Tyndall, John – Science and the Spirits – 02 On automatic writing and mind reading
Type of Spiritual Experience
Automatic writing is described here. Notice how Tyndall belittles the probably simple chatter of a man,- who found he has this gift and is simply describing this to Tyndall thinking he is being helpful – by using the word ‘oracular’.
We then learn that the man can also read thoughts – not an unusual ability, but dependent on the mind being read being ‘open’ – co-operation between composers being essential. It is not possible to read the mind of someone who does not want to co-operate.
Let us assume for the moment, however, that Tyndall did not deliberately block his mind. Remember he had just said “who will proclaim your principles to the world from the housetop”. We know he was lying, furthermore we also know he considered the people to be idiots – what does one say having read this in someone’s mind?
Mr X appears – given he went red – to have suddenly picked this up, but he was too polite to say anything. He doesn’t get involved much in the following scenes and maybe this is why, he realises he is not only wasting his time, but is dealing with a very nasty man.
A description of the experience
SCIENCE AND THE "SPIRITS”
X. appeared to be a chosen spiritual agent, and told us many surprising things. He affirmed that, when he took a pen in his hand, an influence ran from his shoulder downward, and impelled him to write oracular sentences. I listened for a time, offering no observation.
"And now," continued X., "this power has so risen as to reveal to me the thoughts of others. Only this morning I told a friend what he was thinking of, and what he intended to do during the day."
Here, I thought, is something that can be at least tested. I said immediately to X:
“If you wish to win to your cause an apostle, who will proclaim your principles to the world from the housetop, tell me what I am now thinking of.”
X. reddened, and did not tell me my thought.