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Observations placeholder

Osty, Dr Eugene - Supernormal faculties in Man – Mlle de Berly diagnoses the illness of Jeanne M



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty

I here give some instances of the manner in which metagnomic subjects without medical knowledge describe pathological states.


On July 29th, 1920, I asked Mme Jeanne M., suffering from one of obscure affections of which accurate diagnosis seems impossible, and on which every consultant gives a different opinion, to write a few lines on a piece of paper.

She copied four lines from a newspaper on a leaf from a school exercise book and signed her first name-Jeanne.

Some hours later, at the end of a sitting directed to other researches, I put this paper into the hands of Mlle de Berly, a metagnomic subject in the waking state, only saying, " Look into the state of this person's health."

The writing was well formed and gave no graphological information which might indicate illness or physical or mental depression.

Mlle de Berly was not aware even of the existence of-this patient.

As soon as her eyes fell on the writing, and she had nervously crumpled the paper in her hands, she made some slightly convulsive movements, and without reflection or stop, without a word or gesture on my part, she said the following words, which I wrote down as dictated:

Diagnosis and prognosis

 “How feeble this person is everything about her is weak . . . what weakness. She must have fever from time to time, for I am thirsty. She falls asleep suddenly, but that does not last . she is weak, very weak . what a curious brain, heavy and-giddy I should think her used up whatever her age may be . .. her nervous system is exhausted . . . it is the blood that weakens all her organs . . there is illness of the blood, much water in the blood.

Her mouth is dry, she is very ill it varies, one thing brings on another . . an illness of exhaustion . she seems used up.

She has been long predisposed to illness . . has been incubating it a long time . her blood is not healthy. . . , An operation has already been made. . . unhealthy blood. .lassitude. . . an unusual weakening of the blood she makes starts, has some recuperative power, but it does not last.

She seems old . a used-up woman.

She is nervous sometimes, this makes her eccentric. . . . She complains of her stomach, her back, her abdomen. . . . I see that she has two children living.

The trouble is of long standing . . . her blood is vitiated . . . she is very impressionable. She sometimes finds it difficult to blow her nose . she is nervous . the bowels do not act . she tends to be infected . . . the whole organism is in a bad state . . she is difficult to prescribe for because many organs require attention. . Her water is rather loaded, thick and reddish . . . loss of phosphates exhausts her brain.

There are times when she seems about to die. . . . Her stomach is wrong . . . the abdominal organs are so weak that they do not act properly . . all by reason of the blood. She is near her end . . . the heart works with difficulty.

The whole illness comes from the heart and the stomach, from digestion, and above all from impure blood

She should have light massage of the abdomen . . strengthen her . . some depuratives . . . something to strengthen and purify . . . refreshing drinks . . disinfect her.

No poisons, they intoxicate her, she is liable to intoxication.

It is an organism hard to prescribe for, so many organs are defective.

Avoid tasking the kidneys, which are not strong. Alimentation is very necessary . . . she gets poisoned by trifles . . . she needs continual care . a long chair in the open air.

Great weakness of the heart, the nerves and the blood. . . tone up the heart gradually, that will lead to better functioning of the kidneys and other organs . . tone up the nerves and give the phosphates that are lost . tone up the blood.

She may be relieved, but not cured.

You can strengthen her . . . her life may be prolonged, but death will be premature in any case, independently of her present illness she is incubating another. The existing illness must first be treated, then look for the other.

In the future an operation will be suggested. . . . I wonder will she have cancer. . . . I see her living for some years still, but she is menaced by a cancerous affection . . the blood is predisposed to cancer as well as to tuberculosis. You may prolong life, but she is menaced by premature death.


What Mlle de B.- could have known before the seance. Nothing, absolutely nothing. She had no indication beyond my request, Look into the health of the person who wrote these lines, and four lines of writing which would convey no intimation of illness to a graphologist.

The content of my own thought at the beginning of the seance on the meta- gnomic indications. Mme M. was a woman of about fifty, in delicate health for many years. From 1919 there had been still further weakening. Many symptoms concurred to indicate neurasthenia-notable loss of appetite, very difficult digestion, sensation of cerebral emptiness, general exhaustion, necessitating long rest on a couch, cardiac attacks coming on suddenly, occasional improvements, anaemia, slight emaciation, the patient being constitutionally thin. The cause of the organic disturbance was never satisfactorily determined.

The various consultants who saw the woman considered the case one of neuropathic digestive trouble. No treatment succeeded in bettering the case. Strong tonics, strychnine especially [sic], increased the functional disorders, sometimes violently. AII suitable examinations were made without revealing the cause.

Everything that could reasonably be supposed applicable to the disease had been tried in vain. For my own part I thought it one of those unclassified affections of the nervous system restricting the output of nervous energy, due to impoverishment of the blood by reason of failure in the tissues generating red corpuscles; and I hoped that sooner or later some happier remedial measures or natural tendency to normality might restore Mme M.to her previous delicate health.

No reason for fatal prognosis existed, and no doctor had made any such. I knew, however, that more than twenty years previously she had had a surgical operation for uterine prolapsus.

 Comparison of the words of the subject with the actuality.

Mlle de B.- stated exactly the symptoms of the disease, according to the nature of her knowledge, expressing them in ordinary language. Given this simplicity in delineation it is to be remarked that the subject was able in a few minutes, and under the conditions stated, to sum up a very difficult pathological case which I mention because of its obscurity.

Whatever may have been the source whence the subject drew her unconscious information-whether from the thought of the distant patient, from my thoughts or from elsewhere, the fact is a fine instance of metanormal faculty.

But there is one part of the metagnomic information which has no reference to what I already knew, and diverged from my opinion. This is the precognition of the issue.

The sequel was as follows:

it should be compared with the words of the subject:

"From July 29th, 1920, the day of the seance, to June, 1921, Mme M.'s illness remained much the same, with alternating improvements and relapses, but on the whole neither better nor worse.

On June 14th, 1921, obstinate constipation, accompanied by local pain, led me to ask for a consultation with Surgeon T. His diagnosis was Neuropathic state, and much anaemia due to innutrition. His advice was to increase the nutrition fearlessly.

To have her under better observation he had her brought to his hospital. Radiograms only showed prolapse of the stomach and adhesion along the principal curve to the left iliac fossa. In view of the long duration of the case and the possibility of finding and remedying the cause, he proposed an operation. Mme M. refused and returned home.

From the first days of August the constipation became so severe and caused so much pain that the family decided to accept surgical aid, which alone held out hopes of avoiding the danger from prolonged arrest of nutrition.

Dr. T. operated August 19th, without much hope, the weakness of the patient rendering the operation risky. There was found: "Transverse colon prolapsed and adherent in its median part to the parietal peritoneum at the level of the pubis, duodenum thickened and nodulous to the touch. Some mesenteric ganglions somewhat enlarged. "

Dr. T. (like Mlle de B. a year previously) said, ' I wonder if there is cancerous infiltration from the duodenum? "

To give the patient a better chance and to shorten the operation, he made a second opening to the jejunum from the stomach. The whole abdomen was explored without anything more being discovered.

The immediate sequel was unhoped for. On August 20th and 21st, Mme M. was better, but during the 22nd, there was collapse and she died in a few hours.

The source of the experience

Osty, Dr Eugene

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