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May 30, 2005

Science and a Future Life by James H. Hyslop

History of the Piper Case

I PROPOSE in this chapter to give a brief history of this singular case of experiment, including a few words on Mrs. Piper's personal history. The chief interest and importance of the case consists in the care with which fraud was excluded from a possible interpretation of its phenomena and the perfection and magnitude of the records made in the experiments. It is these two facts which justify the consideration of it by itself.


1. Exclusion of Fraud

Mrs. Piper's connection with trance phenomena began in 1884. Her "husband's father and mother had been impressed by an experiment with a medium in that year and persuaded Mrs. Piper to try consultation with a medium who gave medical advice. She was suffering at this time with a tumor." The result was that she soon developed a trance state herself and began sittings with her own friends. No important record of these sittings is accessible. Casual experiments of this sort were kept up until 1885 when Prof. James, of Harvard University, made his acquaintance with the case. His account will be stated in his own language:


"I made Mrs. Piper's acquaintance in the autumn of 1885. My wife's mother, Mrs. Gibbens, had been told of her by a friend, during the previous summer, and never having seen a medium before, had paid her a visit out of curiosity. She returned with the statement that Mrs. Piper had given her a long string of names of members of the family, mostly Christian names, together with facts about the persons mentioned and their relations to each other, the knowledge of which on her part was incomprehensible without supernormal powers. My sister-in-law went the next day, with still better results, as she related them. Amongst other things, the medium had accurately described the circumstances of a letter which she held against her forehead, after Miss G. had given it to her. The letter was in Italian, and its writer was known to but two persons in this country.


"I remember playing the esprit fort on that occasion before my feminine relatives, and seeking to explain by simple considerations the marvellous character of the facts which they brought back. This did not, however, prevent me from going myself a few days later, in company with my wife, to get a direct personal impression. The names of none of us up to this meeting had been announced to Mrs. Piper, and Mrs. J. and I were, of course, careful to make no reference to our relatives who had preceded. The medium, however, when entranced, repeated most of the names of 'spirits' whom she had announced on the two former occasions and added others. The names came with difficulty, and were only gradually made perfect. My wife's father's name of Gibbens was announced first as Niblin, then as Giblin. A child Herman (whom we had lost the previous year) had his name spelt out as Herrin. I think that in no case were both Christian and surnames given on this visit. But the facts predicated of the persons named made it in many instances impossible not to recognise the particular individuals talked about. We took particular pains on this occasion to give the Phinuit control no help over his difficulties and to ask no leading questions. In the light of subsequent experience I believe this not to be the best policy. For it often happens, if you give this trance-personage a name or some small fact for the lack of which he is brought to a standstill, that he will then start off with a copious flow of additional talk, containing in itself an abundance of 'tests.'


"My impression after this first visit was, that Mrs. Piper was either possessed of supernormal powers, or knew the members of my wife's family by sight and had by some lucky coincidence become acquainted with such a multitude of their domestic circumstances as to produce the startling impression which she did. My later knowledge of her sittings and personal acquaintance with her has led me absolutely to reject the latter explanation, and to believe that she has supernormal powers."


1905

May 23, 2005

The Great Work The constructive Principle of Nature in Individual Life by John Emmett Richardson

The Conflict of "Authoritites"
Alleged "facts" do not always prove to be real facts. Neither are real facts always demonstrable on the plane of objective physical maifestations.

*
Consciousness
It will be remembered that the data of the universe naturally divide themselves into four distinct classes in their relation to man as an Individual Intelligence or Soul. The first and most important class includes only the "Things We Know". And these are limited to "those things which are a conscious part of us, and those with which we come into conscious personal contact in nature".

In short the things we "know" are the things of which we are personally "conscious". This means that knowledge depends on Consciousness. In other words, consciousness is the foundation and essential support of all knowledge. Without consciousness there can be no such thing as knowledge.

1906

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Mental and Emotional Influences
Our mental and emotional conditions exert a most powerful influence upon the inflow and distribution of vital force. The author of The Great Work [~The Great Work: The Constructive Principle of Nature in Individual Life, ~by John Emmett Richardson {1853-1935}, Indio-American Book Company, Chicago, IL. 1907.] has described most graphically in the chapter on Self-Control how fear, worry, anxiety and all kindred emotions create in the system conditions similar to those of freezing; how these destructive vibrations congeal the

tissues, clog the channels of life and paralyze the vital functions. He shows how the emotional conditions of impatience, irritability, anger, etc., have a heating, corroding effect upon the tissues of the body.

In like manner, all other destructive emotional vibrations ob-struct the inflow and normal distribution of the life forces in and through the organism, while on the other hand the constructive emotions of faith, hope, cheerfulness, happiness and love exert a relaxing,

harmonizing influence upon the tissues, blood vessels and nerve channels of the body, thus opening wide the floodgates of the life forces, and raising the discords of weakness, disease and discontent to the harmonics of buoyant health and happiness.

Let us see just how mind controls matter and how it affects the changing conditions of the physical body. Life manifests through vibration. It acts on the mass by acting through its minutest par-ticles. Changes in the physical body are wrought by vibratory changes in atoms, molecules and cells. Health is satisfied polarity, that is, the balancing of the positive and negative elements in harmonious vibration. Anything that interferes with the free, vigor-ous and harmonious vibration of the minute parts and particles composing the human organism tends to disturb polarity and natural affinity, thus causing discord or disease.

May 16, 2005

A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga by Yogi Ramacharaka

THE FIRST LESSON

THE ONE.


The Yogi Philosophy may be divided into several great branches, or
fields. What is known as "Hatha Yoga" deals with the physical body and its control; its welfare; its health; its preservation; its laws, etc. What is known as "Raja Yoga" deals with the Mind; its control; its
development; its unfoldment, etc. What is known as "Bhakti Yoga" deals with the Love of the Absolute--God. What is known as "Gnani Yoga" deals with the scientific and intellectual knowing of the great questions regarding Life and what lies back of Life--the Riddle of the Universe.

[--]

In this course of lessons, of which this is the first, we shall take up
the subject of "Gnani Yoga"--the Yoga of Wisdom, and will endeavor to make plain some of its most important and highest teachings. And, we trust that in so doing, we shall be able to awaken in you a still
higher realization of your relationship with the One, and a corresponding Love for that in which you live, and move and have your being. We ask for your loving sympathy and cooperation in our task.

Let us begin by a consideration of what has been called the "Questions
of Questions"--the question: "What is Reality?" To understand the question we have but to take a look around us and view the visible world. We see great masses of something that science has called
"matter." We see in operation a wonderful something called "force" or "energy" in its countless forms of manifestations. We see things that we call "forms of life," varying in manifestation from the tiny speck of slime that we call the Moneron, up to that form that we call Man.

But study this world of manifestations by means of science and
research--and such study is of greatest value--still we must find ourselves brought to a point where we cannot progress further. Matter melts into mystery--Force resolves itself into something else--the secret of living-forms subtly elude us--and mind is seen as but the manifestation of something even finer. But in losing these things of appearance and manifestation, we find ourselves brought up face to face with a Something Else that we see must underlie all these varying forms, shapes and manifestations. And that Something Else, we call Reality, because it is Real, Permanent, Enduring. And although men may differ, dispute, wrangle, and quarrel about this Reality, still there is one point upon which they must agree, and that is that _Reality is
One_--that underlying all forms and manifestations there must be a _One_ Reality from which all things flow. And this inquiry into this One Reality is indeed the Question of Questions of the Universe.

The highest reason of Man--as well as his deepest intuition--has always
recognized that this Reality or Underlying Being must be but ONE, of which all Nature is but varying degrees of manifestation, emanation, or expression. All have recognized that Life is a stream flowing from One great fount, the nature and name of which is unknown--some have said unknowable. Differ as men do about theories regarding the nature of this one, they all agree that it can be but One. It is only when men begin to name and analyze this One, that confusion results.

1906

May 8, 2005

The Inner Consciousness by William Walker Atkinson

The Basements of the Mind
In the lower planes of Inner Consciousness are performed the various forms of mental activity which have to do with the building up, preservation, repairing, etc. of the physical body. Every cell has its share of mind, and every combination of cells into cell-groups and organs of the body, has its group or organ mind also. That which we call "Instinct" or "Nature" in a person or animal is a manifestation of Mind on some of the lower planes of Inner Consciousness. And these lower planes are susceptible to suggestions or orders from other planes of mind, and will take on suggested ideas or conceptions, the result being that we are often made sick by ideas absorbed or suggested in this way; and we are likewise cured of physical ailments by similar methods, the suggested idea be places ont he proper plane by means of "auto-suggestion", "imparted ideas", and mental "treatments" of various kinds. Mind pervades every part of the physical body, and is always capable of being impressed by orders or suggestions coming from the more dominant portions of the mind of the individual.


Photo of William Walker Atkinson


1908

May 1, 2005

Life's Progression by Edward C. Randall

Lessons From Experience

I think, that possibly, more comprehensive knowledge of the first conditions in the after life has come to us from our mission work than from any other source. We are better able to comprehend the actual situation here than life in the more advanced spheres. Perhaps I can convey a better idea by describing a few actual experiences.

I recall one of the early cases in which I gave help. In my own city there lived a man who commenced life with only his hands to aid his work. By saving and great self-denial, he accumulated a large fortune. He loved money and his only thought was to make it. He was honest, held a position of trust in the financial world, and passed out in advanced years, honored among them. I knew this man well, and some years afterward he was brought into our working room for help. He was on the verge of awaking and needed material vibrations to make him appreciate his condition and be brought to a realizing sense. At first he did not even know where he was. This spirit, accustomed to command found himself imprisoned within a wall of money, as it appeared to him. It was cold and dark; the chill of death was in his soul; he could not understand what had happened, why he was in that situation, thought five years had elapsed since he left his earthly habitation. He begged for help, said he had not seen a ray of light for years., and cried that it was cold, so cold. We explained the change that had taken place, cautiously, so that he would not be startled and lose the material necessary for producing voice. At the suggestion of those in spirit, who were working with me, I told him to look once more for light. He saw just a point.

"It is coming" he said, "It is a barren highway without life."

"Look again," I said. "Yes," he replied, "I now see signboard on both sides, as far as my eyes can reach."

"Can you read them?" I asked. "The first only," he answered, "and there are many."

"How do they read?"

He replied, "I can only read the first one and it says 'Charity'".

Then I understood his condition, -- his had been a selfish life, -- and the lesson intended, as I told him to go with those who were coming and to practice 'Charity', that when he should come truly to appreciate its meaning from experience, he would be able to read the second sign. I told him too that this would go on sign after sign, one by one, year by year, until that barron highway should someday lead him to happiness.

1906