Patrick Proctor Alexander - Spiritualism: A Narrative with a Discussion – 07 The Spirit, in virtue of my remark, thought me a sensible man. Need I say that I returned the compliment, and thought it a sensible Spirit
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
SPIRITUALISM: A NARRATIVE WITH A DISCUSSION. BY PATRICK PROCTOR ALEXANDER, M.A.,
Just then there came upon the table five clearly pronounced raps. Hereupon arose a little excitement the desired signal, it seemed, was at last given ; and the murmur ran round the party : ‘Spirit wanting to communicate !’
Paper and pencil were at once got ; and in the modus detailed below, the following oracular deliverance was taken down from the series of raps upon the table :
‘You are a sensible man !’
‘Oh !' said the young lady next me, who had been acting as amanuensis to the Spirit; ‘that's you, you know ; it's in reference to the remark you made a little ago.'
At this I laughed a little, modestly deprecated any reference to myself in the matter, and asked how I was really to know that the compliment was for me intended.
' Oh !’ said Mr. Home, ‘ perhaps I may be able to satisfy you ;' and beginning from himself, he pointed his finger successively at each person of the party. When, after passing five or six, his finger came round to me, instantly the table rose and fell thrice under my hands, in an exceedingly marked and energetic manner. Of course there could be no further doubt : the Spirit, in virtue of my remark, thought me a sensible man. Need I say that I returned the compliment, and thought it a sensible Spirit?
* Five raps is the understood signal whereby a Spirit (supposed) signifies its presence and desire to communicate ; and as nearly every one present, except Dr. Findlater and myself, had before been at Seances of course it was at once recognised. The communication itself is thus obtained : — The alphabet is in some leisurely manner repeated : A — B — C, etc. When a particular letter is arrived at, three raps on the table — or risings of it, indifferently — as the understood sign of assent (yes), indicate it as that wanted : it is accordingly taken down ; and the alphabet being begun anew, a series of other letters is in the same way obtained, and noted. Two raps indicate the close of the communication ; and the word, or sentence, as it may be, is then readily deciphered and read out. Occasionally, on a rap coming between two letters, it maybe doubtful which is the one intended; and the alphabet is then begun over again. Commonly it is the last of the two letters which is found to be the one wanted ; as if the spirit, on the first occasion, had been, in its eagerness, anticipating. For the most part, the alphabet was repeated by Mr. Home ; but it was not essential that it should be so. Dr. Findlater requested to be allowed to repeat it instead. For a considerable time he did so ; and the result was quite as satisfactory as before.