Spuk Irrglaube Oder Wahrglaube1

The author has asked me for a few introductory words to her book. It gives me all the more pleasure to comply with her request as her previous book on occultism,2 written with great care and knowledge of the subject, is still fresh in my memory. I welcome the appearance of this new book, a copiously documented collection ofparapsychological experiences, as a valuable contribution to psychological literature in general. Extraordinary and mysterious stories are not necessarily always lies and...

Somnambulistic states

At home and from friends she heard about table-turning and began to take an interest in it. She asked to be allowed to take part in such experiments, and her desire was soon gratified. In July 1899, she did some table-turning several times in the family circle with friends, but as a joke. It was then discovered that she was an excellent medium. Communications of a serious nature arrived and were received amid general astonishment. Their pastoral tone was surprising. The spirit gave himself out...

Development of the somnambulistic personalities

At the beginning of many seances, the glass was allowed to move by itself, and this was always followed by the stereotyped invitation You must ask a question. Since several convinced spiritualists were attending the seances, there was of course an immediate demand for all manner of spiritualistic marvels, especially for the protecting spirits. At these requests the names of well-known dead persons were sometimes produced, and sometimes unknown names such as Berthe de Valours, Elisabeth von...

Nature ofthe somnambulistic attacks

W's history that has not been discussed, and that is the nature of her attacks. In the second seance she was suddenly seized with a sort of fainting-fit, from 91 Binet, Alteration pp. 93f., modified. which she awoke with a recollection of various hallucinations. According to her own statement, she had not lost consciousness for a moment. Judging from the outward symptoms and course of these attacks, one is inclined to think of narcolepsy or lethargy, of the kind...

Records of seances

First and samd sittings (August 1899). S. W. at once took control of the communications. The psychograph, for which an overturned tumbler was used, the two fingers of the right hand being placed upon it, moved with lightning speed from letter to letter. (Slips of paper, marked with letters and numbers, had been arranged in a circle round the glass.) It was communicated that the medium's grandfather was present and would speak to us. There now followed numerous communications in quick...

The change in character

The most striking feature of the second state is the change in character. There are several cases in the literature which show this symptom of spontaneous change in the character of a person. The first to be made known in a scientific journal was that of Mary Reynolds, published by Weir Mitchell.62 This was the case of a young woman living in Pennsylvania in 1811. After a deep sleep of about twenty hours, she had totally forgotten her entire past and everything she had ever learnt even the...

On Spiritualistic Phenomena1

It is impossible, within the short space of a lecture, to say anything fundamental about such a complicated historical and psychological problem as spiritualism1 appears to be. One must content oneself with shedding a little light on one or the other aspect of this intricate question. This kind of approach will at least give the hearer an approximate idea of the many facets of spiritualism. Spiritualism, as well as being a theory its advocates call it scientific , is a religious belief which,...

The Soul And Death1

I have often been asked what I believe about death, that unprob-lematical ending of individual existence. Death is known to us simply as the end. It is the period, often placed before the close of the sentence and followed only by memories or after-effects in others. For the person concerned, however, the sand has run out of the glass the rolling stone has come to rest. When death confronts us, life always seems like a downward flow or like a clock that has been wound up and whose eventual...

The Psychological Foundations Of Belief In Spirits1

Ifwe look back into the past history ofmankind, we find, among many other religious convictions, a universal belief in the existence of phantoms or ethereal beings who dwell in the neighbourhood of men and who exercise an invisible yet powerful influence upon them. These beings are generally supposed to be the spirits or souls ofthe dead. This belief is to be found among ' Originally translated by H. G. Baynes from a German manuscript and published in Roceedingp of ite Society far Psychical...

On The Psychology Of Socalled Occult Phenomena

Long train of thought by means of inductive inferences from the intended tremors. At any rate it is certain that, granting this to be possible, such persons must be making use of a routine acquired by endless practice. But in our case routine can be ruled out at once, and there is no choice but to assume for the present a receptivity of the unconscious far exceeding that of the conscious mind. This assumption is supported by numerous observations on somnambulists. Here I will mention only...

Automatisms

Semi-somnambulism is characterized by the continuity of consciousness with that of the waking state and by the appearance of various automatisms which point to the activity of a subconscious independent of the conscious self. Our case shows the following automatic phenomena 1 Automatic movements of the table. 1 Automatic Movements of the Table Before the patient came under my observation she had been influenced by the suggestion of table-turning, which she first came across as a parlour game....

Will you come to lifeYes

Why are you conversing with me if Clelia el. Mr. A. interpreted this answer as I Clelia feel. Am I the one who asks questions Yes. Is Clelia there No. Who is here then Nobody. Does Clelia exist at all No. Then with whom was I speaking yesterday With nobody. Janet conducted the following conversation with the subconscious of Lucie, who, meanwhile, was engaged in conversation with another observer Janet asks Do you hear me Lucie answers, in automatic writing No. But one has to hear in order to...

The waking state

Here the patient shows various peculiarities. As we have seen, she was often absent-minded at school, misread in a peculiar way, was moody, changeable, and inconsequent in her behaviour, now quiet, shy, reserved, now uncommonly lively, noisy, and talkative. She cannot be called unintelligent, yet her narrow-mindedness is sometimes as striking as her isolated moments of intelligence. Her memory is good on the whole, but is often very much impaired by marked distractibility. Thus, despite...

Mystic science

W was subjected to numerous suggestions in regard to scientific questions. Generally, towards the end of the seances, various subjects of a scientific or spiritualistic nature were discussed and debated. S. W. never took part in the conversation, but sat dreamily in a corner in a semi-somnambulistic condition. She listened now to one thing and now to another, catching it in a half dream, but she could never give a coherent account of anything if one asked her about it, and she only half...