"A whole world may exist beyond our senses, may exist in space and yet be quite close to us for all we can tell. And yet if it have no means of communication, no links with the material world, it must remain outside our consciousness until we grow a new consciousness or otherwise develop fresh faculties so that intercommunication can begin."
Lodge, in Man and the Universe.
BEFORE THE automatic writings appeared, the trance controls made several positive statements referring to their plan to produce such writings. The first statement came at the sitting of March 8, 1931, as this extract from the verbatim notes indicates:
"Unknown control speaks through Dawn(1) while she is deeply entranced: 'I would like to say a few words to you. Place a table and a chair, with paper and pencils, in the centre of the room at your next meeting, when I shall be in charge of this woman. You will have writings from all who come here. Her writings are to be received as written'."
(1) "Dawn" was the
sťance name given by "Walter" to Mrs. Marshall in late 1928; from then on it was used in all
Two weeks later, on March 22, "Walter" speaking through Mrs. Marshall, said this:
"I have written, but what's in a name? The person who will do the writing will be with you at your next meeting.
I may speak a word or two. The parson(2) will write to you but not at once. You will have writings from all who come here. Some will sign their names, some their initials, some will leave a blank to be filled in later. You will get materialisations and drawings. Place Dawn beside the writing table as soon as she goes under control. I am a medium between two planes of existence ...
I interpret their thoughts."
(2) A reference to Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a frequent communicator through Mrs. Poole.
sťance of March 29, after Dawn had become entranced, Dr. Hamilton guided her to the chair in front of the table and placed her in a position to write. For some ten minutes the pencil was heard moving across the sheets of paper. While her hand wrote for some unknown communicator, "Walter" spoke through her in his usual rather offhand and joking fashion. The three medical men present, my father, his brother Dr. J. A. Hamilton, and Dr. Bruce Chown, all expressed amazement at witnessing two streams of diverse thoughts emerging simultaneously through the single organism of the entranced automatist.
After the sitting a later critical examination of the script by my parents (as always, apart from the medium and the sitters) showed that, in spite of the complete darkness in which all the
sťances took place, the writing had kept fairly neat margins and had followed fairly closely the ruled lines on the foolscap paper. The script flowed in unbroken lines across the page without punctuation or paragraph indentations. These my mother or I introduced later in order to clarify the meaning.
Script of March 29 1931
"The spirit world is not far removed from the natural world. In appearance the spirit world closely resembles the physical world; the similarity is too startling for you to believe. The incarnate mind views spirit in the sense of intangibility as something like misty nothingness, when the truth is, spirit, to spiritual beings, is tangible and real. The spirit world, as we term it, is the abode of undeveloped spirits, those who have not long left the body, and those who, by the law of spirit life, have not yet risen to higher spheres by progression. Here they are instructed in regard to higher aims and spheres; here spirits from the higher (spheres) come to talk to them of God's love, and to make them feel that they are bound by that electric chain that holds every atom of God's creation together. The spirit world is encircled by this chain, and spirits who have not developed above the transgressions and errors (committed) while in the body, could never feel the potencies of this electric influence were they (not) instructed by those who have entered in (to) love with God." [Unsigned]
Script of April 3 1931
"When an inhabitant of the earth I was a student and a teacher. I am still employed in teaching. I have had to modify my views; this caused me quite a struggle for I was inclined to be persistent.
"In changing worlds I did not entirely lose consciousness. When passing into the new state of existence I was taken into a mist like a great cloud, and moved with great swiftness. This gauze-like cloud completely encircled me, and when it parted I saw my spirit teacher.
"I found a place, or perhaps better expressed, a home prepared for me. Let me try to describe it. The building was constructed of a variety of materials and covered with beautiful vines on every side. Flowers of the richest hues bloom perpetually. The rivers and waterfalls are like crystal streams. No artist can paint, or pen do justice, to the glories of the spirit world. My home is in a valley of sunshine and joy.
"Spirit communion is practiced in our world as with you, only we obtain higher and more perfect manifestations. Should a spirit who knows nothing of spirit communion see a messenger from a higher sphere he is unable to comprehend the meaning of it, and becomes alarmed or runs away. There is as much superstition and bigotry on the subject of spirit communion among spirits as among those in the flesh. This sounds absurd to you but nevertheless it is true. The spirit world is so material to their senses that they cannot realise the existence of spirit at all, much less that they themselves are spirit.
"You are mistaken in supposing that the higher and the lower spirits are intermingled in our thoroughfares in a manner equally visible to all. Those who are on the earth plane see only earthly friends; those from a higher sphere see both classes. It depends on the development of the spirit and the forces with it." [Unsigned]
At the risk of being repetitious, I must re-emphasise the fact that Mrs. Marshall was an intensely practical person who obviously had had only a most elementary formal education and who made no secret of her extreme dislike of any intellectual pursuits. She showed no interest whatsoever in any type of literature, let alone that of psychic research. The trance products of her mediumship, and their significance, were never discussed with her. In this way we sought constantly to keep the channel of communication as free as possible from any sources which conceivably could have been set up in her subconscious mind, had she been allowed to become
en rapport with the conversations and/or writings which came to us by way of her trance state.
As for these first scripts, when we studied the vocabulary and the phraseology which the unseen communicator had used to clothe his ideas and express his outlook, we had to admit that all were on a much higher level than anything ever spoken or written by Dawn in her normal state. We felt certain that only through inspiration from some mind greatly superior to hers in endowment and experience could such scripts have come into being.
Knowing her as well as we did, when we compared her ability for self-expression with the impressive utterances in the scripts, we could not help but realise that a great gulf lay be. tween the two mentalities, that of the everyday woman and that of the mind, or minds, which had prevailed in her trance and which apparently had been responsible for these automatic writings. Of this Dawn herself was well aware, for I recall her saying with deep feeling, after my father had read to her for the first time the scripts found in this section, "Dr. Hamilton, you
know I could not write like that!" He replied, "Yes, Dawn, I know; and that is what makes them so wonderful!"
Remembering "Walter's" statement of March 22, 1931, when he said "the parson will write to you, but not at once," when we examined the script which came at the sitting of April 26, 1931, we found that it had been signed with the initials "C.H.S." Before quoting the script I offer this comment:
As with other communicators who had appeared through our mediums, the evidence for the survival of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the famous Baptist evangelist of England in the late nineteenth century, was cumulative. From 1923 to 1927 he often manifested through the Poole trance visions and scripts. The theme of his messages was almost invariably a religious one, one with emphasis on his love of Christ, his desire to serve humanity and the need for a continuing, healthy growth of the Christian Church. And he displayed a marked preference for that type of evangelical hymn which had been sung in his own church during his active ministry.
As Dawn's physical mediumship developed, apparently strengthened by the presence of other sitters who showed the unknown vital energies needful for the emergence of teleplasm, four separate miniature likenesses of Spurgeon's countenance appeared and were photographed, in the comparatively short period of seven months, from November, 1928 to May, 1929, formations remarkable from the biological, psychical and evidential points of view .(3)
(3) See Chapter 5,
"Intention and Survival."
Taking these events together with the extremely powerful sermons which C.H.S. occasionally preached through Dawn, we felt we had good reason to believe that the C.H.S. personality, through these subjective and objective means of communication, was a true manifestation of the deceased C. H. Spurgeon.
Written through Dawn while she was in a deep trance at the
sťance of April 26, 1931, the following scripts seem therefore to be yet one more manifestation of this living man. An excerpt from Dr. Bruce Chown's progress notes of that date will allow the reader to enter our experimental room and to observe for himself this personality speaking and writing through our gifted intermediary:
"9.03 experiment commences. 9.27 Dawn entranced and led to the writing table.
"Unknown voice through Dawn: 'What is the date?'
"Dawn is heard writing rapidly. 'Walter' talks, the writing goes on. Dr. H. remarks that it is interesting to observe Dawn talking and writing at the same time. First page of writing is handed to Dr. H.
"Voice: 'I would like to have you repeat with me the Lord's Prayer.'
Dawn leads the praying in a loud voice.
"Voice: 'Will you sing one of my favourite hymns while I write a few words for your group?'
"The Spurgeon personality is recognised and the group sings a hymn as requested. Dawn joins in; the pencil continues to move."
After the sitting my parents examined the writing and found it to be made up of two parts. The first dealt with the Other World and the religious outlook and practices as experienced by C.H.S. The second was a brief sermon which later was said to have been based on one Spurgeon had preached, although up to the present this claim is not yet verified.
First Script of April 26 1931
"Our religious temples are the homes of aspiration and profound gratitude to God the Giver of life. When (one) enters their flower-wreathed gates the delicate
lily-like flowers seem to spray and drop tremulous tones of melody. Our mediums or sensitives occupy the centres of these temples on great occasions, for often the saintly souls of ancient times come into these temples as teachers and leaders, lifting our minds into the diviner calm of holy love.
"My special employment at present is to kindle in the minds of aspirants a keener sense of honesty and a strict integrity and also a deeper admiration for the principles of moral justice.
I go here and there on missions of love and good will; my sympathies reach down and out to every race and clime; my spirit bears home many hard-earned trophies.
"I see no immediate and alarming crisis; progress is measured by steps rather than lawless leaps.
"Accept my thanks for helping me to this opportunity of momentarily lifting the veil between your world and ours. No panorama of the imagination equals it. I am in a place lovely and grand, a home of nature's beauties, a home that increases in beauty as I progress towards eternal light, a home of which during my earthly fife I was the unconscious architect and builder. Oh, that the inhabitants of your earth could understand that their works precede them in the world of spirit!
"I find my greatest joy in assisting the weak and the oppressed. I am seeking to finish the work I commenced on earth; it is far from complete."
Like the script just quoted, the second script appeared in a completely dark
sťance room, on sheets of bond paper which had been numbered, initiated and retained by Dr. Hamilton until such time as they were needed. A margin had been maintained, the width and depth of the paper had been fully used and the writing was found to be remarkably neat. The script took the form of a sermon, with the text printed at the top of the first page and the theme developed in the written body of the address. The choice of subject and the method of presentation we regarded as being representative of the thought of a person with the cultural and religious background of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Second Script of April 26 1931
The Lord hath made bare His holy arm. All nations all the ends of the Earth shall see the salvation of our God." - Isaiah 111, 10.
"When the heroes of old prepared for fight they put on armour. When God prepares for battle He makes bare His arm. Man has to look two ways-to his own defence as well as to the offence of the enemy. God hath but one direction in which to cast His eye-the overthrow of His foeman; and He disregards all measures of defence and scorns all armour. He makes bare His arm in the sight of the people.
"When men would do their work in earnest they too sometimes strip themselves like that warrior of old who, when he went forth to battle with the Turks, would never fight except with the bare arm. 'Such things as these,' he said, 'I need not fear. They have more reason to fear my bare arm than I their scimitar.' Men feel that they are prepared for work when they have cast away their cumbrous garments; and so the prophet represents the Lord as laying aside the garments of His dignity and making bare His arm that He may do His work in earnest and accomplish His purposes for the establishing of His Church.
"Now leaving the figure, which is a very great one, I would remind you that its meaning is fully carried out whenever God is pleased to send a great revival of religion. The mere worldly man does not understand a revival. He cannot make it out. Why a sudden fit of godliness, a kind of sacred epidemic, people meeting together in large numbers? They cannot tell what influences them, but they feel they must go up into the House of the Lord to pray. But while this is only the actual cause, yet there are instrumental causes, and the main instrumental cause of a great revival must be the bold fearless faithful preaching of the truth of the Divine Spirit from the Lord our God.
The ideas so beautifully expressed in these scripts are reminiscent of the words of F. W. H. Myers, who wrote in his book, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death (published in 1903) this:
"I at least see ground to believe that their state is one of endless evolution in wisdom and in love. Their loves of earth persist; and most of all those highest loves which seek their outlet in adoration and worship."
One of the truly great figures in the field of British psychic research was Sir Oliver Lodge, whose writings appealed to a very wide reading public. In his extremely popular book,
Raymond, or Life and Death, published in 1917, he gave a detailed account of the events which convinced him of the survival of his son Raymond, who had been killed in 1915 in World War I. In Part 3 of that book we find this:
"Intercommunication between the states or grades of existence is not limited to friends and relatives, or to conversation with personalities of our own magnitude; intercommunion between states carries with it occasional and sometimes subconscious communion with lofty souls who have gone before. The truth of such continued influence corresponds to the highest revelations vouchsafed to humanity."
The reader is invited to compare Lodge's statement with the ideas found in our next Dawn script.
Script of April 29 1931
"In the spirit world guides do not necessarily bear any relation to the mediums they controlled upon earth. There should be a distinction made between spirit guides and spirit guardians. All mortals have their guardian angels, but all do not have a spirit guide helping them in the performance of a special work. Where there is a great love, however, between the guide and the medium, where both have suffered much, both growing mutually strong in sympathy and faith, then the spirit guide becomes the teacher of the medium.
"And now, dear friends, see to it that you live such lives here on earth as will bring you satisfaction in the Hereafter. I have shown a glimpse of one side only. There is another side. I have (met) many who are dissatisfied with their surroundings, and they have to admit they are just what they have earned. If you wish for happiness in the life to come, be just, honourable, charitable and Christ-like in the earthly or rudimentary state of being.
"Wisdom can be neither bought nor sold, but must be earned if it is to be possessed at all. Without that requisite no spirit can pass beyond the sedimentary sphere. All spheres, all states of being exist in accord with God's government; otherwise the sedimentary sphere would be a hell or a curse. Those who ascend to the sphere of knowledge carry with them a will power, and reflect it back through sympathy to the dwellers in the sedimentary sphere who have the same properties of intelligence and possibilities of progress as those who have advanced to the more exalted societies. In this manner the sensitives of the lower become receptive to the influence of the higher; and in this manner likewise they, inspired for the desire for knowledge (which nobler aspiring spirits have already attained) receive, on entering the sphere of knowledge, a sensation of delight.
"All below was growth and preparation. Here is the bud, the blossom, the fruition of knowledge, with still grander prospects of golden fruit and grain upon the rising slopes that come in view. All creation pulsates with life. All things display an upward movement. The birthplace of living things is as much in the spirit world as upon the physical globe."'
The next automatic script to be received through Dawn came a year and a half later. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Bruce Chown's progress notes of October 19, 1932:
"It is to be noted that the entranced medium wrote for about eighteen minutes and that during this time she was carrying on a rapid conversation on various subjects with the members of the circle. In the darkness her hand followed the lines on the paper."
Script of October 19 1932
"When I awoke to spirit life
I was not conscious that I had passed away. I found myself surrounded by all beautiful things. Lovely forms were around me. I was not capable of assimilating the full extent of all the lovely forms and things that come gradually and belong to the training of the spirit. My perceptions were dulled. It all seemed to me a beautiful dream of fairyland. Nothing else could I think of.
"Most of the human discoveries and signs of progress are taught and inspired into earth minds. It depends on the sphere or society of spirits capable of opening communication with the special man or medium, what kind of knowledge is taught to man. He may, by his own small spirit power, expand the germ of knowledge implanted in us from God, but nothing more. As we spirits here are taught, so we in turn impart our teachings to the imprisoned spirits in the body; and thus does God in His goodness cause man to alleviate his own conditions." [Unsigned]
Again turning to
Raymond, on page 298 we find Sir Oliver Lodge writing these words:
"Death is not a word to fear any more than birth is. We change our state at birth and come into the world of air and sense and myriad existence; we change our state at death and enter what? Ether,
I think, and still more myriad existence; a region in which beauty and knowledge are as vivid as they are here; a region in which progress is possible, and in which admiration, hope, and love, are even more real and dominant."
While it was not so stated by Dawn's trance control, there were hints in the next script that the writer was the late wife of Sir Oliver Lodge. She had been dead for some years at the time of the Dawn script of April 2, 1933. Although there is no internal evidence to support this implied claim (apart from the reference to "our noble son") nevertheless, to offset this lack of certainty there coincided with the writing a small but significant event. It was this: a moment after Dawn had ceased to write, and while the seance room was still in darkness, and before the contents of the script were known, the auxiliary medium "Mercedes" suddenly said: "It will be found that the name signed to the writing is "Mary
Script of April 2 1933
"The first clear recollection
I had after my mortal eyes watched the anxious looks of my dear husband and children, was being borne upward by heavenly sweet music of welcome, and when the last song died away I felt myself being placed on a soft downy couch of flowers and carried into a white temple.
I have since learned that it is called the Temple of Repose.
"I awoke in the arms of our living mother and our own dear children who had made the heavenly journey before me, and oh! the joy of the meeting! If only I could describe the beauty of everything! After a little a lady came to us, all in white, and said, 'All is ready,' and then our mother told me that we would proceed to the Temple of Prayer. We then marched in a procession, I walking by the side of our noble son. We passed through beautiful gardens and groves and beautiful fringed walls entwined with lovely snow-white lilies. Then we came to an arch of white glittering stone, pure as crystal, and in letters of gold written across it were these words: IN THIS LAND THERE IS NO DEATH.
At the sitting of March 13, 1931, "Walter" through Dawn spoke and predicted that as well as writings we would get "drawings." Two years later this statement became actuality. At the sitting of April 9, 1933 Dr. Bruce Chown acted as both scrutineer and recording secretary. When Dawn became entranced, he placed her at the writing table. After the
sťance, the sketch seen in Plate 1 was found on the back of one of the sheets of writing. Dr. Chown at once showed it to one of the other sitters, Mr. Hugh A. Reed 4 who joined him in certifying as to its genuinely supernormal origin.
Mrs. Marshall was later questioned about her skill as an artist. She admitted quite frankly that she had never shown any talent whatsoever for drawing and that she had never had any such training. When she was shown this sketch, she had no words to express her amazement when she was told that her hand had drawn it in the darkened
sťance room while she was in the deep trance state.
A few days later my mother showed the sketch to Mrs. Alison Newton, a well-known Winnipeg artist and past president of the Manitoba Art Society. Here is Mrs. Newton's critical comment:
"No one knows better than the artist that even after years of training it would be impossible to draw anything approaching the perfection of this drawing in complete darkness. The composition is well balanced, the figures perfectly proportioned and their lines graceful. Yet this is not all: the picture expresses emotion. Jesus looks with compassion at the penitent figure pleading forgiveness. This picture is phenomenal."
'I For many years Mr. Reed was an electrical engineer with the Manitoba Telephone System. He possessed a remarkable inventive skill and helped my father to design the special electrical equipment needed for the rapid photography during the
Source: "Is Survival a Fact?" by Margaret Lillian
Hamilton (1969, Psychic Press).