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Observations placeholder

Ossowiecki, Stefan - mixed envelopes give mixed messages



Type of Spiritual Experience


Too many bridges

A description of the experience

Mary Rose Barrington, Ian Stevenson and Zofia Weaver, A World in a Grain of Sand: The Clairvoyance of Stefan Ossowiecki,  2005.
The Formal Experiments  - Experiment 2- [reported by Richet 20th April]

Before my departure for Warsaw, Mme. A. de Noailles [Anna de Noailles was a celebrated poet] had sent me, to my home address in Paris, three envelopes (sealed up by gummed flaps, as with ordinary envelopes) opaque, containing a few lines in her own writing, all the contents being totally unknown to me. They are numbered 1, 2 and 3. On 19th April I show them to Ossowiecki, and he chooses No. 3, though telling me that he would not be able to do anything that evening. I put the three envelopes back in my briefcase, and next day, 20th April, I hand him back envelope No. 3.

Ossowiecki kneads the envelope feverishly for some time, without Geley or myself letting the envelope out of our sight. He knows that it is a letter from Mme. de Noailles, but he does not know her at all.

First he talks about Mme. de Noailles and gives various details about the conditions under which the letter was written, which on the whole are correct but do not go much further than the conjectures of any intelligent person.

The experiment was carried out in the presence of Mme. A, M. and Mme. Z (Mme. Z and Mme. A are sisters and Mme. A is Ossowiecki's fiancee), in their apartment at l'hotel d'Europe.

Three quarters of an hour passes. Ossowiecki spends the time kneading the envelope, which is still carefully sealed up [In a footnote Richet says he had taken the precaution of making ink marks over the flap of the envelope to be sure that it would not be possible for it to be opened and the ink marks realigned], while Geley and I kept our eyes on him and the envelope. Here is what Ossowiecki said, exactly as he spoke the words:

"There’s nothing here for me. [He means that there is no reference to him in the letter.] It is something by a very great French poet, it's something about nature. It is the inspiration of a great French poet. I should say it is Rostand.

Something from 'Chantecler.' When she speaks about 'Chantecler' she is writing something about the cockerel. There is an idea about light during the night. I see a great light during the night. Then Rostand with the beautiful poetry of 'Chantecler.’

All that is said very quickly; then, after a long silence, and prolonged kneading of the envelope, Ossowiecki says: "The mistake about myself happened because there is talk about me in one of the other letters. The letters were all kept together. But there is something else."

Here there is a long silence and prolonged effort. During this renewed squeezing of the envelope a small piece of the envelope is torn, the tear being about a centimeter in length. But this does not matter, because (1) nothing inside the envelope can be seen through this tiny opening, (2) nothing can be removed from it, (3) Ossowiecki never looks at the envelope: he seems to operate only through handling it and (a) the essentials have already been said before this small tear in the envelope was made.

After about another half-hour Ossowiecki says:

"The ideas about the night and the light come first, before you get the name of Rostand. There is still something (in this letter) there are some lines: two lines, a word with two lines below."

Then Ossowiecki gives back the envelope. It is intact, except for the tiny tear referred to. For the facsimile of this letter see below:

It is during the Night that it is good to believe in the Light.

Edmond Rostand

Verse to be found in Chantecler and spoken by the cockerel.

This was a splendid experiment, scrupulously reported in all its details, incomparable in its precision.

The source of the experience

Ossowiecki, Stefan

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