Pure Precognition, a knowledge of the future obtained by some means other than known to us on earth.
SOME PRECOGNITIONS are at present inexplicable. I am about to recount one such which would seem to defy any attempt at explanation by cause and effect as understood by human minds. But that there was some definite ground for the forecast I do not doubt.
When a thing, or a process, is understood, it is no longer "mysterious". The class of phenomena about to be illustrated is certainly mysterious at present. I term it Pure Precognition, to distinguish it from the more ordinary kind of foretelling, examples of which are given in previous pages, and for which the term Precognition is often used. It is convenient thus to distinguish between forecasts for which an explanation can be suggested and those for which there seems to be no explanation
Pure Precognitions have been given by Communicators who were apparently ignorant of the origin since they had been received only in the form of "strong impressions". We may guess that these impressions, were given by higher intelligences inhabiting more exalted spheres.
When we think of the countless generations gone before us into the Great Beyond it is reason able to suppose that many have progressed to states of mental ability and spiritual maturity which places them further above our recently departed friends than are the latter above us. Such advanced souls may understand much which would be incapable of explanation; they way be familiar with causal laws of which man has never dreamed; their intellectual and moral development may make possible to them accomplishments which to us would seem miraculous.
I have used the term "moral development" because there is reason for believing that personal progress in the Beyond is twofold, that of intelligence and of character. As birds rise on two wings, so man rises by intelligence and character, or, shall we say, by knowledge and love. Love (a desire for the good of others with readiness to promote this good at cost to oneself) is constantly proclaimed by our Communicators as the royal road to progress.
This good-will to others is the aim of all sincere Christians; we realise that it results, not alone from acts of Will and striving, but also from inflow of divine influence. As we give out "light and lovewe are receiving the same from God. The attainment of this in higher and higher degree facilitates an understanding of God's Will as expressed in His Law, the Law operating throughout the seen and the unseen universe. Doubtless that Law, acting in conditions far above any known to us on earth, would be beyond our present comprehension, but increasingly understood by those progressing from sphere to sphere.
During a Leonard sitting on December 17th, 1943, while Feda was speaking for my sister Etta, she remarked that a visitor was coming to stay at our house. This struck me as absurdly impossible, for the following reasons. We had but recently resumed occupation after having closed the house for three years. Our two maids, both over sixty, were now exerting themselves to the utmost in cleaning the place from attic to cellar and although the task was far from ended they were both visibly weary and overworked. It was out of the question to impose extra labour on them, such as a visitor would involve. Besides this, my wife was seriously ill, so ill indeed that it was necessary to obtain outside help in nursing her, and a Miss Eastwood came for this purpose each morning. As for myself, household shopping and attendance on my wife left no leisure for entertaining visitors. We were all living under pressure of exacting conditions. And so I regarded this announcement as nonsense.
Yet the visitor actually came and stayed with us five nights!
About midnight on Sunday the 2nd of January, there was a short air raid over Bromley, where we reside. Two bombs fell near the town centre but did not explode. The Fire Wardens therefore cordoned off adjacent streets and shepherded the residents to a public shelter where they might remain until the bombs should have exploded or been removed.
Among these people were the above-mentioned Miss Eastwood and her two sisters. The former arrived next morning looking tired and overwrought. She informed our maids of the night's experience and of the public shelter in which they had sat, cold and miserable, until daybreak. She also mentioned that they were to make that shelter their home for a probable five nights, and were dismayed at the prospect.
Our housemaid repeated the story to me and then suggested that it would be a kindness to
offer the three sisters the use of our spare bedrooms. Realising that this housemaid would have to shoulder the chief part of all extra work involved, and as the cook said she had no objection, I discussed the matter with my wife and we then invited the three sisters to come. They accepted the invitation and spent the following five nights at our house.
Here are the verbatim notes of the forecast given sixteen days before.
Feda: Etta wanted to say that she got a very strong impression - this may be something to do with Clara - of someone coming back into your house that was connected with it before.
C.D.T.: Very unlikely!
Feda: Very unlikely, perhaps, to your mind, but very likely to hers. She wants you to remember that.
C.D.T.: What makes you think that, Etta?
Feda: She gets a strong feeling of a return of someone.
C.D.T.: I wonder how you get that feeling.
Feda: She says, I can't quite explain it in words that would convey it to you.
C.D.T.: We are not thinking of having any one and I doubt if anyone is thinking of coming.
Feda: It's not quite an ordinary visitor, but rather quickly, rather suddenly; don't think I mean to-day or to-morrow, I'm no quite sure of that. But what I mean is wait a minute - that when they come they will come without very much notice
or do you see? - perhaps no notice. She feel as if they might come, as it would appear suddenly to you; and she does feel it is someone who has been linked up with you house. It's like a return of someone; and don't put it out of your mind because you don't think it could possibly happen. It is certainly nothing you have arranged for nothing at all; and she just leaves it at that.
Note in the above
1. "This may be something to do with Clara". Clara is my wife, and her dressmaker for thirty years has been one of the Eastwood sisters.
2. "Someone who has been linked up with that house. It is like a return of someone". The dressmaker has often visited our house, besides which she spent two of her summer holidays here. Her sister, as previously mentioned, had been coming daily to help.
It will be noticed that Feda said "someone" and also "they"; the latter word was probably used because Feda was not told the sex of the person in question.
3. How perfectly apposite were the phrases used: "a return", "to do with Clara",
"someone coming back into your house that was connected with it before", "not quite an ordinary visitor", "rather quickly, rather suddenly", "someone who has been linked up with that house", "nothing you have arranged for".
All the above are accurate descriptions of what came to pass. It was only after the invitation had been given and accepted that its relevancy to this forecast occurred to me: for the forecast had in the meantime quite passed from my memory.
Note the chain of events which led to the fulfilment of my sister's forecast. Of these there were five:
1. A German airman flew over Bromley dropping two bombs; and of all the extensive area of the town it was within a small rectangle of streets which included the Eastwoods' home that they fell.
2. These were delayed-action bombs. Had they exploded on falling it is unlikely that the Eastwood sisters would have quitted their house.
3. Two of these sisters had been intimately connected with my wife.
4. But for the fact that one of them was now in daily attendance at our house we should have remained unaware of their plight.
5. Had not the housemaid suggested our offering hospitality it would not have occurred to me to invite them.
Our guests remained with us for five nights And so it was that various "chance happenings" combined to bring about the exact fulfilment of the prediction given at my sitting sixteen days before!
Was the German bomber impressed, influenced (term it how we may), to drop his bombs at the particular spot and moment which would bring about the event as foreseen? We do not know!
I am confident that this fulfilment did not happen by chance, but further than that I cannot go. It will have been noticed that Etta "gets a strong feeling'' and when I express a wish to know more, she says, "I can't explain it in words that would convey it to you".
The source of feeling is often elusive even with ourselves, especially of those faint impressions that so-and-so is likely to happen; and it might well be that Etta, while aware of the feeling, was far from clear as to its origin. On the other hand she might have known something of the laws of cause and effect, as they operate on realms above earth. but despaired of her ability to convey to-me anything that I should find intelligible.
And so I have placed this Eastwood Forecast where it may serve to illustrate that class of precognition which, up to the present, has defied the human intellect to explain it. One may make guesses, but guessing introduces factors about which we make other guesses. To "explain" the unknown by other unknowns would satisfy neither the reader nor me. Of course I have made guesses, but refrain from mentioning them. Perhaps psychical research and conversations with Communicators may eventually bring light on things at present inscrutable.
"The Turn of the Tide"
During the war of 1939-45 my communicators gave a series of remarkably accurate forecasts about military events. Among these was the following which found fulfilment in our great victory at El Alamein. It was given on June 30th, 1942.
"Your father feels sure something very, very important comes in October. He keeps repeating October 28th and 29th, and something turning over then... There will be a change for the better in the war prospects, but things may get worse for a brief time only."
At the date of this forecast the Germans had recently taken Mersa Matruh, claiming 6,000 prisoners, and were only ninety miles from Alexandria! By the 14th of July they were establishing themselves near El Alamein and on September 1st the greater part of the British troops were withdrawn from Ethiopia. Things had worsened for us as foretold. On August 18th, 1942, Lieut-General Montgomery was given command, and on October 23rd., our Eighth Army opened the offensive. Within a few days the Germans were in disorderly retreat, one which continued until they were expelled from Africa. And so the forecast made four months ahead for the end of October was strikingly fulfilled. It was the date of El Alamein, the turning point of our fortunes, after which we never looked back, bat proceeded from victory to victory until the end. It is worth remarking that this same date was given to another sitter on August 26th, the wording being as
"A date keeps coming up; I ought to say two dates next each other, October 28th and 29th, something to do with the war. I feel a turning point of a very, very vital kind. Very outstanding... I interpret it as having a grave bearing on the war which will prove to our advantage. I felt relief and would like you to underline that."
Thus the identical forecast was given four months and again two months before its fulfilment.
It will be noticed that the words, "turning something over then", and "a turning point of a very vital kind", were used by both communicators. When Montgomery, during the El Alamein Reunion of 1947, read to the audience the speech which he had made to the troops before they entered that battle, it contained the phrase,
"it will be the turning point of the campaign."
Only in 1947 was the full story made public. It revealed how extremely critical was the position when Montgomery arrived to take command, what various and formidable difficulties our troops had to face, and how very decidedly the tide turned in our favour at the end of October 1942.
It is important to state that it was my practice to post a copy of these war predictions at the earliest possible moment to the Society for Psychical Research. There they are kept for reference. As soon as I received from my friend, the Rev. A. F. Webling, the above account of his son's forecast this was also sent to be kept with mine. Thus we have witnesses that at a date four months before the event, and again two months before, this crucial date at the end of October was given by communicators through Mrs. Leonard during her trance sittings.
It may be asked how I account for so exact a prediction as this. I am unable to account for it. Such seeing into the future is to me a mystery, in other words it is something the underlying laws of which we do not at present know.
In some instances it is difficult to decide whether a forecast should be classed as experimental or as pure precognition. Consider the following two. First, one from Mrs. A. W. Verrall's paper on her Automatic Writings (S.P.R.
Proceedings for October 1906, P. 331). In December 1901 she wrote of a man reading by candle-light a book Marmontel; it was borrowed, and one of two volumes. The following was given as a clue to this, "Passy may help, Souvenirs de Passy or Fleury".
On March 1st, 1902, a Mr. Marsh came on a visit and mentioned that he had been reading Marmontel. On being asked to say under what circumstances he had read this book, his replies bore out the forecast. On February 21st he had read the first volume, which contained an account of the finding at Passy of a panel connected with the story in which Fleury played an important part
There were a few inaccuracies, but so close an agreement between the script and the fact as to preclude chance coincidence. The account is impressive and should be studied in full.
As written it looked like a reminiscence and not a forecast of the future, the script of December giving the incident as in the past; whereas it did not actually occur until the following February. Was this part of the test blurred during reception? It looks more like an experiment than pure precognition; for the words introducing it were, "Nothing too mean, the trivial helps, gives confidence. Hence this".
We cannot easily imagine the means by which a Communicator might have contrived to bring about a fulfilment of the forecast, but we may assume that he would rely upon laws psychological and causal at present unknown to us.
The second case is given by Myers in S.P.R. Proceedings for December 1899,
p. 487. It has often been quoted in abbreviated form, but should be read in full.
Mrs. Atlay, wife of the then Bishop of Hereford, dreamed that she read prayers in the Palace Hall during her husband's absence; that prayers being ended she opened the dining-room door and saw between table and door a large pig.
When morning came Mrs. Atlay recounted her dream to the children and their governess and presently read family prayers, the Bishop being away. She then opened the dining-room door and was astonished to see an enormous pig standing in the spot where she had seen it in her dream.
Questions by Myers brought answers showing that the pig was not in the Palace at the time of the dream, but safely in its sty. It had entered the room while gardeners cleaned the sty and prayers were in progress. Servants coming for prayers had left all doors open. The pig had wandered some distance to enter the house.
Is this a case of the purely precognitive faculty, which possibly lies dormant in us all? Or could it have been the result of an experiment by some discarnate humorist, who either saw his opportunity in the unfastened sty and open doors of the Palace, or who had influenced those concerned to give the pig its chance, and then, trying his powers on the animal, had guided its wanderings?
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