Tyndall, John – Science and the Spirits – 08 Dubbed the Poet of Science
Type of Spiritual Experience
Is this man a scientist at all? Read this a few times “Again a period of conversation intervened, during which the spirits became animated. The evening was confessedly a dull one”.
The spirits were remarkably polite in the circumstances, although they clearly had a great time keeping him under the table for so long. The humiliation of being on your hands and knees like a small lap dog at the feet of the very ones you have not long before been somewhat ridiculing must have been a very soul elevating lesson for him - not that it did him any good, but I bet the seance participants enjoyed every minute of the 15 minutes he humbled himself.
The candid old A. was a lot more astute than Mr Tyndall gave him credit for “He has a right to look into the very dregs of it".
Tyndall does not seem to have quite understood the spirits dubbing him the "Poet of Science."
A person with a way with words who basically used his imagination to invent his results – which is quite an accusation if you think about it.
They are as good as saying he was a liar, a scientific fraud – and spirits should know.
A description of the experience
SCIENCE AND THE "SPIRITS”
Again a period of conversation intervened, during which the spirits became animated. The evening was confessedly a dull one, but matters appeared to brighten toward its close. The spirits were requested to spell the name by which I was known in the heavenly world. Our host commenced repeating the alphabet, and when he reached the letter "P" a knock was heard. He began again, and the spirits knocked at the letter “0."
I was puzzled, but waited for the end. The next letter knocked down was "E."
I laughed, and remarked that the spirits were going to make a poet of me. Admonished for my levity, I was informed that the frame of mind proper for the occasion ought to have been superinduced by a perusal of the Bible immediately before the seance. The spelling, however, went on, and sure enough I came out a poet.
But matters did not end here. Our host continued his repetition of the alphabet, and the next letter of the name proved to be "O." Here was manifestly an unfinished word; and the spirits were apparently in their most communicative mood. The knocks came from under the table, but no person present evinced the slightest desire to look under it. I asked whether I might go underneath; the permission was granted; so I crept under the table. Some tittered; but the candid old A. exclaimed, “He has a right to look into the very dregs of it, to convince himself."
Having pretty well assured myself that no sound could be produced under the table without its origin being revealed, I requested our host to continue his questions. He did so, but in vain. He adopted a tone of tender entreaty; but the "dear spirits" had become dumb dogs, and refused to be entreated. I continued under that table for at least a quarter of an hour, after which, with a feeling of despair as regards the prospects of humanity never before experienced, I regained my chair.
Once there, the spirits resumed their loquacity, and dubbed me "Poet of Science."
Spiritualism: A Narrative with a Discussion – Patrick Proctor Alexander
APPENDIX. Professor Tyndall 'on science and spirits: ‘
This point of Professor Tyndall's narrative seems to me to be the only one of any importance. Whilst a sentence about himself was being spelt out, it struck him as odd that, though ' the knocks came from under the table, no person present evinced the slightest desire to look under it.' He himself asked permission to do so ; and ' having pretty well assured himself that no sound could be produced under the table without its origin being revealed, he found that the communications instantly ceased.
So soon as, after a quarter of an hour of silence, he resumed his chair, the Spirits resumed their operations. This, as regards the Seance in question, seems certainly a little to discredit it : as regards that at which Dr. Findlater and I were present with Mr. Home, I have simply to set our experience against that of Professor Tyndall.
Mr, Home expressly asked me to go under the table: whilst there, I, as thoroughly as Professor Tyndall could do, assured myself that no sound could be produced under the table without its origin being revealed, and my experience was that the knocks above, etc. went on as vigorously as before. Subsequently Mr. Home even urged that at any moment any one entertaining suspicion, should instantly seek to satisfy himself by going again under the table ; and, without impeachment of the phenomena, Dr. Findlater and I did so.
Of course this experience is only good to ourselves, and for the particular case to which it refers ; but I must be excused if, to my own mind, it sufficiently disposes of the opposite experience of Professor Tyndall as bearing on the general question.