Book: "The Survival of Man"

Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS

Availability: Out of Print

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- Section Four -

Automatism and Lucidity

Chapter 20

Waking Stage


          WHILE coming out of trance Mrs. Piper usually speaks, or rather mutters, at intervals; and her words are taken down, or such of them as can be heard. It is worth while to quote one record of these ejaculations - which sometimes convey interesting residual information, - and I select the following as a fairly typical case of an unimportant and unevidential but characteristic coming to.

Notes intruded in square brackets are added merely in order to place the reader in the same sort of position, as regards understanding the significance of these subconscious utterances, as a recorder finds himself in after an experience of many sittings.

"I saw you before. It is fearful. (This means that she dislikes changing from her trance state and coming back to ordinary surroundings.)

They are going away. It's awful. Too bad. Snap. (This refers to a sensation which she calls a snap in the head, which nearly always precedes a return to consciousness. Sometimes it heralds almost a sudden return; and she is always more conscious after a snap than she was before; but often it takes two snaps to bring her completely to. What the snap is I do lot know, but I expect it is something physiological. It is not audible to others, though Mrs. Piper half seems to expect it to be so.)

What are all the people doing?

(Probably some of the sitters were moving about and leaving the room, under the mistaken impression that the snap meant that interest was over.)

I saw a man in the light, which looked like Mr. Thompson. Kept waving his hand. The man with the cross was helping him out.

("The man with the cross" is intended to signify Imperator.)

The sun was shining. (This only signifies that her recent surroundings have been bright and luminous.)

Has an old lady with him. She is helping him read something. I could see his face perfectly.

Noise. (Probably something going on outside.) They were talking to me. I came in on a cord, a silver cord. They were trying to tell me something about the children in the body. Lovely place.

Buzzing in my head. Another snap.

Miss Thompson. I thought you were small. Looking through opera glasses at wrong end. You grew larger. Did you hear my head snap? It breaks.

I forgot where we were sitting.

Why Mrs. Thompson, I didn't know you were there. My cold."

[Mrs. Piper was troubled with a cold at this time. Her intelligence was now normal.]

In further illustration of the waking stage, showing how similar it was in 1906 to what it is now, and as a further description of the curious "snap" sensation, I subjoin an extract from the termination of a sitting, with Henry James junior and Mr. Dorr, in America in 1906.

I thought you were a stranger.

Well, did you hear my head snap?

H. J. Jr. No.

Didn't hear it? It is a funny sound. Don't you hear it at all? Sounds like wheels clicking together and then snaps. There it is again. 

G. B. D. Now you are really back.



Contents / Preface / Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 8 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 10 / Chapter 11 / Chapter 12 / Chapter 13 / Chapter 14 / Chapter 15 / Chapter 16 / Chapter 1 7 / Chapter 18 / Chapter 19 / Chapter 20 / Chapter 21 / Chapter 22 / Chapter 23 / Chapter 24 / Chapter 25

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