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Looks Interesting,
Acording to Gauld (1982), James actually did lean towards survival when he investigated the Hodgeson case.

BTW can somebody give me a estimated percentage of sittings that were good in the Piper case and ones that were good?

She took a small annual stipend from the researchers for the use of her time, but could have earned far more had she been interested in exploiting her talents for commercial gain. She sought no publicity and downplayed her abilities on the rare occasions when she consented to any media coverage.

This cannot be glossed over. Whatever anyone might think of Leonora Piper's abilities, it's hard to see how she could be seen as a fraud. The imposition on her time with her family for comparatively little pay, and outright abuse she endured from the high-society "gentlemen" that investigated her makes her more of a psychical research hero, not the low-class shrew the skeptic crowd tries to portray her as.

With no intent to be argumentative I think that one may be overlooking perhaps the best way of validating the authenticity of purported communications from a “control” used by a medium and that is, the use of language by the communicating identity. I have noted that there have been criticisms of language usage by disembodied spirits by some who say that the language is either high-sounding, ornate or not understandable. Such comments reveal a lack of recognition of how language usage changes and has changed over time. What is really meant by people who make such comments, I think, is that they don’t understand the language. Not that the language is not understandable. They mean that the language seems “high-sounding” or “ornate” to them. I could say much the same thing about the language of Chaucer or Shakespeare for that matter. I only understand Chaucer to the extent that I have studied it. I understand the prologue to the Canterbury Tales because I was made to study it in high school but the rest is “not understandable” to me and it is tedious for me to try to understand it so I just don’t try. I can understand more of Shakespeare’s use of English, although high-sounding and ornate, since Shakespeare’s language, written in the late 1500s is closer to the English that was used during my 70-year lifetime than the English used by Chaucer in the 1300s. Communications from controls reminiscent of the language of the King James translation of the Bible, as in the example from Imperator, seem to me to be appropriate if we believe that the communicator should have the freedom to present himself or herself in whatever persona best fits the personality to be presented.

Why should we expect controls, whoever or whatever they may be to use language that we understand and that we deem proper for the control to use. The very fact that controls use such archaic, stilted or antiquated language, in my opinion only validates that the information is not coming from the subconscious mind of the medium or picked up by super-psi from living minds. This validation is especially convincing when word usage, grammar and syntax by the controls reveal words and word usage no longer found in spoken or written language and only found to have been part of the English usage after painstaking effort to conduct in-depth research. Patience Worth’s use of the nouns regale, cockshut, slaver, dods, shoon, and verbs ettle and fetch, and many others convince me that the subconscious mind of Pearl Curran was not the source of writings containing those words. Language use by controls, if it has been documented, is in my opinion, the best available tangible evidence of a disembodied entity that exists; far better than memory recall, observations or opinions of long-dead human beings

Thanks Michael ( and Michael) I just downloaded on kindle.
Amos
The Patience Worth case completely baffles me. Here we have an ordinary housewife who channels brilliant works from an alleged spirit that speaks an antiquated English dialect that she never knew. Philosopher Steven Braude wrote extensively on the case in his book "Immortal Remains" and came to the conclusion that Patience was a secondary personality that Pearl Curran subconsciously invented to fester her latent capabilities. I really really find this to be a stretch since some scholars were baffled by the works produced and all originals. however she gave no verifiable details about her existence and only said "I be me and she be she". If there is a spirit world I wish they could be a little less esoteric about their existence in cases like this but I guess PW didn't feel it was the focal point of coming through.

"she once speculated that the communications might be coming to her via mental telepathy from the living".

Michael to me this suggest's two things about her 1) she was having a range of experiences we've never heard about because they didn't correspond to the preconceptions of the times 2) she didn't have an agenda or preconceived world view to sell and actually questioned what was happening to her.

"fishing for clues...certainly occurred".

Are athletes frauds when they run up and down on the spot to warm themselves up or get themselves in the mood and doctors dentists lawyers police officers etc fish all the time hence the distinction in the medical profession between Signs and Symptoms [though when my unemployment agency sent me after a job as a telephone line card reader I personally found the problem wasn't fishing for CLUES but filtering out CUES clients fed me to get the answers they wanted to hear in some cases misleadingly so hoping to trip me up and convince themselves it was all a load of bollocks].

There's also what's known in the esoteric trade as the doctrine of necessity which can require amongst other things the right question being asked if the informational cache's to be released hence the catastrophic importance of Perceval failing to ask "Who serves the Grail?"

"There seems to be no good reason why an exalted and supposedly ageless spirit would speak in this artificial way."

Well if you think about it Krishna was raised as a very dark skinned low caste cowherder with an accent [much like Alexander the Great] picked on by his detractors as unmercifully as a red neck hillbilly's would be if he attended Eton.

And even Leonora Piper only spoke English because her nervous system was bombarded by various forms of it from the moment she was born hence any spirit taking control of her probably had to work with whatever cultural and emotional references in her nervous systemic data base best approximated the effect it wanted to achieve.

This potential cross contamination of the spirit and the medium's data bases of course's why some people have difficulties with any information received unlike say the grace bestowed 'new tongue' used by Jesus' disciples which enabled them to be understood by speakers of any language.

"she was having a range of experiences we've never heard about because they didn't correspond to the preconceptions of the times"

Well, keep in mind that as a trance medium, she had no memory of what took place during her sessions and had to rely on the sitters' or researchers' reports, so she was not really in the best position to evaluate what was going on. The ESP theory was favored by some researchers, and she presumably picked it up from them.


@Ray [Re: Patience Worth]:
"...she gave no verifiable details about her existence and only said "I be me and she be she"..."

Pretty much the way Seth described himself WRT Jane Roberts, except for also claiming previous reincarnational entanglement.

It's worth noting that Edgar Cayce's medical diagnosis capability seems no less amazing than Patience Worth's literary skills, but did not appear to require spirit involvement. There were also the famous healers Ambrose and Olga Worral, who didn't even need trance to directly heal individuals. Where did the paranormal abilities of these individuals derive? Who knows, but the simplest thing would be to say they're accessing a single source.

Also, savant capabilities in art, mathematics, and music can occur spontaneously as well as deriving from birth. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine "savant psychic capabilities" arising in individuals as well.

Ray:
I have to say that I agree with you concerning Professor Braude and his comments about Patience Worth in his book Immortal Remains. Although he may be a very erudite professor of philosophy and has written several books, I don’t think that he has presented the final word about the origins of the Patience Worth/Pearl Curran phenomenon. He quotes Schiller and agrees with him that “it is safer to credit Patience Worth to the unconscious and to classify her, officially, as Mrs. Curran’s secondary self.” I suppose this means that one can maintain one’s status and credibility as an intellectual by crediting Patience Worth to Pearl Curran’s unconscious rather than to acknowledge that Patience Worth may be an entity separate from Pearl Curran.

Braude’s often referenced discourse on Patience Worth in Immortal Remains is, however, one of the better ones, confounded I think, when he associates the Patience Worth with Hélène Smith, Rosemary Brown, Luiz Gasparetto, Frederic Thompson, and Fernando Pessoa drawing upon his perceived differences or similarities between those mediums to explain Pearl Curran. In his concluding remarks, Professor Braude seems as perplexed and duplicitous about Patience Worth as most others who have studied this case. He says that "a survivalist interpretation of the case simply leaves too great a residue of mysteries.”

@AOD
" I suppose this means that one can maintain one’s status and credibility as an intellectual by crediting Patience Worth to Pearl Curran’s unconscious rather than to acknowledge that Patience Worth may be an entity separate from Pearl Curran."

This seems unnecessarily dismissive. Does what you've read of Stephen Braude lead you to believe he is dishonest intellectually and that would do this to protect his perceived status, or this a blanket statement to be applied to anyone that does not accept spirit entities?

"In his concluding remarks, Professor Braude seems as perplexed and duplicitous about Patience Worth as most others who have studied this case. He says that "a survivalist interpretation of the case simply leaves too great a residue of mysteries.”

Again, "...duplicitous..." seems a bit harsh. Then you also don't accept that he might truly have felt there was "...too great a residue of mysteries" in this case?

Tsavo:
I appreciate your insights. Obviously I don’t know what Professor Braude may “truly have felt” so I can’t respond to your query. I only know what he has written in his book Immortal Remains and while I think his dissertation is thoughtful I personally do not agree with everything he states regarding Patience Worth and Pearl Curran. Throughout the dissertation he provides many thoughts and opinions about this case, some of them conflicting. He does a good job presenting several possibilities which makes his treatise a good one. His concluding remarks state that “The Patience Worth case seems no less mysterious today than it did initially.”

In the last paragraph in the chapter he states:

    “Thus, the Patience Worth case illustrates why we must take very seriously non-survivalist interpretations of more evidential cases. If Pearl Curran could tap into the latent creative capacities needed to produce the Patience Worth scripts, and if she could use her psychic abilities to access obscure but relevant chunks of historical and linguistic information, then presumably similar feats can occur in cases where verified information is provided about a previous personality. So the Patience Worth case reminds us that we should be alert to the superficial treatments of the evidence…and also very circumspect in rejecting non-survivalist explanations of the better cases. Moreover, and perhaps most important, the case is a humbling reminder that there’s much still to learn about the human mind.”

As you can read, Braude regards the case as one of the "more evidential" cases and a "humbling reminder that there’s much still to learn about the human mind." Yes, if Pearl could psychically “access obscure chunks of historical and linguistic information” and if she could “tap into her latent creative capacities, then perhaps that is an explanation. But is my mind those are big “IFs” and two that have not been explained.

@AOD,
Cool. Much more objective assessment of Braude. Never a good idea to assign motives to people without justification. Probably not even then. Analytical disagreement OTOH is always a path toward better understanding.

The search for the objective truth of evidence is in vain, like the old search for the absolutes of classical physics.

The quantum truth is in probabilities, based on what most people think, and probabilities change when the collective mind changes.

Also another interesting thought. Many researchers of Victorian Mediumship believe that if Mrs. Lenoard had as much recording and was studied as hard as Mrs. Piper, she, not Mrs.Piper would be labelled as the strongest medium in know hisotry

@Barbara,

"The search for the objective truth of evidence is in vain, like the old search for the absolutes of classical physics."

Haha, not at all in vain. The search for absolutes in classical physics led to quantum physics. Therefore not in vain. The reward was greater understanding.

Michael, I think that resolves the tension here between reports of NDEs and reports of ADCs, because people who report their NDEs are referring to a four-dimensional disembodied state, but now they are in three dimensions, while the spirits of mediumistic sessions must project into three dimensions and they show a funnel effect, that is, they have to reduce their minds to control the medium. And this solution is not ad hoc because it follows certain mediumistic communications.

It's worth noting that Edgar Cayce's medical diagnosis capability seems no less amazing than Patience Worth's literary skills, but did not appear to require spirit involvement. There were also the famous healers Ambrose and Olga Worral, who didn't even need trance to directly heal individuals. Where did the paranormal abilities of these individuals derive?

This proves that the involvement of spirits of the deceased is not necessary to demonstrate certain anomalous skills, but does not prove that in some cases of anomalous skills there are not departed spirits involved. But is not it simpler to say that all cases of anomalous skills are secundary personalities and unconscious creativity? No, because as I wrote on another occasion, if we take into account all the other evidence and the past of the mediums, the most plausible is that in some cases mediums make contact with spirits of the deceased.

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