Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

My First Seance

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

My First Seance

Article excerpt

Sirs: Somewhere in my browsing through the interesting books that have come my way through the Psychology Centre, I once read a paragraph which, although I cannot quote it word for word, said something like this: "Exercise of the imagination cannot be harmful so long as you know what you are doing. For instance, if you are standing on a high building and you imagine there is a stairway to the ground, no dangerous symptoms are indicated unless you try to walk down the stairs." I was reminded of this very forcefully the other evening, when a friend invited me to attend a spiritualist seance.

It was my first experience of this activity and, consequently, I was interested in the whole proceeding, from the time the medium "tranced," until she farewelled her last messenger from the other world and returned to us, and supper. Not having seen any other gatherings of this kind, I do not know whether the procedure is always the same, but, in this case, a celebrated medium, after trancing, became another personality from the spirit world, and speaking with the voice sometimes of an old seaman, sometimes of a Cockney flowergirl, etc., she greeted us as old friends whom she often visited. I was told that each person who "possessed" her did so regularly in the seances, and they were as familiar to the group as living people.

With her eyes closed, the medium indicated people in the room by waving in their direction and to each one, she passed on whatever messages came to her from spirits around her who were anxious to get in touch with us. …

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