flatters himself that he has in his establishment, among others, the second daughter of Baron Guldenstubbe, the charming and very intelligent Julie, aged thirteen.

In 1845, Mr Buch engages a French teacher, Mademoiselle Emilie Sagee.  She is a pretty Bourguignonne, born in Dijon, blonde with light eyes and an amiable character.  She is thirty-two.  Intelligent, cultured, she soon conquers the Director’s estime, her colleagues’ friendship and her pupils’ affection.

Strange rumours, however, run through the pensionnat about the new teacher.  In fact, several times, certain pupils have noticed that they disagree on an apparently insignificant detail:  the place where they have just met Mlle Sagee.  When one says that she has seen her in one part of the establishment, it is frequent that another assures having met her elsewhere at the same moment.

At first, the pupils believe that they are mistaken.  But as it continues to occur, they finish by finding the thing very strange.  To the point that they decide to speak about it to the other mistresses.

One morning, a delegation goes to find the Arithmetic teacher and tells her that they are sure that Mlle Sagee is a strange person, because she is sometimes in two different places at the same time

The teacher bursts out laughing, shrugs her shoulders and declares that she has never heard anything quite so stupid, that these young ladies are really too imaginative and that they are making it all up…  After which, she sends the girls back to their studies…

But the anomalies in the French teacher’s comportment soon take on a character which excludes all possibility of error or fantasy.

One day when Mlle Sagee is giving a lesson to thirteen of her pupils, and is writing a sentence on the blackboard, the girls are suddenly very frightened to see two Mademoiselle Sagees one beside the other.

Riveted to their benches, they notice with growing stupor that, while the two people who are writing at the blackboard look exactly alike and are making the same gestures, only the real Emilie Sagee, a piece of chalk in her hand, is effectively writing.  Her double, with empty hand, is only imitating the movements that she is making while tracing the words.

This story is immediately spread, and causes a sensation among the other boarders.  The Director, informed of a strange incident which is supposed to have occurred during a French lesson, interrogates Mlle Sagee’s pupils.  But even though all of them, without exception, affirm having seen the second form and are perfectly in agreement on the description that they make of the phenomenon, Mr Buch, too, shrugs his shoulders…  He tells them that their story is foolish, that they were dreaming…  Perhaps they had been a bit tired at that particular moment.  There, there, we’ll say no more about it!

The pupils leave his study very disappointed about not succeeding in convincing him, for they are sure of their facts:  they really saw Mlle Sagee divide into two.

A little while later, a second incident comes to trouble the pensionnat.  It unfolds in a bedroom where a pupil, Antoinette de Vrangel, is dressing to go with a few friends to a local festival.  Mlle Sagee has come to help her, and is hooking up the back of her dress.  Suddenly, the young girl looks over her shoulder and sees two Emilie Sagees taking care of her.  She is so frightened that she faints.

This time, Mr Buch is worried.  He asks hinself if his boarders have not all gone mad.  He makes enquiries and learns with fearful astonishment that the pensionnat‘s domestics, too, have seen the French teacher split into two.  These peasant women explain to him that, from time to time, in the refectory, they see Mlle Sagee’s double standing behind her chair, while she is eating.  This double, they say, imitates all of her movements, but “without knife or fork, or food in its hands”…

Mr Buch is very troubled.  He becomes even more so a few days later when some teachers come to tell him, horrified, that they now believe in the ubiquity for they, too, have seen Mlle Sagee divide into two before their eyes…

And the phenomena continue.

The witnesses then notice that there can also be variations.  In certain cases, the double doesn’t imitate the movements of the real person.  It has a sort of existence of its own.  For example, it is seen to remain seated when Mlle Sagee rises.  Sometimes, the double’s independence is even clearer.  One evening, the French teacher is in bed with a heavy cold.  Antoinette de Vrangel has come to read to her to relieve her boredom.  Suddenly, she sees her pale and stiffen as if she is about to faint.  Frightened, she asks the teacher if she is feeling worse.  Mlle Sagee weakly denies it.

A few minutes later, the boarder happens to look over her shoulder and distinctly sees the patient’s double walking back and forth in the room…

But here is the most remarkable case of the apparently independent activity of Mlle Sagee’s two forms.  One day, the pupils of the pensionnat, all forty-two of them, are gathered in the sewing room.  It is a big room on the ground floor with four windows opening onto the garden.

The boarders are all seated around a long table and, through the open windows, they can see Mlle Sagee who is picking flowers along a garden path.

At the end of the table, a supervisor is sitting in a green leather armchair.  At one moment, this lady leaves.  However, her armchair does not remain empty very long for the young girls suddenly see Mlle Sagee’s form appear in it.  They immediately turn their gazes toward the garden and see their French teacher still busy picking her bouquet;  but her movements seem to be slower and heavier than a while ago, like those of someone who is very tired.

They turn their eyes to the armchair again.  The double is there, silent, motionless, but with such an appearance of reality that, if they hadn’t just seen Mlle Sagee in the garden, they could think that she is there in person.

However, they all know that it is the double, and they are now so used to this strange phenomenon that two of them rise, approach the armchair and, trembling a little, touch the apparition.

The whole class watches them, frightened, and Mlle de Vrangel asks them what it feels like.  They answer that it feels like a piece of muslin or crepe material.

And, now feeling very audacious, one of them dares to pass right up against the armchair, thereby traversing part of the form.  When she returns to her place, she is livid…

The double then gradually disappears and the pupils notice that Mlle Sagee, in the garden, is now gathering her flowers with her usual vivacity.

These phenomena last for months, to Mr Buch’s despair.  He fears that this strange comportment might damage his establishment’s reputation.

His fears are justified.  Many parents, informed of what is happening, remove their children.  After eighteen months, there are only twelve pupils left out of forty-two.  Mr Buch is then obliged to fire his French teacher – for ubiquity…

***

To be continued.

Before taking any decision, the Greeks went to consult an oracle.

A writer goes to see Wanga Dimitrova.  He wants to find answers to the questions that everyone asks himself.  Shall I be ill?  Shall I fall in love?  Become rich and famous?  And another one, which the clairvoyant never refuses to answer, however much it may cost:  when shall I die?

For once, Wanga refuses to answer anything.  She says:

“There is something much more important than all that.  You have just written the story of an adventure which really happened.  Why, at the end, do you make your heroine die, when she is still alive?  If you respect the truth, your book can only be better… “

So speaks Wanga, who knows the slightest material changes in the lives of all those who come to see her.  But who sometimes refuses to answer.  As if, for her, the psychical and the spiritual are more important.  As if this daughter of Thrace, the land of Orpheus, the prophet and magician of the Arts, believes only in poetry, intelligence, the Conscious.  A Conscious which englobes intelligence itself, and which floats on this ocean of co-existence, the nearest coasts of which we are only just starting to explore.

***

In the Balkans, Wanga Dimitrova is well-known.  When this text was written, over thirty years ago, no photograph of her existed.  The Soviet authorities hoped to “domesticate” or at least find a physical, rational explanation.  Because of this, Wanga became the first prophetess in modern times to be given a salary by the Government, and be protected and even encouraged, for the social role that she played.  This shows a real absence of prejudice in the land of triumphant materialism.

***

The Committee of organization was put in place by the Institute of Suggestology and Parapsychology in Sofia.  This is a very serious institution which establishes the archives of Wanga’s revelations and verifies if her prophecies come true.  Wanga has two secretaries at her disposition and everything that she says or does is examined in the Institute’s laboratories.  Around thirty researchers work there under the direction of Georgi Lozanov, who is Doctor in Medicine and has worked for twenty-five years in parapsychology.  He is very well-known for this in the Communist world. and for some time now, American researchers come to see him, to exchange information with him on the hidden powers of the psychism.

***

The price of a consultation with Wanga is multiplied by five for non-Bulgarians.  The money goes to the State which generously supports Lozanov’s Institute…

***

It all started for Wanga in her childhood.  She manifested an extraordinary sensitivity.  Her family was very poor and her father, who was an agricultural worker, had to go to Greece to find work.  It was at this epoch, when she was thirteen, that Wanga’s sight started to go.  Her father showed her to a Greek doctor who recommended an immediate operation.  Through lack of money, the operation cannot take place, and at nineteen, Wanga is completely blind.

Her paranormal sight is then unveiled and predictions begin, firstly in connection with the death of loved ones, which all come true.  Her parapsychological power has in fact the lugubrious particularity of “sensing” the death of all those who come to consult her.  Whether it touches the consultant directly, or his entourage.  And it is very rare that she makes a mistake.

***

Sometimes it would doubtless be better that she remain silent, but she assures that this is impossible:

“I am sorry.  I can’t say anything about the life of those who come to see me if I can’t also speak of their death… “

Luckily, Wanga sometimes makes mistakes.  For, as is the case with all of the great clairvoyants and telepaths, her powers are very variable in time.  Illnesses, personal problems, for example, affect them for varying lengths of time.  Lozanov’s Institute has however been able to determine that, over a period of fourteen years, Wanga’s predictions and her clairvoyances about the present and the past are 80% correct.

***

Sometimes, she has instantaneous panoramic visions of the past, the present and the future of her “patient”.  At other times, it takes several hours to find a minor element.  Georgi Lozanov has also noted that it is possible to “block” the clairvoyant.  By simulating mental confusion, by taking on someone else’s identity, or by showing hostility or scepticism toward her.

***

The way that a visitor presents himself is a determining factor in the declenchment of the divination process.  After which, it seems that Wanga has no more power to control the voices or the images that she assures she hears and sees.

***

This explains nothing, but the phenomenon can be described.  Lozanov has done it.  At the moment of the telepathic and divinatory trance, there is a contraction of Time and a dilation of Space.  Like the famous “global perception” of the dying.  Lozanov speaks of “concept of the great present” and this of course poses immediate philosophical problems, which are, for the moment, insoluble.  Those of the determinism which rules our life, that we call predestination, fatum, or karma, which means, for those who believe in the transmigration of souls, the sum of the acts of their anterior lives which, according to Brahmanism, weighs heavily on our future destiny…

***

To begin to find an answer, we must first change our opinion on a Time which is only the addition of chance events uniformly happening one after the other.  Physicists, too, have had to renounce their rational and predetermined conception in the matter.  Margaret Mead, the great American anthropologist, who was very interested in parapsychology, uses these terms:

“There are few reasons to believe that humans could live, if they have knowledge of catastrophes which they are incapable of preventing… “

***

At Delphi, politicians, military men or ordinary people came to consult the Pythia who prophesied in a state of sacred delirium.

Eusapia Palladino – part 4

Eusapia Palladino.

Is it possible to know with certainty when Eusapia was cheating and when she wasn’t?

Camille Flammarion liked to remark:

“I am able to say that over the last forty years, almost all of the famous mediums have passed through my salon and I have surprised all of them cheating”.

By taking this remark at face-value, it could be concluded that mediumnity and trickery are synonymous.  This would be a great error.  Eusapia’s answer to the lawyer Mirando who had asked her one day if it was true that all mediums cheated, sheds good light on the question.  She replied:

This photograph was taken at Camille Flammarion's home. Eusapia is hidden by a cushion.

“Yes!…  For when a phenomenon must occur, I feel an interior force which pushes me to produce it!”

This signifies two things:  that true mediums nearly always work in a trance (the interior force) and that they make it a sort of imperious obligation to produce the phenomenon, often not to disappoint the expectations of their entourage.  The trance, or the fatigue which mediums impose upon themselves, often make them execute their exercises unconsciously…  This includes the frauds.

***

Damiani presented Eusapia to the famous scholar Lombroso.  He was a positivist and, in his eyes, she could be only a simulator or an hysteric.  At this epoch, because of the work of the great French doctor Charcot, most paranormal phenomena were explained by hysteria.  But Lombroso was rapidly convinced, and later, he even converted to spiritism.

***

Eusapia once made this imprint of a face appear in a block of putty. It was done at a distance while she was surrounded by observers.

The famous report of the French scholars was re-published in extenso in 1957 in a complete and very rigorous book by Robert Amadou, entitled Les Grands Mediums.

One phenomenon was noted with absolute guarantees of authenticity:  that of the side-table which moved backwards and evolved in space while Eusapia was perfectly bound.  It is this really prodigious phenomenon which no illusionist could ever perform, that set off the research movement, known at the time as “metapsychical”, at the beginning of the XXth Century.  In France, the pioneers of this research were Dr Osty and Pr Warcollier.  The methods of the metapsychological institutes were still very empiric;  it is in America, with Rhine’s work, that scientific parapsychology was truly created.  Research there has been totally disencumbered by spiritist superstition, which has permitted important progress, notably in the domain of telepathy.

In passing from the observation phase of exceptional cases to the experimental phase, parapsychology has begun to acquire a hearing and credibility.

***

This photograph of Eusapia shows a clear resemblance between her face and the imprint above.

There are certainly more spiritist circles than ever throughout the world, but very few great mediums.  There are no satisfactory explanations for this.  Some maintain that most of the great mediums came from countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.  Others that the appearance of great mediums obeys cyclical laws a bit like years of rain or great wine millesima.  Others again, that parapsychology is now less interested in mediums, thereby condemning them to disappearance.

It is possible that the appearance of great mediums coincides with a state of custom, ideas, and the particular sensitivity of an epoch.  Would it be possible for us to imagine France’s ten greatest scholars of today assembling with the most distinguished philosophers, flanked by our most recent Nobel prize-winners in Medicine, to play at “flying side-tables” with an unknown woman, who had debarked the day before from her native Pouilles?  Probably not, and it is certainly a shame.

***

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