By Stainton Moses
Physical Mediumship and Automatic Writing
Since we are born into a physical body, we have to train and practice in order to mature, grow up and learn to operate and negotiate the technologies we have invented and constructed around us. First we have to learn to breathe, feed, walk and run, speak, learn language, communicate and travel. All the time we are having to combat the physical laws of gravity, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and battle the elements such as temperature, wind, rain, snow and hail. We need to exercise to keep fit, otherwise inertia would lead to stagnation, disease and death.
Musicians have to practice and play every day in order to remain proficient on their particular instruments. Opera singers have to train and practice throughout their careers in order the be on form. Excellence in any occupation or skill demands dedication and this takes up a lot of energy and effort. Unfortunately, all the technology around us is making us lazy; radios and recording devices make us listen to music rather than play an instrument at home; the automobile is taking away our ability to walk, and with our telephones and texting devices we are losing the art of handwriting. It is not even taught in some schools.
In our sports we have to train rigorously in order to compete in specific areas. To enhance their performance, some athletes may take drugs, as did Ben Johnson in running, or Lance Armstrong in cycling. But this is a dangerous practice, destroying both the body and ethical standards of sportsmanship. Also, drugs such as L.S.D. taken to achieve higher states of consciousness, are not recommended. This practice is unreliable and is as bad as addiction to alcohol and may lead to delusions and insanity, or to the danger of becoming possessed by low level spirits and earthbounds.
The same danger of possession may occur in physical mediumship, where we have to learn to relax, still the mind and body, and even go into a trance to allow spirit to take over our body. To remain secure from possession by an undesirable low-level or malicious spirit, we have to seek spiritual protection or have the best intentions in contacting the Spirit World.
It takes quite an effort on their part, spirits say, for them to take over and operate a medium’s physical body. But a group of them do manage to do this with a good medium, especially in psychic surgery, independent direct voice and in automatic writing. A description of the process of this kind of writing was provided by Stainton (pronounced ‘Stanton,’) Moses, in the second compilation of his writings, “More Spirit Teachings”. He had been taken on a journey through the Spirit World, and wrote about the experience of being in trance and out-of-body. He was then taken back to watch his entranced body from above. The passage below which follows this article was written by the spirits moving the pencil, in direct automatic writing.
The same spirit intelligence which moves the pencil in automatic writing is what directs the planchette or the slates, or the pointer with the Ouija board and similar devices, and in table tipping. This practice is even mentioned in the Bible, though the planchette is referred to as a ‘breastplate,’ and this is probably how of the prophets ancient and modern received their divine messages. Modern mediums who started their careers in this way include Mrs Piper, Mrs Leonard, Mrs Combe-Tenant (“Mrs Willett,”) Pearl Curran (“Patience Worth.”) Hester Dowden, Geraldine Cummins, Kenneth Richmond, Florizel von Reuter and his mother, Eileen Garrett, and more recently Jane Roberts
Description of automatic writing by Stainton Moses (1839 – 1892). [“Rector” and “Imperator” were two of his principal spirit guides].
“During the whole time this communication was written, my spirit was separated from the body. I could see, from a short distance, the hand as it wrote. In my own room I felt an impression to write, such as I have not felt for nearly two months. I sat at my desk, and the first part was written. I presume I then passed into a state of unconscious trance.
The next thing I remember was standing in spirit near to my body, which was seated holding the pen before the table on which this book was placed. I looked at it and the arrangements of the room with great interest. I saw that my body was there, and that I was joined to it by a thin line of light. Everything material in the room looked shadowy, and everything spiritual seemed solid and real.
Behind my body, with his own hand held over the head, and the other over the right hand which held the pen, stood Rector. In the room, besides, were Imperator and several of the spirits who have influenced me for long. Others wheom I did not know passed in and out, and appeared to regard the experiment with interest. Through the ceiling streamed down a mild, pleasing light, and now and again rays of bluish light were shot down on my body. When this was done, I saw the body jerk and quiver. It was being charged, as I may say. I noticed, moreover, that the daylight had faded; and the window seemed dark, and the light by which I saw was spirit light. I could hear perfectly well the goices of the spirits who spoke to me. They sounded very much as human voices do, but were more delicately modulated, and sounded as though from a distance.
Imperator explained to me that I was seeing an actual scene, which was intended to show me how the spirits operated. Rector was writing; and it was not done, as I had imagined, by guiding my hand nor impressing my mind; but it was done by directing on to the pen a ray which looked like blue light. The force so directed caused the pen to move in obedience to the will of the directing spirit. In order to show me that the hand was a mere instrument, not essential to the experiment, the pen was removed from the hand, and kept in position by the ray of light which was directed upon it. To my great surprise, it moved over the paper, and wrote as before. A great part of what is written above really done without the intervention of a human hand. I was told that it was not easy to write without human aid, and that the spelling of the words was wrong. I find that is actually the case in the part written as I describe.
I remember mentally wondering how such spirits spoke English; and, in reply to my thought, several addressed me one after another in different languages. They were not intelligible to me, but were interpreted by Imperator. He also showed me how spirits commune with each other by transfusion of thought. Imperator explained that the sounds could be made in the same way, without aid from anything material. I heard the sound of bells at the time, and the air was pervaded by a subtle perfume. The spirits were dressed as I have seen them before, and moved about quite independent of the material obstacles round them. Some of the spirits formed a circle round the table at which my body sat. I seemed to myself to be garbed in white, with a blue cincture. There was some purple too, a sort of over-robe, I think. Every spirit was self-luminous, apparently, and the room was very light. I was commanded to return and write down what I saw. I do not remember the return to my body. I am perfectly certain as to what occurred, and reported it simply and without exaggeration.”