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Astral Form - Crookes work (part 2)

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Old April 13th 04, 12:05 PM
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Default Astral Form - Crookes work (part 2)

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In continuing my educational theme or lesson if you prefer on
MacDougall Space and the Astral form I would like to introduce you to
some work done by William Crookes who was a notable 19th century
Physicist and Chemist who made many scientific discoveries and whom
was not afraid to extend his researches into the "metaphysical"
Sir William Crookes who was knighted in 1874 by King Edward was the
first known scientist to prove by experiment that we survive the death
of our physical bodies. Crookes was attacked in the scientific press
by establishment shills who wanted to retain their power over the
peoples psyche. Even today through the controlled mass media at the
slightest provocation out come shills like Blackmore and Randi,
psychologist and magician know-it-alls so the media would have you
believe to shoot down and discredit even the work of Sir William
Crookes. Close examination of Blackmores book, Dying to Live, which is
her rebuttal of works like Crookes reveals a crass scientific
ineptitude that is easily uncovered as i will demonstrate. Most
scientific enquiry is done from without any bias but Blackmore starts
right off like that. She says,
"It is no wonder that we like to deny death. Whole religions are
based on that denial. Turn to religion and you may be assured of
eternal life."
She continues her preface with the bald faced lie,
"Of course, this comforting thought conflicts with science. Science
tells us that death is the end and, as so often, finds itself opposing
As a physicist I have to tell you that Blackmore is quite wrong,
neither man nor "science" has proven any such thing as she has
stipulated and for the record there is no conflict between "science"
and investigation even of this sort. Science is method, a process for
discovery and determination. It cannot oppose anything. Opposition
comes from within the researcher and nowhere else. And where is the
support for her claim that "science has refuted the findings of works
such as Crookes on this matter? She doesn't present anything testable
in this respect just some competing hypotheses such as the so called
"Invariance hypothesis" and her own drug experiences as if that will
substitute for full-on scientific rigor as may be found in the lab. I
don't think so Ms Blackmore.
Here's how pseudo-scientists pull the wool over your eyes, first set
up a straw man. For that they invent something which is conveniently
easy to knock down, in this case it is the so called "invariance
hypothesis". This is an invented rule which states that all near
death experiences or NDE's must be substantially the same. IE everyone
must pass through a tunnel with a bright white light at the end of it
or whatever. Then find some way to break the rule they invented in
regard of the main hypothesis. That would be Blackmore's own drug
experiences which are used to contradict the so called invariance
hypothesis. Get this, because people don't trip the same every time
they do drugs there is no such thing as the soul or continuance of
some such after death of the material body. Only a particularly bad
psychologist could come up with such a proof.

Now, firstly, who ever proved that drug trips are real NDE's and
secondly who proved that all NDE's must be the same? No one that's
who. The whole process as described is a sham, a trick much like a
magicians trick on a stage. For a better and more in depth critique of
Blackmores book see Greg Stones review of it. I wish now to get on to
the work of William Crookes. The reader should bear in mind that
Crookes was not the only scientist to investigate the "new force" or
what became known as the etheric and latterly the Iether

Researches into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism

(Two Worlds Publishing Co., 1904)

Experimental Investigation of a New Force

- - - Sir William Crookes -

First published in the "Quarterly Journal of Science", January 1st 1871

TWELVE MONTHS ago in this journal I wrote an article, which,
after expressing in the most emphatic manner my belief in
the occurrence, under certain circumstances, of phenomena
inexplicable by any known natural laws, I indicated several
tests which men of science had a right to demand before
giving credence to the genuineness of these phenomena. Among
the tests pointed out were, that a "delicately poised
balance should be moved under test conditions"; and that
some exhibition of power equivalent to so many "foot-pounds"
should be manifested in his laboratory, where the
experimentalists could weigh measure, and submit to it
proper tests." I said, too, that I could not promise to
enter fully into this subject, owing to the difficulties of
obtaining opportunities, and the numerous failures attending
the enquiry; moreover, that "the persons in whose presence
these phenomena take place are few in number, and
opportunities for experimenting with previously arranged
apparatus are rarer still."

Opportunities having since offered for pursuing the investigation, I
have gladly availed myself of them for applying to these phenomena
careful scientific testing experiments and I have thus arrived at
certain definite results which I think it right should be
published. These experiments appear conclusively to establish the
existence of a new force, in some unknown manner connected with the
human organization, which for convenience may be called the Psychic

Of all the persons endowed with a powerful development of this Psychic
Force, and who have been termed "mediums" upon quite another theory of
its origin, Mr. Daniel Douglas Home is the most remarkable, and it is
mainly owing to the many opportunities I have had of carrying on my
investigation in his presence that I am enabled to affirm so
conclusively the existence of this Force. The experiments I have tried
have been very numerous, but owing to our imperfect knowledge of the
conditions which favor or oppose the manifestations of this force, to
the apparently capricious manner in which it is exerted, and to the
fact that Mr. Home himself is subject to unaccountable ebbs and flows
of the force, it has but seldom happened that a result obtained on one
occasion could be subsequently confirmed and tested with apparatus
specially contrived for the purpose.

Among the remarkable phenomena which occur under Mr. Home's influence,
the most striking, as well as the most easily tested with scientific
accuracy, are - (1) the alteration in the weight of bodies, and (2)
the playing of tunes upon musical instruments (generally an accordion,
for convenience of portability) without direct human intervention,
under conditions rendering contact or connection with the keys
impossible. Not until I had witnessed these facts some half-dozen
times, and scrutinized them with all the critical acumen I possess,
did I become convinced of their objective reality. Still, desiring to
place the matter beyond the shadow of doubt, I invited Mr. Home on
several occasions to come to my own house, where, in the presence of a
few scientific enquirers, these phenomena could be submitted to
crucial experiments.

The meetings took place in the evening, in a large room lighted by
gas. The apparatus prepared for the purpose of testing the movements
of the accordion, consisted of a cage, formed of two wooden hoops,
respectively 1 foot 10 inches and 2 feet diameter, connected together
by 12 narrow laths, each 1 foot 10 inches long, so as to form a
drum-shaped frame, open at the top and bottom; round this 50 yards of
insulated copper wire were wound in 24 rounds, each being rather less
than an inch from its neighbour. The horizontal strands of wire were
then netted together firmly with string, so as to form meshes rather
less than 2 inches long by 1 inch high. The height of this cage was
such that it would just slip under my dining table, but be too close
to the top to allow of the hand being introduced into the interior, or
to admit of a foot being pushed underneath it. In another room were
two Grove's cells, wires being led from them into the dining room for
connection, if desirable, with the wires surrounding the cage.

The accordion was a new one, having been purchased by myself for the
purpose of these experiments at Wheatstone's, in Conduit
Street. Mr. Home had neither handled nor seen the instrument before
the commencement of the test experiments.

In another part of the room an apparatus was fitted up for
experimenting on the alterations in the weight of a body. It consisted
of a mahogany board, 36 inches long by 9 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch
thick. At each end a strip of mahogany 1 1/2 inches wide was screwed
on, forming feet. One end of the board rested on a firm table, whilst
the other end was supported by a spring balance hanging from a
substantial tripod stand. The balance was fitted with a
self-registering index, in such a manner that it would record the
maximum weight indicated by the pointer. The apparatus was adjusted so
that the mahogany board was horizontal, its foot resting flat on the
support. In this position its weight was 3 lbs., as marked by the
pointer of the balance.

Before Mr. Home entered the room the apparatus had been arranged in
position, and he had not even the object of some parts of it explained
before sitting down. It may, perhaps, be worth while to add, for the
purpose of anticipating some critical remarks which are likely to be
made, that in the afternoon I called for Mr. Home at his apartments,
and when there he suggested that, as he had to change his dress,
perhaps I should not object to continue our conversation in his
bedroom. I am, therefore, enabled to state positively, that no
machinery, apparatus, or contrivance of any sort was secreted about
his person.

The investigators present on the test occasion were an eminent
physicist, high in the ranks of the Royal Society, whom I will call
Dr. A. B.; a well-known Sergeant-at Law, whom I will call Sergeant
C. D.; my brother; and my chemical assistant.(1)

(1) It argues ill for the boasted freedom of opinion among scientific
men, that they have so long refused to institute a scientific
investigation into the existence and nature of facts asserted by
so many competent and credible witnesses, and which they are
freely invited to examine when and where they please. for my own
part, I too much value the pursuit of truth, and the discovery of
any new fact in nature, to avoid enquiry because it appears to
clash with prevailing opinions. But as I have no right to assume
that others are equally willing to do this, I refrain from
mentioning the names of my friends without their permission.

Mr. Home sat in a low easy chair at the side of the table. In front of
him under the table was the aforesaid cage, one of his legs being on
each side of it. I sat close to him on his left, and another observer
sat close to him on his right, the rest of the party being seated at
convenient distances round the table.

For the greater part of the evening, particularly when anything of
importance was proceeding, the observers on each side of Mr. Home kept
their feet respectively on his feet, so as to be able to detect his
slightest movement.

The temperature of the room varied from 68 degrees to 70 degrees F.

Mr. Home took the accordion between the thumb and middle finger of one
hand at the opposite end to the keys (to save repetition this will be
subsequently called "in the usual manner"). Having previously opened
the bass key myself, and the cage being drawn from under the table so
as just to allow the accordion to be pushed in with its key downwards,
it was pushed back as close as Mr. Home's arm would permit, but
without hiding his hand from those next to him .Very soon the
accordion was seen by those on each side to be waving about in a
somewhat curious manner; then sounds came from it, and finally several
notes were played in succession. Whilst this was going on my assistant
went under the table, and reported that the accordion was expanding
and contracting; at the same time it was seen that the hand of
Mr. Home by which it was held was quite still, his other hand resting
on the table.

Presently the accordion was seen by those on either side of Mr. Home
to move about, oscillating and going round and round the cage, and
playing at the same time. Dr. A. B. now looked under the table, and
said that Mr. Home's hand appeared quite still whilst the accordion I
was moving about emitting distinct sounds.

Mr. Home still holding the accordion in the usual manner in the cage,
his feet being held by those next him, and his other hand resting on
the table, we heard distinct and separate notes sounded in succession,
and then a simple air was played. As such a result could only have
been produced by the various keys of the instrument being acted upon
in harmonious succession, this was considered, by those present to be
a crucial experiment. But the sequel was still more striking, for
Mr. Home then removed his hand altogether from the accordion, taking
it quite out of the cage, and placed it in the hand of the person next
to him. The instrument then continued to play, no person touching it
and no band being near it.

I was now desirous of trying what would be the effect of passing the
battery current round the insulated wire of the cage, and my assistant
accordingly made the connection with the wires from the two Grove's
cells. Mr. Home again held the instrument inside the page in the same
manner as before, when it immediately sounded and moved about
vigorously. But whether the electric current passing round the cage
assisted the manifestation of force inside it, is impossible to say.

The accordion was now again taken without any visible touch from
Mr. Home's hand, which he removed from it entirely and placed upon the
table, where it was taken by the person next to him, and seen, as now
were both his hands, by all present. I and two of the others present
saw the accordion distinctly floating about inside the cage with no
visible support.

This was repeated a second time, after a short interval. Mr. Home
presently re-inserted his hand in the cage and again took hold of the
accordion. It then commenced to play, at first, chords and runs, and
afterwards a well-known sweet and plaintive melody, which was executed
perfectly in a very beautiful manner. Whilst this tune was being
played I grasped Mr. Home's arm, below the elbow, and gently slid my
hand down it until I touched the top of the accordion. He was not
moving a muscle. His other hand was on the table, visible to all, and
his feet were under the feet of those next to him.

Having met with such striking results in the experiments with the
accordion in the cage, we turned to the balance apparatus already
described. Mr. Home placed the tips of his fingers lightly on the
extreme end of the mahogany board, which was resting on the support,
whilst Dr. A. B. and myself sat, one on each side of it, watching for
any effect which might be produced. Almost immediately the pointer of
the balance was seen to descend. After a few seconds it rose
again. This movement was repeated several times, as if by successive
waves of the Psychic Force. The end of the board was observed to
oscillate slowly up and down during the experiment.

Mr. Home now of his own accord took a small hand-bell and a little
card match-box, which- happened to be near, and placed one under each
hand, to satisfy us, as he said, that he was not producing the
downward pressure. The very slow oscillation of the spring balance
became more marked, and Dr. A. B., watching the index, said that he
saw it descend to 6 1/2 lbs. The normal weight of the board as so
suspended being 3 lbs., the additional downward pull was therefore 3
1/2 lbs. On looking immediately afterwards at the automatic register,
we saw that the index had at one time descended as low as 9 lbs.,
showing, a maximum pull of 6 lbs. upon a board whose normal weight was
3 lbs.

In order to see whether it was possible to produce much effect on the
spring balance by pressure at the place where Mr. Home's fingers had
been, I stepped upon the table and stood on one foot at the end of the
board. Dr. A. B., who was observing the index of the balance, said
that the whole weight of my body (140 lbs.) so applied only sunk the
index 1 1/2 or 2 lbs. when I jerked up and down. Mr. Home had been
sitting in a low easy chair, and could not, therefore, had he tried
his utmost, have exerted any material influence on these results. I
need scarcely add that his feet as well as his hands were closely
guarded by all in the room.

This experiment appears to me more striking, if possible, than the one
with the accordion. As will be seen on referring to the cut , the
board was arranged perfectly horizontally, and it was particularly
noticed that Mr. Home's fingers were not at any time advanced more
than 1 1/2 inches from the extreme end, as shown by a pencil-mark,
which, with Dr. A. B.'s acquiescence, I made at the time. Now, the
wooden foot being also 1 1/2 inches wide, and resting flat on the
table, it is evident that no amount of pressure exerted within this
space of 1 1/2 inches could produce any action on the balance, Again,
it is also evident that when the end furthest from Mr. Home sank, the
board would turn on the further side of this foot as on a fulcrum. The
arrangement was consequently that of a see-saw, 36 inches in length,
the fulcrum being 1 1/2 inches from one end; were he, therefore, to
have exerted a downward pressure, it would have been in opposition to
the force which was causing the other end of the board to move down.

The slight downward pressure shown by the balance when I stood on the
board was owing probably to my foot extending beyond this fulcrum.

I have now given a plain, unvarnished statement of the facts from
copious notes written at the time the occurrences were taking place,
and copied out in full immediately after. Indeed, it would be fatal to
the object I have in view - that of urging the scientific
investigation of these phenomena - were I to exaggerate ever so
little; for although to my readers Dr. A. B. is at present represented
by incorporeal initials, to me the letters represent a power in the
scientific world that would certainly convict me if I were to prove an
untrustworthy narrator.

In the Quarterly Journal of Science, October 1st, 1871, the
illustrious investigator replied to the charges brought against him by
those who were not in agreement with his findings, and recorded a
series of further experiments. He wrote: When I first stated in this
journal that I was about to investigate the phenomena of so-called
Spiritualism, the announcement called forth universal expression of
approval. One said that my "statements deserved respectful
consideration"; another expressed "profound satisfaction that the
subject was about to be investigated by a man so thoroughly qualified
as," etc.; a third was "gratified to learn that the matter is now
receiving the attention of cool and clearheaded men of recognized
position in science"; a fourth asserted that "no one could doubt
Mr. Crookes' ability to conduct the investigation with rigid
philosophical impartiality"; and a fifth was good enough to tell its
readers that "if men like Mr. Crookes grapple with the subject, taking
nothing for granted until it is proved, we shall soon know how much to

These remarks, however, were written too hastily. It was taken for
granted by the writers that the results of my experiments would be in
accordance with their preconceptions. What they really desired was not
the truth, but an additional witness in favour of their own foregone
conclusions. When they found that the facts which that investigation
established could not be made to fit those opinions, why - "so much
the worse for the facts." They try to creep out of their own confident
recommendations of the enquiry by declaring that "Mr. Home is a clever
conjurer, who has duped us all." "Mr. Crookes might, with equal
propriety, examine the performances of an Indian juggler."
"Mr. Crookes must get better witnesses before he can be believed."
"The thing is too absurd to be treated seriously." "It is impossible,
and therefore can't be." (The quotation occurs to me - "I never said
it was possible, I only said it was true.")

"The observers have all been biologised(!) and fancy they saw things
occur which really never took place," etc., etc.

These remarks imply a curious oblivion of the very functions which the
scientific enquirer has to fulfill. I am scarcely surprised when the
objectors say that I have been deceived merely because they are
unconvinced without personal investigation, since the same
unscientific course of a priori argument has been opposed to all great
discoveries. When I am told that what I describe cannot be explained
in accordance with preconceived ideas of the laws of nature, the
objector really begs the very question at issue, and resorts to a mode
of reasoning which brings science to a standstill. The argument runs
in a vicious circle: we must not assert a fact till we know that it is
in accordance with the laws of nature, while our only knowledge of the
laws of nature must be based on an extensive observation of facts. If
a new fact seems to oppose what is called a law of nature, it does not
prove the asserted fact to be false, but only that we have not yet
ascertained all the laws of nature, or not learned them correctly.

I may at once answer one objection which has been made in several
quarters, viz., that my results would carry more weight had they been
tried a greater number of times, and with other persons besides
Mr. Home. The fact is, I have been working at the subject for two
years, and have found nine or ten different persons who possess
psychic power in more or less degree; but its development in
Mr. D. D. Home is so powerful, that, having satisfied myself by
careful experiments that the phenomena observed were genuine, I have,
merely as a matter of convenience, carried on my experiments with him,
in preference to working with others in whom the power existed in a
less striking degree. Most of the experiments I am about to describe,
however, have been tried with another person than Mr. Home, and in his

Before proceeding to relate my new experiments, I desire to say a few
words respecting those already described. The objection has been
raised that announcements of such magnitude should not be made on the
strength of one or two experiments hastily performed. I reply that the
conclusions were not arrived at hastily, nor on the results or two or
three experiments only. In my former paper (Quarterly Journal of
Science, page 340), I remarked: "Not until I had witnessed these facts
some half-dozen times, and scrutinized them with all the critical
acumen I possess, did I become convinced of their objective reality."
Before fitting up special apparatus for these experiments, I have seen
on five separate occasions, objects varying in weight from 25 to 100
lbs. temporarily influenced in such a manner, that I, and others
present, could with difficulty lift them from the floor. Wishing to
ascertain whether this was a physical fact, or merely due to a
vibration in the power of our own strength under the influence of
imagination, I tested with a weighing machine the phenomenon on two
subsequent occasions when I had an opportunity of meeting Mr. Home at
the house of a friend. On the first occasion, the increase of weight
was from 8 lbs. normally, to 36 lbs., 48 lbs., and 46 lbs., in three
successive experiments tried under strict scrutiny. On the second
occasion, tried about a fortnight after, in the presence of other
observers, I found the increase of weight to be from 8 lbs., to 23
lbs., 43 lbs., and 27 lbs., in three successive trials, varying the
conditions. As I had the entire management of the above mentioned
experimental trials, employed an instrument of great accuracy, and
took every care to exclude the possibility of the results being
influenced by trickery, I was not unprepared for a satisfactory result
when the fact was properly tested in my own laboratory. The meeting on
the occasion formerly described was, therefore, for the purpose of
confirming my previous observations by the application of crucial
tests, with carefully arranged apparatus of a still more delicate

He then proceeds to record further experiments with the medium
D. D. Home. On trying experiments (previously recorded) for the first
time, I thought that actual contact between Mr. Home's hands and the
suspended body whose weight was to be altered was essential to the
exhibition of the force; but I found afterwards that this was not a
necessary condition, and I therefore arranged my apparatus in the
following manner:

The accompanying cuts (Figs. 8, 9, 10) explain the arrangement. Fig. 8
is a general view, and Figs. 9 and 10 show the essential parts more in
detail. The reference letters are the same in each illustration. A B
is a mahogany board, 36 inches long by 9 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch
thick. It is suspended at the end, B, by a spring balance, C,
furnished with an automatic register, D. The balance is suspended from
a very firm tripod support, E.

The following piece of apparatus is not shown in the figures. To the
moving index, 0, of the spring balance, a fine steel point is
soldered, projecting horizontally outwards. In front of the balance,
and firmly fastened to it, is a grooved frame carrying a flat box
similar to the dark box of a photographic camera. This box is made to
travel by clock-work horizontally in front of the moving index, and it
contains a sheet of plate-glass which has been smoked over a
flame. The projecting steel point impresses a mark on this smoked
surface. If the balance is at rest, and the clock set going, the
result is a perfectly straight horizontal line. If the clock is
stopped and weights are placed on the end, B, of the board, the result
is a vertical line, whose length depends on the weight applied. If,
whilst the clock draws the plate along, the weight of the board (or
the tension on the balance) varies, the result is a curved line, from
which the tension in grains at any moment during the continuance of
the experiments can be calculated.

The instrument was capable of registering a diminution of the force of
gravitation as well as an increase; registrations of such a diminution
were frequently obtained. To avoid complication, however, I will only
here refer to in which an increase of gravitation was experienced.

The end, B, of the board being supported by the spring balance, the
end, A, is supported on a wooden strip, F, screwed across its lower
side and cut to a knife edge. This fulcrum rests on a firm and heavy
wooden stand, G H. On the board, exactly over the fulcrum, is placed a
large glass vessel filled with water, I. L is a massive iron stand,
furnished with an arm and ring, M N, in which rests a hemispherical
copper vessel perforated with several holes at the bottom.

The iron stand is two inches from the board, A B, and the arm and
copper vessel, M N, are so adjusted that the latter dips into the
water 1 1/2 inches, being 5 1/2 inches from the bottom of 1, and 2
inches from its circumference. Shaking or striking the arm, M, or the
vessel, N, produces no appreciable mechanical effect on the board, A
B, capable of affecting the balance. Dipping the hand to the fullest
extent into the water in N, does not produce the least appreciable
action on the balance.

As the mechanical transmission of power is by this means entirely cut
off between the copper vessel and the board, A B, the power of
muscular control is thereby completely eliminated.

For convenience I will divide the experiments into groups, 1, 2, 3,
etc., and I have selected one special instance in each to describe in
detail. Nothing, however, is mentioned which has not been repeated
more than once and in some cases verified, in Mr. Home's absence, with
another person possessing similar powers.

There was always ample light in the room where the experiments were
conducted (my own dining room) to see all that took place.

Experiment One: The apparatus having been properly adjusted before
Mr. Home entered the room, he was brought in, and asked to place his
fingers in the water in the copper vessel, N. He stood up and dipped
the tips of the fingers of his right hand in the water, his other hand
and his feet being held. When he said he felt a power, force, or
influence, proceeding from his hand, I set the clock going, and almost
immediately the end, B, of the board was seen to descend slowly and
remain down for about 10 seconds; it then descended a little further,
and afterwards rose to its normal height. It then descended again,
rose suddenly, gradually sunk for 17 seconds, and finally rose to its
normal height, where it remained till the experiment was
concluded. The lowest point marked on the glass was equivalent to a
direct pull of about 5,000 grains. The accompanying figure is a copy
of the curve traced on the glass.

Experiment Two: Contact through water having proved to be as effectual
as actual mechanical contact, I wished to see if the power or force
could affect the weight, either through other portions of the
apparatus or through the air. The glass vessel and iron stand, etc.,
were therefore removed, as an unnecessary complication, and Mr. Home's
hands were placed on the stand of the apparatus at P. A gentleman
present put his hand on Mr. Home's hands, and his foot on both
Mr. Home's feet, and I also watched him closely all the time. At the
proper moment the clock was again set going; the board descended and
rose in an irregular manner, the result being a curved tracing on the
glass, of which Fig. 12 is a copy.

Experiment Three: Mr. Home was now placed 1 foot from the board, A B,
on one side of it. His hands and feet were firmly grasped by a
bystander, and another tracing, of which Fig. 13 is a copy, was taken
on a moving glass plate.

Experiment Four: (Tried on an occasion when the power was stronger
than on the previous occasions). Mr. Home was now placed three feet
from the apparatus, his bands and feet being tightly held. The clock
was set going when he gave the word, and the end, B, of the board soon
descended and again rose in an irregular manner, as shown in Fig. 14.

The following series of experiments were tried with more delicate
apparatus, and with another person, a lady, Mr. Home being absent. As
the lady is a non-professional, I do not mention her name. She has,
however, consented to meet any scientific men whom I may introduce for
purposes of investigation.

A piece of thin parchment, A, Figs. 15 and 16, is stretched tightly
across a circular hoop of wood. B C is a light lever turning on D. At
the end, B, is a vertical needle point touching the membrane, A, and
at C is another needle point, projecting horizontally and touching a
smoked glass plate, E F. This glass plate is drawn along in the
direction, H G, by clockwork, K. The end, B, of the lever is weighted
so that it shall quickly follow the movements of the centre of the
disc, A. These movements are transmitted and recorded on the glass
plate, E F, by means of the lever and needle point, C. Holes are cut
in the side of the hoop to allow a free passage of air to the
underside of the membrane. The apparatus was well tested beforehand by
myself and others, to see that no shaking or jar on the table or
support would interfere with the results: the line traced by the
point, C, on the smoked glass was perfectly straight in spite of all
our attempts to influence the lever by shaking the stand or stamping
on the floor.

Experiment Five: Without having the object of the instrument explained
to her, the lady was brought into the room and asked to place her
fingers on the wooden stand at the points L M, Fig. 15. I then placed
my hands over hers to enable me to detect any conscious or unconscious
movement on her part. Presently percussive noises were heard on the
parchment, resembling the dropping of grains of sand on its
surface. At each percussion a fragment of graphite which I had placed
on the membrane was seen to be projected upwards about 1-50th of an
inch, and the end, C, of the lever moved slightly up and
down. Sometimes the sounds were as rapid as those from an
induction-coil, whilst at others they were more than a second
apart. Five or six tracings were taken, and in all cases a movement of
the end, C, of the lever was seen to have occurred with each vibration
of the membrane.

In some cases the lady's hands were not so near the membrane as L M,
but were at N O, Fig. 16.

The accompanying figure 11 gives tracings taken from the plates used
on these occasions.

Experiment Six: Having met with these results in Mr. Home's absence, I
was anxious to see what action would be produced on the instrument in
his presence. Accordingly I asked him to try, but without explaining
the instrument to him.

I grasped Mr. Home's right arm above the wrist and held his hand over
the membrane, about 10 inches from its surface, in the position shown
at P, Fig. 16. His other hand was held by a friend. After remaining in
this position for about half a minute, Mr. Home said he felt some
influence passing. I then set the clock going, and we all saw the
index, C, moving up and down. The movements were much slower than in
the former case, and were almost entirely unaccompanied by the
percussive, vibrations then noticed.

Figs. 18 and 19 show the curves produced on the glass on two of these

Figs. 17, 18, 19 are magnified.

These experiments confirm beyond doubt the conclusion at which I
arrived in my former paper, namely , the existence of a force
associated, in some manner not yet explained, with the human
organization, by which force increased weight is capable of being
imparted to solid bodies without physical contact. In the case of
Mr. Home, the development of this force varies enormously, not only
from week to week, but from hour to hour; on some occasions the force
is inappreciable by my tests for an hour or more, and then suddenly
reappears in great strength. It is capable of acting at a distance
from Mr. Home (not infrequently as far as two or three feet), but is
always strongest close to him.

Being firmly convinced that there could be no manifestation of one
form of force, without the corresponding expenditure of some other
form of force, I for a long time searched in vain for evidence of any
force or power being used up in the production of these results.

Now, however, having seen more of Mr. Home, I think I perceive, what
it is that this psychic force uses up for its development. In
employing the terms vital force, or nervous energy, I am aware that I
am employing words which convey very different significations to many
investigators; but after witnessing the painful state of nervous and
bodily prostration in which some of these experiments have left
Mr. Home - after seeing him lying in an almost fainting condition on
the floor, pale and speechless - I could scarcely doubt that the
evolution of psychic force is accompanied by a corresponding drain on
vital force.

I have ventured to give this new force the name of Psychic Force,
because of its manifest relationship to certain psychological
conditions, and because I was most desirous to avoid the foregone
conclusions implied in the title under which it has hitherto been
claimed as belonging to a province beyond the range of experiment and
argument. But having found that it is within the province of purely
scientific research, it is entitled to be known by a scientific name,
and I do not think a more appropriate one could have been selected.

To witness exhibitions of this force it is not necessary to have
access to known psychics. The force itself is probably possessed by
all human beings, although the individuals endowed with an
extraordinary amount of it are doubtless few. Within the last twelve
months I have met in private families five or six persons possessing a
sufficiently vigorous development to make me feel confident that
similar results might be produced through their means to those here
recorded, provided the experimentalist worked with more delicate
apparatus, capable of indicating a fraction of a grain instead of
recording pounds and ounces only.

As far as my other occupations will permit, I purpose to continue the
experiments in various forms, and I will report from time to time
their results. In the meanwhile I trust that others will be induced to
pursue the investigation in its scientific form. It should, however,
be understood that, equally with all other scientific experiments
these researches must be conducted in strict compliance with the
conditions under which the force is developed. As it is an
indispensable condition of experiments with frictional electricity
that the atmosphere should be free from excess of moisture, and that
no conducting medium should touch the instrument while the force is
being generated, so certain conditions are found to be essential to
the production and operation of the Psychic Force, and unless these
precautions are observed the experiments will fail. I am emphatic on
this point, because unreasonable objections have sometimes been made
to the Psychic Force that it is not developed under adverse condition
dictated by the experimentalist, who, nevertheless, would object to
conditions being imposed upon himself in the exhibition of any of his
own scientific results. But I may add that the conditions required are
very few, very reasonable, and in no way obstruct the most perfect
observation and the application of the most rigid and accurate tests.


Just before going to press I have received from my friend, Professor
Morton, an advance sheet of the Journal of the Franklin Institute,
containing some remarks on my last paper by Mr. Coleman Sellers, a
leading scientific engineer of the United States. The essence of his
criticism contained in the following quotation:

"On page 341 (of the Quarterly Journal of Science) we have given a
mahogany board 36 inches long by 9 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick,
with at each end a strip of mahogany 1 1/2 inches wide screwed on,
forming feet. This board was so placed as to rest with one end on the
table, the other suspended by a spring balance, and, so suspended, it
recorded a weight of 3 pounds; i.e., a mahogany board of the above
dimensions is shown to weigh 6 pounds - 3 pounds on the balance, and 3
pounds on the table. A mechanic used to handling wood wonders how this
may be. He looks through his limited library, and finds that
scientific men tell him that such a board should weigh about 13 1/2
pounds. Did Mr. Crookes make this board himself, or did Mr. Home
furnish it as one of his pieces of apparatus?... It would have been
more satisfactory if Mr. Crookes had stated, in regard to this board,
who made it... Let it be discovered that the 6 pound mahogany board
was furnished by Mr. Home, and the experiments will not be so

My experiments must indeed be convincing if so accomplished a
mechanician as Mr. Coleman Sellers can find no worse fault with them
than is expressed in the comments I have quoted. He writes in so
matter-of-fact a manner, and deals so plausibly with dimensions and
weights, that most persons would take it for granted that I really had
committed the egregious blunder he points out.

Will it be believed, therefore, that my mahogany board does weigh only
6 pounds? Four separate balances in my own house tell me so, and my
greengrocer confirms the fact.

It is easy to perceive into what errors a "mechanic" may fall when he
relies for practical knowledge on his "limited library," instead of
appealing to actual experiment.

I am sorry I cannot inform Mr. Sellers who made my mahogany board. It
has been in my possession about sixteen years; it was originally cut
off a length in a wood-yard; it became the stand of a spectrum camera,
and as such is described with a cut in the Journal of the Photographic
Society for January 21, 1856 (vol. II page 293). It has since done
temporary duty in the arrangement of various pieces of apparatus in my
physical laboratory, and was selected for these particular experiments
owing to its shape being more convenient than that of other available
pieces of wood.

But is it seriously expected that I should answer such a question as
"Did Mr. Home furnish the board?" Will not my critics give me credit
for the possession of some amount of common sense?



iQA/AwUBP8EZgcBO8F5oxeKZEQInhQCgxzVR7twAuqyiEy3jrwl883 AgENcAoM0O


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