Dr Eugene Osty – A Summary of Eighty séances around a single case history – 01 March 8th, 1916
Type of Spiritual Experience
We have provided this example in full as it shows how error in the interpretation of mediums can lead to great distress.
As Osty says ‘ All the kinds of error analysed will be found in it conjoined with real metagnomy. As it extended over more than eighty seances, from March 14th,1916, to April 13th, 1922, held by ten persons with eleven percipients, and as the complete record would make a large book, I shall abbreviate by taking extracts from the record of each seance, taking care not to diminish its evidential value more than can be helped. I was a witness of the whole of this long experiment, being fully informed after each seance; and also took an active part when circumstances permitted. I thank my excellent friend M. Louis M. for the permission to make public an episode which was the most painful in his whole life, for the sake of the instruction contained.
We think it is hepful to have the summary conclusions from Dr Osty first so that the following results can be read in context
This abbreviated summary gives only a slight idea of the psychological importance of this long series of experiments, with its abundant psychic output from many sources. It contains a very large amount of supernormal knowledge. The sensitives gave many descriptions of the scene of Lieut. Jean's wound that were unknown at the time, and afterwards verified.
They announced beforehand misleading news, which came; and other things.
They predicted to M. Louis M. different secondary matters in his life, which came to pass.
They predicted the changes in the military career of his second son, Pierre, and revealed the dawning love that he alone knew, and also his approaching marriage. (He was married at twenty-two, almost at the beginning of his medical courses.)
But all referring to the time after the wound of Lieut. Jean M. was a fabulation marvellously co-ordinated and adapted to the circumstances. I very willingly explain the genesis of this romance which started from a hope and went on for six years:
When M. Louis M. presented himself before M. de Fl., he was not quite certain of his son's death. No official notice had reached him. A bullet in the head is not always fatal, even though there may be the appearance of death for some time. This frail ray of hope in his subconscious thought must have passed to the sensitive and have influenced his mental representation. It will have been observed that the first metagnomic answer affirmed very little. But as soon as the hope became conscious, after this first revelation, M. Louis M. was in a state of mind apt to give stronger suggestion, and he presented himself the same afternoon to Mme M., a hypnotic subject particularly open to mental suggestion.
And from that time forth, his subconscious mental creations were reflected in the minds of all the sensitives employed.
All the information given was concordant and followed the same sequence. His subconsciousness imagined all possibilities regarding his son's return. Though he did not in person undertake the seances with the eleven sensitives employed, it was always he who furnished the intermediary objects, and he touched these. And on that account the sensitives behaved as they do when working on a person distant in space; that is, they acted as if M. M. were there present with the whole content of his thought. This supposition is supported by the fact that in all this long series of seances all the indications given by the sensitives were true except those which were contrary to the death of his son.
Whatever the explanation may be, there was an amazing fabulation on this last point. From which we must conclude: That the revelations made by metagnomic subjects are as concordant in the case of error as in the case of truth. That these subjects are psychic instruments particularly fitted to psychologists who study transmission of thought abundant stration of its verity.
A description of the experience
Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty
March 8th, 1916.
My friend M. Loes M., received from the Abbe Pavillard, chaplain To the 15th Infantry Division of the 8th corps, a letter nearly as follows: "I have the painful duty of informing you that you son, Jean, lieutenant in the 56th Regiment of Infantry, was wounded in the head by a bullet on February 24th, in the battle of Verdun. The Germans having occupied the ground, we could not bury his body, but death is, unhappily, certain."
In this state of mind M. Louis M. went on March 14th, 1916, to M. de Fl., a remarkable metagnomic subject in the waking state, whom he only knew by name, and to whom he was quite unknown. In the course of a delineation of his life, the subject said to him, no question having been asked:
" . . . I see one of your two sons seriously wounded in the war, in the forehead, on the right and across . perhaps also in the left shoulder. . . . I do not see death, perhaps he may be a prisoner? "
Amazed at this, as he had come in full conviction of the death of his son, M. M. could not shut out a ray of hope, especially as on thinking over the chaplain's letter he perceived that it only inferred death from the head-wound, and that his son had seemed dead. wishing to compare what M. de Fl. had said with what another subject might -say, he went, in the afternoon of the same day, to Mme M., who worked under hypnotism, put into her hands the last letter received from his son and asked her to speak of the actual life of the writer.
[It is-scarcely necessary to state that all seances were taken with scrupulous care that.the subjects should be in absolute ignorance of what they had to speak on. Their words were always taken down on the spot. M. M.,-instructed by me for several years on how to use these sensitives, always took all precautions to secure reliable results.]
"I see a young man of moderate height, dark hair, small moustache, a cicatrice behind his left ear. He has been wounded in the head. . . . I see his head bandaged, his brain injured. . .He will recover completely and will come back next summer."