Savage, Dr Minot Judson - Psychics : facts and theories – 10 The psychometrist relates facts only by holding a letter
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Psychics : facts and theories – M J Savage
There is a certain class of sensitives or psychics who claim to possess what is called psychometric power. Suppose it is a lady. She will take in her hand a letter, and, without reading a word of it or even looking at it, she receives from it certain impressions, which she states. Sometimes she goes into such detail as to the contents of the letter and the character and personality of the writer as is utterly impossible on any theory of guess-work. Neither, in my judgment, is it to be classed with clairvoyance; for she does not read the letter nor even seem to see the writer. These phenomena of psychometry seem to constitute a class by themselves.
At times it is not a letter that the lady holds in her hands, but any article or substance whatever. But in any case, the article so held appears to give impressions of so precise a nature that the psychic reads the story of its past, calls up distant persons and scenes — distant both in space and in time. In presence of such facts, one finds himself wondering if even inanimate nature — if any part of nature is inanimate — does not carry with it a record or memory of all that ever concerned it. But I will suppress any tendency to dream, and turn to my fact.
On a certain morning I visited a psychometrist. Several experiments were made. I will relate only one, as a good specimen of what has occurred in my presence more than once. The lady was not entranced or, so far as I could see, in any other than her normal condition.
I handed her a letter which I had recently received. She took it, and held it in her right hand, pressing it close, so as to come into as vital contact with it as possible. I had taken it out of its envelope, so that she might touch it more effectively, but it was not unfolded even so much as to give her an opportunity to see even the name. It was written by a man whom she had never seen, and of whom she had never heard.
After holding it a moment, she said, " This man is either a minister or a lawyer ; I cannot tell which. He is a man of a good deal more than usual intellectual power; and yet, he has never met with any such success in life as one would have expected, considering his natural ability. Something has happened to thwart him and interfere with his success. At the present time he is suffering with severe illness and mental depression. He has pain here (putting her hand to the back of her head, at the base of the brain)."
She said much more, describing the man as well as I could have done it myself. But I will quote no more, for I wish to let a few salient points stand in clear outline. These points I will number, for the sake of clearness : —
1. She tells me he is a man, though she has not even glanced at the letter.
2. She says he is either a minister or a lawyer; she cannot tell which. No wonder, for he was both; that is, he had preached for some years, then had left the pulpit, studied law, and at this time was not actively engaged in either profession.
3. She speaks of his great natural ability. This was true in a most marked degree.
4. But he had not succeeded as one would have expected. This again was strikingly true. Certain things had happened — which I do not feel at liberty to publish — which had broken off his career in the middle and made his short life seem abortive.
5. She says he is ill as he writes. At this very time he was at the house of a friend, suffering from a malarial attack, his business broken up, and his mind depressed by the thought of his life failure.
Now this lady did not know I had any such friend ; and of all these different facts about him, of course she knew absolutely nothing.
She did not read a word of the letter. But (note this carefully) even though she had read it all, it would have told her only the one fact that, as he wrote, he was not well. It contained not the slightest allusion to any of the others.
This case cannot be explained by clairvoyance, for the lady did not possess the power. Was it guess-work? One case might be so explained. But one does not guess after this fashion very often. So, as I put this case alongside the many others which I know, the guess theory becomes too improbable for one moment's serious consideration.