Observations placeholder

Heywood, Rosalind - The Infinite Hive - Using the Ouija board

Identifier

023039

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

No idea who they were communicating with - you never do know.

A description of the experience

Rosalind Heywood – The Infinite Hive

Forgotten knowledge can also emerge obliquely by means of an automatism. During the Second World War Theodora Bosanquet, at that time Literary Editor of Time and Tide, and I agreed that we would try to get some first-hand knowledge of automatisms by working a ouija board together once a week.

We assumed that what the pointer wrote originated in her sub-conscious or mine, but we also felt it conceivable that the two might collaborate telepathically. We did not take seriously the spiritualist explanation that the board's remarks came from an outside entity, although to carry on a conversation with a bit of wood with any zest one has to suspend criticism and dramatize to oneself that they do.

Theodora came in on the morning of VE Day, 1945, and, as usual, we asked the board what it wanted to talk about. The reply was prompt:

'The sixth noun in Hamlet '

Neither of us had the faintest recollection of what that was and we were thoroughly surprised when it turned out to be 'relief', in the sentence, 'For this relief much thanks'.

Apt enough for VE Day.

But what are the implications? Did one or both of us subconsciously remember Hamlet by heart? If so, why count up the nouns and bring the word to the surface in that circuitous way? Was it just to get past the censor, or were our subconscious selves, which usually treated our surface selves tolerantly as half-witted infants, having yet one more joke at their expense?

The source of the experience

Heywood, Rosalind

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Psychokinesis

Symbols

Science Items

Ouija board

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Believing in the spiritual world

Commonsteps

References