Harry Price – A scientific examination of Rudi Schneider – 08 Conclusions
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Rudi Schneider – A scientific examination of his mediumship, compiled by Harry Price (Honorary Director, National Laboratory of Psychical Research)
Some people will argue that when we saw a 'woman's arm', a 'white hand', etc., etc., it must have been that of a spirit. But we have no evidence for that assertion. It might have been some exteriorization of the medium's power (due to a natural law with which we are totally unacquainted) that produced the' pseudopods',' ideoplastics',' terminals', ' psychic emanations',' teleplasmic formations'-call them what we will.
But we did not obtain one shred of evidence that the limbs we saw once belonged to-or were part of-a sentient being who once walked this earth. I would cheerfully admit that we had had such evidence because the 'spirit hypothesis ' fits in so well with the observed facts.
But the reader might remark, 'Yes, that argument is all very well, but you admit that something “brushed past you", and " pulled your trouser-leg". What was it?'
True, what was it? That is why we hold these investigations. Some day we shall stumble across the laws that govern these phenomena, and our quest will be ended.
But I admit that the spirit theory is as good as any and forms a good working hypothesis. But we want proofs, not hypotheses. It has been often remarked, 'Why don't you seize the pseudopods when you see them?' Well, in the first place, assuming there is a nexus between the 'limb ' and the medium (and there must be some connexion), it is reasonable to suppose (as it is often alleged) that a sudden seizure of the limb would injure the unconscious medium in some way-perhaps seriously.
In any case such an act would at once destroy the medium's confidence (the vital, link between subject and investigator) in the controlling group and our experiments would come to an end.
These limbs have been often photographed with various mediums (though not under such stringent conditions), and doubtless we could employ photography with Rudi if we had him long enough. As a matter of fact, Dr. Eugene Osty, of Paris, has a chamber at his Institut which can be flooded with infra-red rays and instantaneous photographs taken in the dark. I am hoping that Rudi will visit the Institut Metapsychique in 1930.
Sometimes we are asked why we do not employ white light at our experiments instead of red. My answer to that is, 'Why don't we develop a photographic plate in the sunlight?'
Because we cannot!
But Rudi's phenomena have been produced in a good red light, and Willi Schneider's manifestations in a bright red light.
At the seance which Mr. Will Goldston attended the six indicator lights were so brilliant that, with the added illumination from the centre lamp, the sitters could be dimly, but distinctly seen. Some physical mediums (e.g. Frau Silbert and Anna Rasmussen) produce phenomena in the glare of sunlight or an arc lamp. It is all a matter of training, and I believe the objection to a white light is purely psychological. The same with the incessant talking; I am convinced that it is a product of bad training in the early days of the mediumship.