Книга The Land Of Mist. Содержание - NOTE ON CHAPTER 2
«Is it you or Miromar who is talking now?»
«Well, I have myself been brooding over the matter, and all my thoughts seem to justify his conclusions. I read a spirit message which Charles Mason wrote. It was: 'The most dangerous condition for a man or a nation is when his intellectual side is more developed than his spiritual'. Is that not exactly the condition of the world to-day?»
«And how will it come?»
«Ah, there I can only take Miromar's word for it. He speaks of a breaking of all the phials. There is war, famine, pestilence, earthquake, flood, tidal waves – all ending in peace and glory unutterable.»
The great purple streamers were right across the sky. A dull crimson glare, a lurid angry glow, was spreading in the west. Enid shuddered as she watched it.
«One thing we have learned,» said he. «It is that two souls, where real love exists, go on and on without a break through all the spheres. Why, then, should you and I fear death, or anything which life or death can bring?»
She smiled and put her hand in his.
«Why indeed?» said she.
NOTE ON CHAPTER 2
CLAIRVOYANCE IN SPIRITUALIST CHURCHES
THIS phenomenon, as exhibited in Spiritualistic churches or temples, as the Spiritualists usually call them, varies very much in quality. So uncertain is it that many congregations have given it up entirely, as it has become rather a source of scandal than of edification. On the other hand there are occasions, the conditions being good, the audience sympathetic and the medium in good form, when the results are nothing short of amazing. I was present on one occasion when Mr. Tom Tyrell, of Blackburn, speaking in a sudden call at Doncaster – a town with which he was unfamiliar – got not only the descriptions but even the names of a number of people which were recognized by the different individuals to whom he pointed. I have known Mr. Vout Peters also to give forty descriptions in a foreign city (Liege) where he had never been before, with only one failure, which was afterwards explained. Such results are far above coincidence. What their true raison d'etre may be has yet to be determined. It has seemed to me sometimes that the vapour which becomes visible as a solid in ectoplasm, may in its more volatile condition fill the hall, and that a spirit coming within it may show up as an invisible shooting star comes into view when it crosses the atmosphere of the earth. No doubt the illustration is only an analogy but it may suggest a line of thought.
I remember being present on two occasions in Boston, Massachusetts, when clergymen gave clairvoyance from the steps of the altar, and with complete success. It struck me as an admirable reproduction of those apostolic conditions when they taught «not only by words but also by power «. All this has to come back into the Christian religion before it will be revitalized and restored to its prestine power. It cannot, however, be done in a day. We want less faith and more knowledge.
NOTE ON CHAPTER 9
THIS chapter may be regarded as sensational, but as a fact there is no incident in it for which chapter and verse may not be given. The incident of Nell Gwynne, mentioned by Lord Roxton, was told me by Colond Cornwallis West as having occurred in a country house of his own. Visitors had met the wraith in the passages and had afterwards, when they saw the portrait of Nell Gwyynne which hung in a sitting-room, exclaimed, «Why, there is the woman I met «.
The adventure of the terrible occupant of the deserted house is taken with very little change from the experience of Lord St. Audries in a haunted house near Torquay. This gallant soldier told the story himself in The Weekly Dispatch (Dec., 1921), and it is admirably retold in Mrs. Violet Tweedale's Phantoms of the Dawn. As to the conversation carried on between the clergyman and the earthbound spirit, the same authoress has described a similar one when recording the adventures of Lord and Lady Wynford in Glamis Castle (Ghosts I Have Seen, p. 175).
Whence such a spirit draws its stock of material energy is an unsolved problem. It is probably from some mediumistic individual in the neighbourhood. In the extremely interesting case quoted by the Rev. Chas. Mason in the narrative and very carefully observed by the Psychic Research Society of Reykjavik in Iceland, the formidable earthbound creature proclaimed how it got its vitality. The man was in life a fisherman of rough and violent character who had committed suicide. He attached himself to the medium, followed him to the seances of the Society, and caused indescribable confusion and alarm, until he was exorcised by some such means as described in the story. A long account appeared in the Proceedings of the American Society of Psychic Research and also in the organ of the Psychic College, Psychic Research for January, 1925. Iceland, it may be remarked, is very advanced in psychic science, and in proportion to its population or opportunities is probably ahead of any other country. The Bishop of Reykjavik is President of the psychic Society, which is surely a lesson to our own prelates whose disassociation from the study of such matters is little less than a scandal. The matter relates to the nature of the soul and to its fate in the Beyond, yet there are, I believe, fewer students of the matter among our spiritual guides than among any other profession.
NOTE ON CHAPTER 10
THE scenes in this chapter are drawn very closely either from personal experience or from the reports of careful and trustworthy experimenters. Among the latter are Mr. Tozer of Melbourne, and Mr. McFarlane of Southsea, both of whom have run methodical circles for the purpose of giving help to earthbound spirits. Detailed accounts of experiences which I have personally had in the former circles are to be found in Chapters IV and VI of my Wanderings of a Spiritualist. I may add that in my own domestic circle, under my wife's mediumship, we have been privileged to bring hope and knowledge to some of these unhappy beings.
Full reports of a number of these dramatic conversations are to be found in the last hundred pages of the late Admiral Usborne Moore's Glimpses of the Next State. It should be said that the Admiral was not personally present at these sittings, but that they were carried out by people in whom he had every confidence, and that they were confirmed by sworn affidavits of the sitters. «The high character of Mr. Leander Fisher «, says the Admiral, «is sufficient voucher for their authenticity «. The same may be said of Mr. E. G. Randall, who has published many such cases. He is one of the leading lawyers of Buffalo, while Mr. Fisher is a Professor of Music in that city.
The natural objection is that, granting the honesty of the investigators, the whole experience may be in some way subjective and have no relation to real facts. Dealing with this the Admiral says: «I made inquiries as to whether any of the spirits, thus brought to understand that they had entered a new state of consciousness, had been satisfactorily identified. The reply was that many had been discovered, but after several had been verified it was considered useless to go on searching for the relatives and places of abode in earth life of the remainder. Such inquiries involved much time and labour, and always ended with the same result». In one of the cases cited (op. Cit., p.524) there is the prototype of the fashionable woman who died in her sleep, as depicted in the text. In all these instances the returning spirit did not realize that its earth life was over.
The case of the clergyman and of the sailor from the Monmouth both occurred in my presence at the circle of Mr. Tozer.