Osty, Dr Eugene - Supernormal faculties in Man – Mme Jean Peyroutet explores the life and death of Lieutenant C
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty
Circumstances and, conditions.
On May 22nd, I put Mme C-, the sister-in-law of Lieut. C-, in presence of another metagnomic percipient in order to compare the number and quality of details that might be obtainable under such different conditions. The percipient selected was Mme Peyroutet, who was left in ignorance that I was bringing anyone to her till the time of the seance. All that she knew was that I should be with her at 3 p.m. on May 22nd.
Detail of the seance.
After the usual courtesies, I said, "You will tell me to-day about a relation of this lady." Mme C- and the percipient did not know each other, and had never met. According to her custom, Mme Peyroutet threw the raw white of an egg into a glass of water, and after a moment contemplated this little world of light and forms. She soon exclaimed:
"Why! I again see what I saw before your arrival. About an hour ago I was amusing myself by looking for the purpose of your experiment to-day, and I saw a dead soldier and a widow you want me to speak for the widow."
The relation towards whom we wished to direct her faculty was certainly the officer's widow; our intention was to verify what the percipient would say relative to the dead man in connection with a living person. Mme Peyroutet continued her metagnomic perceptions partly by looking in the glass of water, partly by manipulating the cards. (The reader being aware of what is under discussion, I shall give such censorship as may be necessary along with the narrative.)
"This widow lady has troubles . many troubles . . . there was the death . of a military man. . . . I see by her a son, a boy, who has been ill. (A boy five years old just recovering from whooping-cough.)
The dead soldier is sunburnt; chestnut hair . . The lower part of the face is wilful he had a beautiful smile which corrected the hardness of the chin. (Correct.)
He was not born in Paris there was water, the sea. (Coast of Brittany.)
His family was pious. He was brought up by religious persons or by priests, then in a place from which he was not allowed out. (His family was very religious. He was brought up in a clerical school and then in a special kind of military college.)
What changes he has had! Many travels; an active youth. (He went to Tunis in his eighteenth year.)
"He rode well. Oh, what gallops! (Much equitation, military service in the cavalry.)
"Now I see the form of a ship. He must have gone overseas. I see hammocks round him. Then I see a country with plains and heights; water. I see an 'M'; did the name of the country he went to begin with 'M'? He went about much there, and developed there. (In the second phase of the war he went by sea to join the Eastern Army; a long stay in Macedonia.)
Oh! he has been in battle, many battles ! He has often escaped death. (He took part in the war on the French front, then in the East from the beginning to the end.)
"He managed his affairs well. Before leaving his wife and child he arranged everything in writing. (Correct.)
When he died he had just come to another town; he came to a town where I see much water. (He fell ill and died on his arrival in Semendria on the Danube; the French Army had just passed through Serbia.)
" The notification of death took some time to arrive. He died abroad. It was almost a sudden death. His widow received the notification of death before hearing of his illness. (The notification reached the widow two months after the death, and she never heard of the illness.)
"Oh, what fever! . . . his head was affected . a congestion or something in the head. An operation was spoken of, but was not carried out. (The family had no details of the illness. The diagnosis was 'influenza with pulmonary congestion' : the word 'influenza' covers many uncertainties.)
"He was buried far away, where he died. (Correct.)
"He was robbed after his death." (None of his possessions reached his family. It was said that the Serbs took all he had.)
The rest of the seance had reference to the widow, the brother, sister-in-law then present.
Summary of results :
Characteristic details given by the percipient 40
Details verified as correct 37
Considered erroneous . 0
Two percipients have therefore given information describing the personality of Lieut. C-, in certain episodes of his life, and more particularly of his death ; the one by a letter written by him and without any possible mental suggestion by the experimenter, and the other by the presence of a relation of the deceased officer. In the latter case, as in other similar ones, transmission of thought suggests itself as the explanation. But the second experiment shows clearly that the metagnomic perception is practically the same when the experimenter is in complete ignorance of the personality delineated.