Book: "Why I Believe in Personal Immortality"

Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS

Availability: Out of Print

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- Chapter 4 -

An Illustrative Chapter of Some Psychical Phenomena


Bacon foresaw the gradual victory of observation and experiment — the triumph of actual analysed fact — in every department of human study; — in every department save one … I here urge that that great exemption need be no longer made.

F. W. H. Myers, "Human Personality," II, 279. 

          IN illustration of some of the faculties which have been incidentally referred to in the foregoing chapters I might quote a great number of incidents, many of which have been recorded in books or in the Proceedings of the S.P.R. But I will confine myself to a few mainly unpublished episodes, which illustrate one or another of the faculties possessed by mediums. Standing by themselves, these episodes, though striking, would not be conclusive, but as part of a great body of testimony in the same direction they have their value. The incidents I select are illustrative of classes of simple psychic experiences, four in number. For various reasons these have not yet been printed, except the two non-personal ones that I begin and finish with.

The first class consists of incidents illustrating the giving of information about current events occurring elsewhere, either at the time or shortly before the information was given. I will take three of these incidents. Two of them were immediately capable of verification; the third one is not yet verified, nor perhaps ever likely to be verified. Nevertheless it seems to me that it ought to be put on record, in case circumstances should arise in the future which will either confirm or refute it.(1)

The second class of incident illustrates the apparent faculty of prediction, or forecast in some detail, of unlikely coming events; not events of any public importance, but nevertheless events which subsequently occurred.

Thirdly I will take an instance of psychometry or diagnosis, apparently from an object, a faculty well-known to investigators and rather common.

Fourthly, an episode of a different kind, an example of our more free and easy conversations through Mrs. Leonard’s control Feda, being a discussion of the inter-relation between the departed and ourselves. Incidentally this conversation enabled a sort of doubtfully successful test to be applied to check the identity of one of the communicators.

(1)Unfortunately this long spelt-out message about the Himalayan catastrophe in 1924, received under conditions described below, has bad to be omitted, in deference to the wishes of the family concerned. It is therefore now merely filed with the S.P.R., for future reference if necessary, and another episode substituted in this book.



Contents / Foreword / Chapter 1  / Chapter 2  / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 4a / Chapter 4b / Chapter 4c / Chapter 4d / Chapter 4e / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7

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