188 Facts Given at two Consecutive Sittings to Arthur Findlay

 - Arthur Findlay -

          MY MOTHER died on the 3rd February 1936, and I think that the readers of On the Edge of the Etheric will be interested to read of her return shortly after her death. This occurred at two sťances, one in Glasgow and one in London.

These two sťances produced what I consider is first-class evidence, which came through the mediums when in trance and not by the Direct Voice. Not one mistake was made, everything was correct, some statements being unknown to me and found later to be correct. In both cases the mediums could not have made any enquiries beforehand, and I am quite satisfied that neither of them knew that my Mother had died.

Notes were taken at the time of the sittings.

Taking the sittings with the two mediums together, 188 facts were given to me which were correct. No mistakes were made and there was no guessing. Everything was said straight out. Nothing was vague. Everything said was correct and clearly stated. So that the reader may better understand this, I have put at the end of each paragraph the figures 1, 2 or 3, according to the number of correct statements given which could not have been known by the medium. When one correct statement is made the figure I is to be found at the end of the paragraph. When two correct statements were made, the figure 2 and so on.

If the reader adds all these up, he will find that 188 correct statements were made at the sittings held on the 9th and 12th February 1936, and that nothing said was wrong. So the record of these two sittings can be read right through from beginning to end without question.

Sitting with Mrs. Bertha Harris, in Glasgow, on 9th February 1936

Mrs. Bertha Harris arrived in Glasgow from Chester on the evening of 8th February and went to the Holland Street Spiritualist Church, where she was given a bedroom and a sitting-room. My brother John and I, knowing that she was to be in Glasgow on the Sunday, 9th February, motored to Glasgow from Ayrshire, and arrived at 11 o'clock in the morning. No previous appointment had been made, and we went up to Mrs. Harris's room and knocked and were asked to come in. I had only met Mrs. Harris once, some years earlier, after a meeting I addressed in Leicester, but she did not recognise me. She did remember John, my brother.

After the sitting with Mrs. Harris, I asked Mrs. Drysdale, the housekeeper who looked after her, if she had mentioned to her about my Mother's death. Mrs. Drysdale said 'No.'

When we entered Mrs. Harris's room, she came forward to greet us and said she was pleased to see us. We sat down without mentioning the fact that we had come for a s6ance, but just as if we had come to pay her a passing visit, my brother saying that when he heard she was in Glasgow he just wanted to come and shake hands with her.

After a few words of general conversation Mrs. Harris spoke to us as follows:

'You seem to bring an atmosphere of sorrow with you today.' Then she paused. 'Someone has passed on within the past week. A lady, small, stooping, old. I should say about eighty years of age. Very closely connected with you. Nellie brings her with her.' (10)

I now summarise what Mrs. Harris had still to say, but she had much more to tell us when the time had arrived for her to go downstairs and take the service in the church. So she said: 'Come back after the church service, and we may be able to get more through.' I mention this because, with the sitting I had with Mrs. Abbot in London, a few days later, reference was made to two separate occasions on which my Mother had communicated, which was correct. Mrs. Harris had no opportunity to enquire about my Mother as she came downstairs along with me and, immediately she left the platform she joined me and my brother and we returned to her room with her. What was said at both these sittings is now incorporated hereunder, as if it had all occurred at the same time.

Mrs. Harris passed into trance and her controlling spirit spoke as follows: 'The lady had no feeling of surprise when she passed over, only a feeling of great joy to touch dear Robert's hand.' (1)

Mrs. Harris's control then referred to Robert (my Father) meeting her when she passed over and also 'an old gentleman who had passed on recently'. 'This old gentleman welcomed her, but was now looking after someone else' (Annie, his sister, just died). 'The lady gives her name as Margaret, and Nellie' (my brother's deceased wife) 'says: "Just as I came and brought the old gentleman in Glasgow and then in London, so shall I bring your Mother to you in London as I have brought her this morning."' (6)

(This reference is to Nellie bringing my uncle to Glasgow the day before his funeral to speak to John and then, on a later occasion, to speak to John in London.)

'The lady mentions Mary and Elizabeth. She sends them both her love and gratitude. She has mentioned them in her will, giving them recognition. It is a money recognition.' 'I always like to pay my debts,' she says. I have tried to repay them for all their kindness to me.' Her last conscious remembrance on earth was Mary and Elizabeth standing  beside her.' Elizabeth stroked my hand and face with her hand. She was alone with me at the time! (9)

I then asked: 'Have you seen your old school friend?' and the reply was: 'Yes, Annie, big woman. She would nearly fill the doorway., (2)

'Your Mother speaks of a red rose which was placed on her robe in her coffin on her breast! She says: 'Red is my favourite colour, but why did you not put the rose in my hand?' (5)

'Your Mother had very small hands and feet; she was proud of her small feet, she took size twos in shoes! (4)

The medium went on: 'Arthur's daughter, your Mother tells me, is young and tall, but was not present at your Mother's passing, as she was away from home at the time!(5)

'Your Mother mentions John's boys, one of them, who is seventeen, is tall, the other, Arthur - not this Arthur' (pointing to me) - 'I am more concerned about. Carry out what she advises and push him forward! (5)

'Your Mother mentions various small gifts she has left, for people with cards attached bearing messages and names. Arthur's daughter's gift is a necklace! (4)

'Your Mother asks me to tell you she tried to retain consciousness till you, Arthur, and Gertrude arrived. You rushed up from a long distance. She did not succeed in remaining conscious, but so long as she was conscious she kept thinking of them coming.' (4)

The medium's control then spoke to John, saying that he had recently had his birthday, but that he had not yet bought his Mother's present. He had first told her he would not buy a book, and then had changed his mind and decided to buy one. (4)

'She tells me,' the control went on, 'that John's books are becoming numerous and that his library is becoming like Nellie's handkerchiefs. Then she goes on to say that John put a piece of paper in his waistcoat pocket and that had reference to this book.' (5)

(The reference to Nellie's handkerchiefs was good, because Nellie, when she was ill, bought so many handkerchiefs at one time that there was a joke about it. As to John putting a piece of paper in his waistcoat pocket, he had done so that morning to remind him to order the book at the Church Bookstall.)

'Your Mother mentions something in her bedroom with a small single drawer in it containing papers which will interest you both.' When we said we did not know of such a thing, she mentioned a bunch of keys and we said we did. not know anything about this bunch of keys. (5)

(When we returned home we looked round her room and saw her dressing-case, which was a mahogany box about 18 inches by I5 inches. We could not open it as it was locked, and we asked for the key. This was on, a bunch of keys. The dressing-case was opened, and after examining the inside we found a spring which released a single drawer in which we found quite a number of papers of interest. If we had not been told about this drawer it is unlikely we would ever have found these papers.)

The medium then referred to my Mother having pain in her stomach and weakness of her heart, also to sickness. She referred also to her having weak knees. She then referred to one eye being very troublesome: 'Not blind, you know, but sore and uncomfortable. She goes like this.' (The medium's hand went up to her eye, as my Mother was continually doing when her eye was troublesome, her right finger going round her eye.) (8)

'Your Mother died of something wrong here! (The medium put her hand to her stomach.) 'Your Father died of something here! (She put her hand on her appendix.)

'Your Mother has left three grown-up people and three children.' (Myself, my brother, my wife, my daughter and John's two sons.) (4)

'Your Mother was very fond of her Bible, and a little old village church with a bell in a small pointed steeple. She could hear the bell ringing from her home.' (5)

'Your Mother loved the hills but she now sees hills like those she could see from her home!' (2)

'Your Mother has met Dr. Lamond; she hardly recognised him as he is looking so much younger than when she saw him last! (2)

'Your Mother refers to a picture of Nellie on the piano in a room with a high ceiling with a pattern round it. It is a coloured picture!' (5)

'Your Mother said that during the recent church service Arthur moved up to the end of the pew, and she came and sat beside him.' (1)

(This is correct about me moving up to the end of the pew, but, when I did so, the medium was in trance on the platform and could not have seen me. In any case, I was sitting far back in the church. This was said at the sitting we had after the service.)

All that was said in the sitting we had after the church service occurred with the medium in trance. Mrs. Harris, just before we left her, when saying good-bye, mentioned that before we arrived she had received a message which she had not understood. When she was dressing that morning, Nellie had appeared to her and said that Arthur and John were coming to see her that morning. She did not know who Arthur and John were, but she mentioned this message to us as a matter of interest.

Everything reported above is quite applicable to my Mother and the other people mentioned. Ninety-six facts were given which the medium could not have known. Not one single statement was incorrect or even doubtful.

Sitting with Mrs. Abbot in London on 12th February 1936

On the above date I had a sitting with Mrs. Abbot in a private room at The London Spiritualist Alliance. Mrs. Abbot went into trance quickly and her control stated that an elderly lady was present, from seventy-five to eighty years, belonging to me. She had recently passed over.' (3)

'Among those who were waiting for her was a clergyman uncle, who, when on earth, thought Spiritualism was the work of the Devil. He was an ardent minister, and used to wear a red hood, but he has now given up the foolish ideas which he preached.' (4)

'Your Father and Mother are both in the spirit world, and they send you their love. All is well with your Mother. This is not the first time she has come back to you, as she came back on two occasions before, but the first time she could not get through well; the second time, she got through what she wanted quite well.' (4)

'Your Mother learned a lot about the after life from you (Arthur) before dying. She feels much younger now. She has met Nellie. Your Father is very happy having her with him. Your Father can never thank you enough for all you did for your Mother. It will be repaid in the years to come. You have many years in front of you, and he is glad that people look up to you. He approves of your books.' (3)

'Nellie's Mother is also here but finds it very difficult to understand the new conditions. She will take a long time to understand them, as she was so attached to earth and the things of the earth.' (2)

'For a long time your Mother was against your views and did not believe in what you believed. Though she was very proud of her two sons, yet she was so tied down to what she was taught in childhood that she could not realise that things could be different from what she had then been taught. She feels very humble and subdued now and is not so opinionative as she was on earth.' (5)

'Your Mother saw Nellie just before she passed over. Your Father was also waiting for her. When she got over here your Father said to her: 'What do you think of all this?', to which she replied: 'I suppose I am dead, but I never felt, like dying.' Your Father replied: 'You were never dead and you never will be dead.' Your Father put her to bed to rest when she got here.'

'For some weeks before she died her mind was very forgetful. She was losing a grip on earth life. She just slept away quite peacefully. When she arrived here was was not so surprised as  many other people are, because of what you had told her. For some years before passing her legs were bad, but now she feels quite young again, and her great freedom of movement is one of the things that impresses her most in her new life. She has now a much nicer garden than she had in her own home.' (6)

Then reference was made to the two boys. 'They are Ian's sons.' (Ian is Gaelic for John, and is his home name. 'One was named Arthur, but his name had been changed, owing to the confusion with you, to a name connected with the family. Your Mother objected to the change at first, but now thinks it was a good idea to change the name.' (6)

Then reference was made to her furniture, and 'she hoped that the big furniture would not be sold.' (1). (This was her wish on earth.)

Reference was next made to old family papers and to old family photographs. 'They are not old rubbish and, though you are not interested in them, you should keep them (3). (Correct. She knew I was not specially interested in these, and she had made this remark, in these words, when on earth, to me.)

'Her Father,' she said, 'was like you in looks. He would push in where angels feared to tread. Very stern and at times she was in awe of him, but looked up to him, as no one could help doing so. She is very fond of him.' (7)

She then referred to a visit of recent years to Bournemouth which I had forgotten, and said so, but she said this was. correct, and I now remember that a few years before she died, my wife and I did stay with her at an hotel in Bournemouth for a few days. (1)

'Your Mother is very grateful to Nellie for her kindness to her since she arrived, and for helping her to come back and speak to you. She never could have imagined that Nellie could have been of such help. She has just been like a nurse. Your Mother was not always too nice to Nellie, and used to blame Ian for spoiling her, but will not do so again, as Nellie is well worthy of it. Nellie's Mother used not to. be very mice with her either. Your Mother is also very grateful to Gertrude (my wife) for all her kindness to her, which she much appreciated.' (6)

She then referred to the pretty nurse who looked after her. She said she liked her very much indeed. She also liked drinking the powdered stuff just before passing, as it made her mouth feel clean and relieved discomfort. (4)

I then asked my Mother what G.W.G. stood for.

'The control stated that she was laughing, and that, though she could not explain what the initials stood for, yet she was not that now. She was having to lie low and not say too much, as she felt somewhat subdued after all the opinions she had given on earth. She said she was not a G.W.G. any longer.' (5). (Correct. G.W.G. stood for 'Great Wee Girl' which we called her when she became opinionative.)

'Your Mother was very autocratic, yet homely. She did not like to be pushed on one side, but liked to feel she was someone in the home. Her legs were rather bad towards the end, but now she can walk and feels bright and fresh. She so loved her country place and her garden, but now she is in a place where there is no fog and dullness. Three months before her passing her sight became bad, but she can now see clearly and further than before.' (6)

'She brings a stick and, says she has now no need for a stick. This is symbolic of her religious outlook. What you told her about her religion was true. When she awoke on the other side she saw a bright light which she thought was Christ, but it was your Father. It will be some time before she understands all you told her, but her outlook is much brighter now than it has ever been.' (2)

'She is glad Ian's two boys are getting on so well and she wants you to look after the maid who took such care of her. Mary had to put up with so much from her and was always so gentle and patient. Don't cast her aside but keep her in the family.' (7)

Mrs. Abbot's control then said he would like Nellie to control the medium herself. Nellie then spoke to me, calling me Arthur throughout. She put her hand (the medium's hand) out, and shook hands with me. She started off by saying: 'Your Mother is all right.' She said: 'I just wish my own Mother had a clearer outlook on things, but unfortunately she was kept on the astral plane because of her egotism, her love of subservience and having people always bowing down to her and loving to be the centre of everything.' (5)

'Your Father asked me to tell you that if you go to Sloan he will try and get your Mother to speak to you by the direct voice.' Nellie then said: 'I would like my darling Ian to go with you to Sloan so that I can speak to him also.'

Nellie continued: 'Your Mother was conscious almost to the last and passed over without any suffering, and quite naturally.

Your Mother is very much more willing to learn about her new life than is my Mother. It is sad for me not to be able to be with her more as she cannot rise to the plane in which we live, but this will come some day.' (1)

In reply to a question, Nellie said: 'Yes, we are living just above you and can come to you instantly. We have very bright diffused light which is very much more pleasant than the light from your sun, as it is not so glaring.'

Then she referred to Jack, who, 'owing to his contrition and the shame he felt for what he had done, had risen to be with the rest of them. He was never bad at heart, in fact he was a very warm-hearted and kind-hearted man. Until he felt shame and remorse he could not rise to where we are, but whenever that came on him, and he saw his mistakes, he was able to mix with us. He certainly did very odd things which seemed to be selfish, but not really selfishness. He was quite a good hearted man.' (7)

Then she referred to her Father, who was with her, and said: 'The love of money and earth's goods had not spoiled him the way it had spoiled my Mother.' (2)

Nellie then said: 'Your Mother would have to unlearn all her past religious ideas, but she would soon do that under your Father's guidance.'

Nellie then spoke about the conditions over there, emphasising that their world was very much like ours. She said that when she arrived first of all she saw a beautiful little waterfall and went and put her hand under the water. When she pulled her hand away it was quite dry and she did not feel the water. When she bathes in their sea she gets all the pleasure and exhilaration of bathing but is never wet, and comes out of the water quite dry.

In reply to a question, she confirmed what I have already been told, that to come back to earth they come through their own surface, but it was just a question of tuning in to the vibrations of the different surface levels. Yes, they had towns and villages and everything was very beautiful and they never had any darkness.

The sitting lasted for an hour and a half. When Mrs. Abbot came out of trance I asked her if she knew my brother, and she said 'No.' She recognised me because she had seen me going about the London Spiritualist Alliance building, but that she never, to her knowledge, had met my brother, which confirms what my brother had told me that Mrs. Abbot did not know him.

This being so, the information given is all the more interesting, especially the story about Nellie putting her hand under the waterfall, because Nellie told John the same story through another medium.

Mrs. Abbot said, after coming out of trance, that she was quite unaware that my Mother had recently passed on, and I do not see how she could have heard of it, or known about it, as, after the sitting, I mentioned it to one or two others in the London Spiritualist Alliance, who had not heard of it. It was mentioned only once in The Times, but, even if Mrs. Abbot had seen it, I do not see how she could have connected her name with me, in fact I am quite certain that she never knew my Mother had died.

The sitting was arranged by the Secretary of the International Institute for Psychical Research, but no name was given. That being so, Mrs. Abbot had no opportunity to make enquiries, and, when I arrived for the sťance, I walked up to her room and found her waiting. She said she had an appointment with someone at two o'clock, but she did not know who it was, and I told her I was the person for whom the appointment was made.

Everything stated above is correct and applicable to my Mother and the others mentioned. Ninety-two facts were given at this sťance, none of which the medium could have known. So, if we add together the facts given at the two sittings, we find ninety-six facts given at the sitting on 9th February 1936, and ninety-two facts given at the sitting on 12th February 1936, making one hundred and eighty eight in all.

Not one of the statements made was incorrect or even doubtful.


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