Genuine Mediumship; or, The Invisible Powers

Genuine Mediumship; or, The Invisible Powers

William Walker Atkinson
William Walker Atkinson

Author: Atkinson, William Walker, 1862-1932
Genuine Mediumship; or, The Invisible Powers

Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in this text. For a complete list, please see the bottom of this document.

Genuine Mediumship


The Invisible Powers



(Hindoo Master)
Author of Seership, the Science of Knowing the Future
812 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, Ill.
English Representatives
L. N. FOWLER & CO., 7 Imperial Arcade,
Ludgate Circus, London, England
Copyright, 1919
Chicago, Ill.


Knowledge versus Faith. Supernormal, not Supernatural. Supernormal, not Abnormal. The Prevailing Ignorance. Prejudice Against the Unusual. Great Changes Impending. The Naturalness of Occult Powers. The World of Vibrations. Super-sensible Vibrations. Unseen Worlds. Interpenetrating Planes and Worlds. Manifold Planes of Existence. Planes and Vibrations. The Higher Senses of Man. The World of Sensation. A Senseless World. The Elemental Sense. The Raw Material of Thought. The Evolution of the Senses. Unfoldment of New Senses. Discovery of New Worlds. We Sense Only Vibratory Motion. The Higher Planes of Nature. An Appeal to Reason 7
The Higher Forces. Chitta, or Mind Substance. What Modern Science Says. A Living Dynamic Focus. Dynamic Correlate of Thought. Answer to Skeptical Critics. The World of Vibrations. Unchartered Seas of Vibration. The Human Wireless Telegraph Instrument. A Great Scientist’s Theory. Human-Electro-Magnetism. Human Etherical Force. The Brain-Battery. A Peculiar Organ. The Pineal Gland. Transmission of Thought. A General Principle. Transformation of Vibrations. Example of Electric Light. Example of Wireless Telegraphy. Example of Light Waves. Transformation of Mental Vibrations. Vibrational Attunement. In Tune with the Higher Planes. Two Key-Words 31
Involuntary Transmission of Mental Vibrations. Thought Waves. Vibratory Thought Force. Mental Atmospheres. The Categories of Thought. Mental Whirlpools. Mental Tidal Waves. Immunity to Thought Influences. Mental Attunement. Voluntary Transmission of Mental Vibrations. Voluntary Mental Influence. White Magic. Black Magic. Base Use of Mind Power. The Secret of Witchcraft. Modern Black Magic. The Explanation of Sorcery. The Power of Fearthought. The Negative Pole. Voodooism Explained. Self-Protection. Repelling Adverse Influences. Telepathic Phenomena. Scientific Investigators. How Experiments are Conducted. Private Experiments. Development of Telepathic Power. “Mind Reading.” Development Practices. The “Willing Game.” Formal Tests. Automatic Writing. Psychic Sensitiveness 53
Clairvoyance Defined. The Phenomena of Clairvoyance. Classification of Clairvoyant Phenomena. Psychometry. The “Psychic Scent.” Magnetic Affinity. Distant En Rapport. Psychic Underground Explorations. Psychic Detective Work. How to Psychometrize. Developing Psychometry. Varieties of Psychometry. Psychometric “Getting in Touch.” Psychometric Readings. Crystal Gazing, etc. Crystals and Bright Objects. The Care of the Crystal. How To Use the Crystal. The “Milky Mist.” Classes of Psychic Pictures. General Directions for Crystal Gazing. Selection of Place, etc. Adjusting the Crystal. Time of Sitting. Other Persons Present. Crystalline Vision. Physical Requirements. Determining Time of Fulfillment. Two Classes of Visions. Time and Space in Crystal Gazing. Direct Clairvoyance. Trance Conditions. Clairvoyant Reverie. The Dawn of Clairvoyance. Methods of Development 79
Present Clairvoyance. The Human Aura. The Prana Aura. The Auric Colors. Thought Forms. The X-Ray Sense. Microscopic Vision. Space Clairvoyance. The Psychic Telescope. Radio-Activity. Sensing the Higher Vibrations. Viewing Distant Scenes. Time Clairvoyance. Past Time Clairvoyance. The Mystery Seeing the Past. Analogies of the Physical Plane. Thousand Year Old Light. Reading the Light Waves. The Akashic Plane. The Akashic Records. Degrees of Clairvoyant Vision. “The Memory of Nature.” Involuntary Clairvoyance. Future Time Clairvoyance. Seeing What Has Not Yet Happened. Simple Prevision. The Nature of Time. The Oriental Teaching. The Eternal Now. Absolute Time 105
What is Mediumship? Ancient Mediumship. Mediumship and Religious Belief. The Ideals of Modern Spiritualism. Immortality Demonstrated Through Mediumship. The Truth of Personal Survival. The Gateway of Mediumship. The Mediumistic Character. Mediumistic Sensitivity. The Higher Vibratory Forces. Psychic Attunement. The Development of Mediumship. Unconscious Mediumship. Mediumship and Individuality. Co-operation of Medium and Spirits. Mediumship Not Dangerous. Rational Mediumship. The “Home Circle.” The Cure For Fraudulent Mediumship. Warning to Young Mediums 133
Physical Phenomena. “Psychic Force.” Human Magnetism. “Zoether.” “Prana.” Mental Phenomena. The Value of Phenomena. Trance Condition Not Essential. Scientific Reports on Phenomena. Phenomena Without Darkness. Test Conditions. Is Darkness Necessary? Developing Circles. Impersonating Mediumship. The Proper Mental Condition. Proof of Spirit Identity. The “Trance Condition.” Spirit Impersonation. Spirit Suggestion. Psychic Attunement. Automatic Writing. Inspirational Speaking. Gradual Development of Powers. Spirit Guides. No Loss of Individuality. Mediumship Beneficial. Mediumship and the Bible 153
Who are Mediumistic? The Mediumistic Temperament. Is Mediumship Desirable? Developing the Natural Power. Mediumship and Genius. Spontaneous Mediumship. Mediumistic Flashes. Systematic Development. The Development Circle. The Aspirational Attitude. Natural Unfoldment. Persistent Watchful Waiting. Building Lines of Communication. Developing Concentration. The Call for Illumination. The Jacob’s Ladder of Communion. What a Development Circle Is. Forming the Development Circle. The Sitters in the Circle. The Spirit Communication Code. The Matter of Time Conditions. Opening the Seance. Developing a Medium. The Personnel of the Circle. Changing the Sitters. Adding a Medium. Reasons for Changes. Psychic Attunement. Pre-Test Manifestations. Premature Tests. Forcing Tests. Spirit Directions. Questioning the Spirits. Substance and Shadow 173
The Part Played by the Sitters. Result of Bad Sitters. Mental Atmosphere of the Medium. The Mediumistic Mind. Mediumistic “Stage Fright.” The Psychic Telephone System. Interrupted Communications. Some Difficulties of the Spirits. Difficulties Overcome. The Psychic Triangle. Harmonious Relationship. The Discord Note. Antagonistic Elements. The Open Mind. Spirits and the Sense of Humor. Rhythmic Harmony. Retarding Factors. Reasonable Demands of Spirits. Harmonious Conditions. The Channel of Communication. The Role of the Spirits. Difficulties Among Spirits. Disturbing elements. Impersonation Mediumship. True Purpose of Mediumship. Gradual Development. Public Seances. Home Circle Development. Undue Prolongation of Seances. Good Advice to Young Mediums. Self-Protection for Mediums 200
Signs of Spirit Presence. Spirit Rappings. Table Tippings. The Spirit Signals. Flashes of Communication. Spirit Code-Signals. Ouija Boards. A Homemade Ouija Board. Trance or Inspirational Mediumship. Symptoms of Trance Conditions. The Entranced Stage. Trance Phenomena. Entering the Trance. Advice to Trance Mediums. Speaking Mediumship. Public-Speaking Under Control. Spirit Advice and Counsel. Impersonating Manifestations. Incidents of Impersonation. Incidents of Inspirational Mediumship. Value of Identification. Fraudulent Claims of Identity. Guarding Against Fraudulent Spirits. Spirit Jokers. A Typical Case of Identification. Recalling Past Incidents. Identifying Property. Identifying Historical Personages 229
Spirit Psychometry and Clairvoyance. Spirit Psychic Assistance. Writing Mediumship. Incidents of Writing Mediumship. Developing Writing Mediumship. Stead’s Method and Results. Automatic Writing vs. Inspirational Writing. Use and Abuse of Automatic Writing. Advice to Writing Mediums. Drawing Mediumship. The Planchette. How to Use the Planchette. Healing Mediumship. How To Heal by Spirit Power. Materialization Mediumship. The Spirit Cabinet Is Necessary. How To Make the Spirit Cabinet. How To Use the Spirit Cabinet. Spirit Phosphorescence. Appearance of Materialized Substance. Materialized Spirit Forms. Scientific Proof of Materialization. How To Conduct a Materializing Seance. Trumpet Mediumship. Spirit Playing on Musical Instruments. Independent Slate Writing. The Slate Writing Circle. Spirit Paintings. Practical Advice to Developing Mediums 251



One of the most common mistaken conceptions of the average student of the occult sciences, and of so-called “psychic phenomena” in general, is that which may be expressed by the term “supernatural.” This term, as you know, is used to express the idea of “that which is outside of the realm of Nature, and of Nature’s laws.”

Knowledge Versus Faith

As a matter of fact, as all the advanced students and teachers of the occult doctrine know full well, we have no direct knowledge whatsoever of anything that is “outside of the realm of nature, and of Nature’s laws.” It is true that we may, by an act of faith, profess to believe in powers and beings entirely apart from the great realm of Nature—in fact, most persons do believe in such powers and beings in connection with their formal religion—but their belief is entirely within the category of Faith, and is not even pretended to be based upon actual experience and phenomenal manifestation.
The moment that there appears any manifestation which is possible of being known to, or experienced by, the human senses, ordinary or extraordinary, that moment the phenomena and the immediate cause thereof must be regarded as being properly classed in the category of “natural.” This is true not only of such phenomena as are perceived by means of our ordinary five senses, but also of those which are perceptible only to the highest powers of perception, or higher senses, which are latent in all human beings but which are unfolded only in the case of a comparatively few individuals of the race.
It should be clearly understood by all students of occultism or psychic phenomena that man’s knowledge and experience, normal or supernormal, is confined to the realm of Nature. There is a “ring pass-not” around the boundaries of the Kingdom of Nature which mortals cannot pass, no matter how high may be their degree of development and advancement. Even those great mystics whose writings are filled with the startling revelations of “union with the Divine,” and of “At-one-ment with Deity,” are under no illusion concerning this fact they know full well that only in so far as Deity involves itself in Nature—wraps itself up in the garments of Nature—can it be directly experienced by man, and thus actually known by him.

Supernormal, Not Supernatural

Perhaps a clearer understanding of this important subject will be had if we but substitute the term “supernormal” for that of “supernatural.” The term “supernormal” is not commonly employed, and but few know that such a word is to be found in the dictionaries, much less know its meaning; but a study of its meaning, and its adoption in our thinking, will serve to give us a clearer conception of the true nature of many strange phases of experience of which we have become conscious, either by reasons of their manifestation by ourselves, or else by the manifestation on the part of others. It will accordingly be well for us to carefully examine this term and its meaning.

“Subnormal” means: “Beyond, above, or exceeding that which is normal; extraordinary, inexplicable perhaps, but not supernatural.” Now, the term “normal” means: “Conforming to a certain standard, rule, or type”; hence, anything that is “supernormal” is something that is above the usual pattern, rule, or type.
There is an important distinction to be noted here, to-wit: a thing may be outside of the usual pattern, rule, or type, in the sense of being inferior to or under the ordinary standard, and in this case is known as “abnormal,” the latter term being employed as a term of depreciation. On the other hand, the “outside of the standard” quality may consist of a superiority to the prevailing standard, and accordingly is entitled to be classed in the category of the “supernormal”—the prefix “super” meaning “above, over, higher, etc.”
It is important that the distinction be made clearly between the use and meaning of these two terms, “abnormal” and “supernormal,” respectively. The first named denotes inferiority, and the latter denotes superiority. This distinction may be more clearly apprehended by means of a concrete example, as follows:
On our own plane of existence the senses of sight and hearing, respectively, are included in the usual standard, pattern, and type of sense normality—every normal person possesses these senses in a certain general degree of power; hence, on this plane of existence, a person born blind, or deaf, is spoken of as “abnormal,” that is to say, such a person is deficient in regard to the sense powers.

On the contrary, let us imagine a plane of existence, in which the great majority of individuals lack the power of sight and hearing, respectively. On such a plane of existence, the occasional individual who was born possessed of the powers of sight and hearing, respectively, would be properly regarded as “supernormal,” that is to say, such a person would be superior to the ordinary run of individuals—above them, in fact. The term “abnormal” means minus the ordinary standard quality; and the term “supernormal” means plus the ordinary standard quality. And yet both the “plus” and the “minus” would be “outside” the normal type, though there is a difference as wide as that between the two poles, in this “outsideness.”

Supernormal, Not Abnormal

The above important statement concerning the distinction between the “abnormal” and “supernormal” is not made merely for the purpose of academic differentiation and classification. On the other hand, it is made because there is a most pernicious tendency on the part of the ignorant and unthinking portions of the public to regard and to classify certain high phases of occult and psychic manifestation of power as “abnormal,” hence below the standard; whereas, properly speaking, such manifestations of power are far above the standard, and, hence, clearly entitled to the term “supernormal.”

The Prevailing Ignorance

The ignorant and unthinking attitude of certain portions of the general public toward this class of phenomena is akin to that of a community of blind and deaf persons, satisfied that their own “three sense” standard is the highest possible one attainable by living creatures and that all variation therefrom must be considered as “abnormal.” In such a community there would occasionally be born certain individuals possessed of the senses of sight and hearing, in addition to the common three senses possessed by the entire community. Judging by what we know of the tendency of human nature in such cases, we are warranted in conjuring that the ordinary run of persons in such a community would revile the seeing and hearing individuals as “abnormal,” and their possessors therefore to be pitied, and perhaps shunned. Only the intelligent and thoughtful members of such a community would be able to grasp the fact that these exceptional individuals were really not only not “abnormal,” and inferior to type, but that they were really “supernormal,” and superior to type.

Prejudice Against the Unusual.

Those to whom the above illustration may seem far-fetched, exaggerated, and unwarranted, are asked to carefully consider the ignorant and unthinking attitude which the great majority of the general public, at least at first, present toward that most wonderful display of supernormal powers, known as “occult” or “psychic,” made by the few highly developed individuals of the race who are able to manifest them to some degree. These individuals are regarded as “queer,” and “strange,” “unnatural,” and “abnormal” by their ignorant and unthinking neighbors and associates, just as the seeing and hearing exceptional individuals were likewise so regarded by their blind and deaf neighbors in the above illustration. And, here as in the illustration it is only the few intelligent and thinking individuals of the community who recognize that the departure from the standard type is in the direction of advancement and gain, rather than of retrogression and loss—a plus attribute, rather than a minus one. The illustration is startlingly true and in accordance with the facts of the case, as many thoughtful persons know only to well, and admit sadly.

Great Changes Impending

But it would be unjust and unfair to the general public were we to fail to add to the above criticism the fact that there is underway a great change in the public opinion regarding this important matter. More and more persons are becoming interested in Nature’s Finer Forces every day; more are becoming more familiar with the phenomena manifested by the gifted individuals possessing these wondrous powers; and more are coming to realize that these powers are really latent in all of the members of the human race, though lying dormant in the majority thereof, and may be unfolded and brought into active manifestation by scientific methods of training and development. But, even so, the student and teacher of this great subject should carefully bear in mind the important distinction above made between that which is “abnormal,” and that which is “supernormal”; and such should lose no opportunity in pointing out this important distinction whenever the subject arises in conversation or argument—for the propaganda of truth should be earnestly and vigorously pursued, in order that the world may be liberated from its chains of error.

The Naturalness of the Occult Powers

Returning to the subject considered in the opening paragraphs of this book, namely, t

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