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Erwood, William Joseph

Category: Other spiritually gifted people

 

There is very little about William Joseph Erwood in biographical descriptions. 

There is A William Joseph Erwood who was born in 1874, in Illinois, to William Henry Parker Erwood and Honoria Isabelle Erwood (born Cody), but we have no evidence he was the same man. In fact, this may be entirely wrong, as Dr Green describes this William as being Irish.

William Joseph Erwood appears to have been raised a Catholic, but turned to the Spiritualist Church.  He died in 1947. 

Erwood wrote a number of books: –

  • Spiritualism and the Catholic Church (Philadelphia: W. J. Erwood, 1917);
  • Essentials of Psychic Development: Being Number Two of Lessons of Progress (now a Classic Reprint);
  • Consolation: A Message Of Comfort;  
  • Foregleams of Immortality: Being a message of hope [1910];
  • The Genesis of Happiness [1941]
  • The Living Thought [1909]
  • Mediumship: Its Use and Abuse (also now a Classic Reprint).

As well as a whole series of pamphlets entitled The Radiant Life Exponent of Radio-Centric Power, all of which came out around 1926 and 1927.

Battles with institutionalised religion

Erwood had endless battles with theologians of all sorts and suffered considerably as a consequence.  At the same time he was quick to recognise the hypocrisy of religions which accused him of ‘devilry’

 

Essentials of Psychic development – William Joseph Erwood

The theologian has been preaching of the soul. Yet he fears the Soul in action !

He trembles in the presence of the majesty of Spiritual Selfhood — of Cosmic Energy manifesting in human Consciousness.

Coadjutor of the Infinite — interpreter of the will of the Divine, as he has declared himself to be, he, nevertheless, falls upon his knees in fear and trembling, before the vision of the larger life!

He quakes in the presence of the illumined consciousness, and, forthwith, prays to the Heavenly Father to be delivered from the wiles of the Devil.


He was also quick to understand the objectives of these institutions

Essentials of Psychic development – William Joseph Erwood

Fear is born of ignorance! Keep the masses in ignorance and you keep them fearful; keep them fearful and you have made slaves of them — they are yours to do with as you will. This is a psychological law.  Knowing this, wily and subtle minions of the old school have sought to engender fear in the minds of the people. The reasons are obvious!


Gifts, generosity of spirit and kindness

What makes Erwood special is that he had extraordinary psychic ability, all of which appeared to be inherited, but which he developed further, eventually teaching others.  As you can see from the books, all aim to help people - teach them, console them, give them hope, comfort them.  And also, as you can see, he had no time for charlatans.

 

Essentials of Psychic development
Too often the student of "Psychic Force" is given to the assertion: "There is not a bit of Psychic Power in me," and, with this statement voiced, folds the hands in helplessness; for such the spirit of inertia waits.

It is a popular belief that but few of nature's children are endowed with Psychic Power. It is a belief which has its rise in the failure to understand the meaning of the word "Physic;" or in the confounding of this term with the word "Medium."

That there may be no misunderstanding let it be said that the word "Psychic" is taken from a Greek word meaning Soul. That stripped of all occult — or ambiguous meaning, the use of the term "Psychic Power" simply signifies one who is making use of the Soul, or Spiritual force which is as much a part of selfhood as is any one of the faculties, attributes or functions with which we have been endowed.
And further, let it be understood that, since the same general laws obtain in the being of each, every person must, of necessity, be the possessor of Psychic power. And that the greater, or lesser success in its use is simply a matter of unfoldment or use.

Unfoldment is to a great degree nothing more than the rational and consistent, as well as continued use of any given faculty — or number of faculties. This is just as true of the mental, or soul side of the man, as it is of the physical muscles. Individuals find themselves apparently devoid of active Psychic perceptions simply because they have ignored this side of their being. Thus the majority have only themselves to blame for the dullness of these finer senses.

 

Erwood did not develop his skills through ‘the long practice of austerity or meditation or controlled breathing’. Instead, they appeared spontaneously.

A believer in reincarnation, he felt that by age sixteen he had merely "come to himself." His psychic talents had been developed in another life, he felt, and as Will J. he was merely remembering some of his previous abilities.

Dr Elmer Green who became one of his students,  observed that he had unusual self-regulatory abilities. When he gashed his hand badly with a sharp kitchen knife, it healed completely in a few days, leaving no scar. His explanation was almost identical to that which is repeated over and over again on this website.  The body will do what you tell it, if you learn how to tell it. The way of telling it involves quietness plus a visualization of what you want the body to do.

Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green

I was studying physics rather than physiology, but there was no doubt in my mind that Will J. had unusual powers of physiological self-regulation. More significant to me, though, was his remarkable awareness of others.
Over the eight years in which he and I became very well acquainted, I began to suspect that unusual powers of control over normally involuntary physiological processes, such as self-healing, were accompanied by an awareness of normally unconscious psychological processes-awareness not only of oneself but of others, too. Dr. Erwood could go down a row of people in an audience and describe family members and events going back several generations.

 
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Dr Elmer Green described him in the 1930s as a cheerful, pink-cheeked, white-haired, blue-eyed Irishman of about medium height,  but somewhat more than medium weight, who was extremely psychic when he wanted to be. 

He nicknamed him ‘the Irish yogi’. 

At the time that Dr Green met him, Green was a student at the University of Minnesota and Erwood was running a study group on Eastern and Western approaches to self-awareness. 

 As Green later said  ‘I knew enough biology to know that the physiological controls Erwood demonstrated were not possible.  But he was doing them’.

Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green

In the fall of 1936, I moved to Minneapolis to enroll in the physics department at the University of Minnesota, with the thought that somehow this branch of science might be extended to include the elusive energies that in my mind were associated with telepathy. The world of classical physics proved dull after the heady mixture of theory and practice in self-awareness, however, and after a year and a half at school I was delighted to learn that the most impressive of all the teachers my mother had met in Duluth was moving to Minneapolis:

Dr. Will J. Erwood, had been a minister in the Spiritualist Church. That connection was terminated, he told me, after a sharp disagreement in church councils about psychic phenomena. His position was that such phenomena should be given secondary significance, with emphasis put on spiritual development.

After severing connections with the church, he traveled and lectured, as Arthur Green did, visiting many European countries and most of the United States. When Will J., as we called him, moved to Minneapolis in the fall of 1937, I joined his study group on Eastern and Western approaches to self-awareness. Meeting him was an event of major importance. He was jovial, friendly, and warm, and seemed to know more about me than I had ever disclosed to anyone, though that fact did not seem to threaten me.

And thereafter the clues fizzle out.  But this does not detract from the sheer kindness of the man or his abilities.

Hangryul

Essentials of Psychic development

This prejudice and fear [against those who have psychic powers] comes from the too general ignorance concerning human possibilities.

It is born of a general fear of forces that are not fully understood — a fear fostered by those who have been subservient to a blind faith which sees in everything, which does not come within its limited philosophy or scope, the working of a Satanic agency.

Such people have not learned that there is no force in nature which is not beneficent when rightly used; that there is nothing which is not malevolent when misused. That the evil comes in company with the ignorance of the underlying principle; and the good comes in the right application, or use, through the knowledge thereof.
Ignorance has given rise to the tendency to fall down in fear and trembling whenever some cloud, which has not before been observed, appears on the horizon of human consciousness.
From this fear has come the too generally prevalent practice of starting in alarm whenever we come within range of the cloud of Psychic Manifestations.

And this without knowing that this wave of Psychism is but the shadow of the Superman and the Superwoman.


 

 

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