From the Bow of the Ship
If you wish a successful life’s voyage to the end, maintain that attitude which prompted your ambition to travel.
A Study of a Point of View and an Argument relative to the old, but ever vital Question of Immortality and God.
Selections from volume 1 of the series of conversation between a certain Philosopher and an Atheistic Scientists
JOSEPH A. SADONY
Valley of the Pines, Montague, Michigan
Printed and Published at
The Valley Press
First Edition of the Fifth
PINE TREE BOOKLET
BY THE VALLEY PRESS
The Month of March 1924
“Man is only one second in a million years. How can he talk about even the twelve thousand since the stone age? What does he know, with an experience of three score and ten? Blindfold a man; take him around the world; open his eyes for one second while crossing the desert: then ask him to tell you about the world. He will fight with his life to uphold an argument based on his opinion and experience of that one second. Is this not absurd?
(The Philosopher, Part II)
“I uplift Humanity,” exclaims the Scientist, “I build walls for them to walk between. I make rules for them to live by. I discover facts and form conclusions. I am known by all the literary people, in fact by all the world. I will die with a medal upon my breast.” “Yes, you are the flower,” the Philosopher replies softly, “the flower, which falls. I work in the darkness, in the silence, unknown: a worm working among the roots. And when I die, I will live in the hearts of my people. It is my people who read your reports. Your followers have roots beneath the soil in which I work. I represent these roots which grow and live, even in the winter.”
SCIENTIST — Why do you believe in God, and what proof have you to offer? What proof have you, tangible to reason?
PHILOSOPHER — My dear friend, what tangible proof can you offer me that reason and logic are facts?
SCIENTIST — None other than the result of comparison, of cause and effect.
PHILOSOPHER — Then, dear friend, answer me why the tender little shoots of a flower, and the blossoms themselves, constantly turn toward the sun — and why the faded little flower that has been kept in darkness, colorless and weak, will, as soon as placed in the sunlight, blush with all the colors of its parents.
SCIENTIST — That is very easily answered. The actinic rays have power to alter the chemical reflection through the prismatic law, as well as with its growth.
PHILOSOPHER — But does this answer how the power is transferred, and how it is possible for the plant to absorb? Why cannot an inert object have the same power? What understanding is there between the plant and the sun, and what affinity do they bear?
SCIENTIST — No more than the Law of Nature, and of Life.
PHILOSOPHER — But, my friend, what is Life? And what is the Law of Nature which will cause this plant to thrive, to adapt itself to circumstances in order to exist? What is the power that is so insistent as to cause it to exist, and to know when it is time to blossom? What power is there in Nature which designates the period of its maturity? If it the natural law, what governs this natural law if not the hand of some force that clothes each living organism in its own particular woven cloth with a law of understanding that it represents just what its Creator designated.
Can you, with your science, create one living cell that will reproduce itself? When you behold the wonders of this self creative force, be it fermentation or the propagation of species, the predominating life in each cell throws its own particular shadow which is the body you behold. If you are pure in spirit, morally virtuous, your body will give evidence of the fact. And if my soul has beheld the sun of Eternity, it too will blush with all the colors of the God of Creation. It also will be strengthened, and faced with its blossom of Immortality — hence will create its shadow, man’s spiritual sentiments and moral principles.
This is one reason why I believe in God. My second reason is, there is nothing else to believe in all existence that is more gratifying to the human senses, than to believe in perfection, regardless of what point of concentration it may be. There is no belief which carries more power with it for good, for the uplifting and building of science, character, the human race, and love. There is no subject which will better tear the film from the eyes of man, to behold the truth more sincerely, than the belief that we have some goal, the reward of faithfulness to true principles which have been tested for two thousand years and are still scattering fragrance, beauty, and power.
That is my second reason, because to believe that there is no evolution to perfection, is but to subsist upon your own flesh and blood. And when the little life within your make-up has been digested, you go back to earth from whence you came, with no monument of efforts made to perpetuate your honor of existence: — and like the tiny plant in the darkness, you are not carrying out the mission for which you were created, and are not recording the beautiful colors and fragrance from all-life-giving power, the Sun………
Show me a man who is happy in the belief of a non-existing Creator, and I will show you a man whose mind has been running full speed without a governor of natural reason.
Analyze the make-up of all the greatest men in existence. Though you may say they are past and gone, nevertheless the echo of their deeds fills every man with admiration. You will find that their belief was in a God, which illuminated their efforts with the seven prismatic colors of virtue, honor, integrity, unselfishness, love, adoration and benevolence: filling them with courage to dare to uphold their spiritual sentiments, even in the face of Death. They need no proof, except to feel that their souls have received the warmth of a love from their Creator. Therefore, friend, what have you to offer?
SCIENTIST — If there be a God, or a Divine Law of Justice, why does it permit innocent little children to suffer injury and destruction, through the elements, (and lower animals), all of which supposedly are governed by a God, or Divinity.
PHILOSOPHER — I will reply with a question. My friend, in whose care was the little child placed? Was it the lack of love and responsibility, or neglect, which deprived it of its life? — of which, by the way, it was as yet entirely ignorant: so that presumably, had it acquired one day of understanding, there would have been one day of knowledge lost. Would there have been any loss at all? — When this acquired knowledge was but a reflection of truth which still exists. And if this child had been neglected, could not the situation be compared to that of those living in some arid country, and who have not provided a receptacle to catch and store the precious rainfall which soon returns from whence it came: causing untold agony, but teaching survival as a lesson in self preservation… Therefore the loss (?) of the child (who must not have been given love or valuation) has left its impression upon many, under a law of compensation.
SCIENTIST — Then let me approach you from another angle. You believe in immortality, do you not?
PHILOSOPHER — I do believe, because to me it is knowledge.
SCIENTIST — Why, then, do not our loved ones return, as evidence, after passing over the border — thus proving immortality beyond a doubt?
PHILOSOPHER — Before I reply let me ask you if you have ever visited the school of education from which you graduated after receiving the schooling of your boyhood world? Have you returned to your classes to show what success you have attained since passing out of that world of study?
SCIENTIST — No, I have not. Why should I — when I have acquired all the knowledge there was for me to obtain?
PHILOSOPHER — True, but may not your departed loved ones make the same reply after having been freed from this mortal prison? A river has its mission and personality, and carries within its bosom its burden, to level and cleanse. But what becomes of this personality when it deposits its burden into the bed of the ocean, and mingles with its waters?
SCIENTIST — It is difficult to reply to this in terms of science, because science does not recognize what it does not know. But I will ask further, Why is evidence of a God withheld, when it means so much to mankind?
PHILOSOPHER — We seem to be meeting questions with questions, my friend, which proves either your secret agreement with me, or that your science is indeed the shadow whereof my spiritual philosophy is the substance. But why do withhold that susceptibility which links facts with faith? And why do you expose the film of your mind and understanding only at night, instead of in the broad light of reason and logic?
SCIENTIST — Indeed, I claim to do what you just now ask me why I do not do. Perhaps that which is day to me is night to you. But if all that you say is true, then why are we not enlightened at once, or spontaneously, instead of with all this waste of time.
PHILOSOPHER — Really, my friend, I must pause a moment to say that while you are consistent with your principles in asking Why, you in part deny yourself when speaking thus of a waste of time. In former conversations you have admitted that evolution, or the natural course of things, whatever that may be, is beyond our private control and wills. What is this, then, that is beyond our private wills? It must be something. It is a law, as you have sometimes suggested yourself? If you still hold to your belief in natural cause and effect, you would not call it “luck”, or “chance”, or a “Miracle”. I realize that you will not recognize it if you can not experience it, or experiment with it. But have you tried? Man is only one second in a million years. How can he talk about even the twelve thousand since the stone age? What does he know with the experience of three score and ten? Blindfold a man; take him around the world; open his eyes for one second while crossing the desert: then ask him to tell you about the world. He will fight with his life to uphold an argument based on his opinion and experience of that one second. Is this not absurd?
And you speak of a waste of time. All things have a cause, you say. Why not then a purpose?
Is it a waste of time that we sleep, or that we build a house upon shifting sands, so that others may behold the result of our mistakes, carelessness, and indiscretion? Is not a painful, arduous labor of love a pleasure and blessing? Is not that which is difficult to obtain, valued and appreciated the more, because of an additional effort to possess it — with value added because of its rarity? In fine, is there such a thing as time? An have you ever stopped to consider what an embryotic and insignificant mental organization we are, to assume to question the magnitude of this great law, when its cycles have been revolving twelve thousand years only, since our stone age brethren? Compare this length of evolution with your acquired knowledge of four score and ten. It is true, we admit our superior mentality, and that we have evolved to a more perfect complexity. Hence, in spite of your opinion, and because of your effort to see Knowledge, you have become more emblematic of that God you seek to deny. What really does your few years of knowledge amount to, compared with the great scheme of life to which you are not even one grain of sand, who presumes to question the Creator of your being. You might better question that you exist at all, and try to prove it either way.
SCIENTIST — Nevertheless, I must speak as I feel. Your argument is such that I have no reply. In my heart I am not convinced. It is a pretty dream that I would like to believe. But to me, God, Love and Spirit, are merely words.
PHILOSOPHER — So be it, my friend. You are then as empty of truth as those words are to you. Words have but the value that our mental conception places upon them. We can create no more than our mental timber can produce. Water your most precious rose- bush with the most ill-smelling water, and it will still reward you with the most exquisite perfume. It can only absorb that which it recognizes, a reflection, or the affinity of itself. Likewise with evidence of the existence of a God to a Christian, who may be watered by filth, hypocrisy, sensuality, refuse, and even death, but will see them not: still will reward you by kindness, unselfishness, charity and love, because they are God’s roses, without thorns.
PHILOSOPHER — Does not the belief in a God have more tendency than any other belief to encourage a society of human beings to create a fraternal bond of friendship, which naturally leads to harmonious competition, and active development towards the arts and sciences? The more minds, the more new faculties are discovered to evolve: proving again by that longing for companionship, that there are many members that are all striving to form into one body — as many drops of water, but one ocean.
If it is impossible to annihilate matter, how can one annihilate that which controls matter by mingling with and through it, as a medium of control such as the human mind. Surely the essence of power is greater, as with the shepherd and his flock.
Why do we hope for immortality, and all try to deny the existence of God, if there is not some cause for this natural opinion? What is it within our make-up that longs to live, and dreads to die?
SCIENTIST — If there be a subconscious mind that knows all, why does it not teach us of immortality?
PHILOSOPHER — Perhaps it does, and we are not aware of its code. We have no record in our memory by means of which to make a comparison with the new order of things. How can it acquaint us with this new condition, if we do not know its first principle? How would we be able to converse with the inhabitants of other planets, unless each teach the other one principle, one law, one alphabet. Were I to request you to play a sheet of music, and the instrument upon which you intended to interpret the same had but three keys, could you interpret my melody? Upon your feigning to do so would I be justified in saying that you were not able to play it — or could you, because of your incomplete instrument, say “It is not a true melody”? The missing string represents the key of comparison.
If harmony be the natural growth of perfection, it is not logical to believe that at every testing, in every known system, spiritual or otherwise, we find the most gratifying mental peace, security, faith and love, in the belief in God, Christ and Immortality.
Has any atheist ever offered any idea or order of things that brings to humanity that peace of mind, that heart-felt want of the continuation of loved ones? Or does he actually believe that a half-circle is complete? Still I doubt if there is any man in existence without a conscience. If so, however, then there is a possibility of an honest atheist.
Has not an intellectual architect, or sane builder, a greater purpose in the building of a superb mansion than just to let it decay after it is complete? Does he not expect some reaction for his labors and efforts? It has given him pleasure to build it, but greater pleasure to live within the fruits of his labor: as it is with the building of the human race — and when complete, to live within that mansion not built with human hands.
SCIENTIST — Well, let us suppose for the moment that there is a soul of immortality existing within a body which dies. If the soul has been divested of its temple, how can it exist, or be shaped into its individual personality?
PHILOSOPHER — Let me ask you, have you ever considered the protozoans — that when their condition of existence becomes unfavorable, and the waters evaporate, the amoeba dries up and shrinks, a condition resembling death? Should it receive no moisture in this condition, it could not retain its life of activity. But let it be placed in water many days later, and it will once more take up its active duties, as heretofore. Where then was its “mentality”? Under what conditions its life? What awakens its “memory” into activity? Is it “brain-cells”? — the storage batteries of thought, which cease their activity for want of fluid? Is it like the individual flavor of apricots, prunes, and dried fruits in general, that may be revived by the addition of water? If so, are its active elements, which constitute the active elements of thought, material elements created by blood and food? And if true, what attraction of power creats this involuntary process between one affinity and another? If the cell therefore be inactive, could not the life still be active elsewhere, and return at the call of its active affinity? — as would be the case with an electric magnet, or armature. When a switch has been turned off, the magnet fails to attract the armature, the current being active elsewhere. And as the current is once more turned on, it will produce the power of attraction.
But, in turn, let us suppose there be no immortality. As the human efforts are toward perfection and survival, then we are still subject to that law. And there is no food with more nutrition, no water that more quickly quenches the thirst, than belief in the blossom of the hereafter, the crowning efforts of mortal man’s achievement. Therefore, whether you believe in the things after we ourselves have passed away, or not, and yet have lived in that unselfish expectation of the future generations, then you still believe in the immortality of achievements.
So, dear friend, if you are unable to give anything that bears strength in the support of the argument as an atheist, and if you are not able to construct that which will give credit to human efforts, why is it necessary to vainly attempt to destroy or remove that light which enlightens the believer in God? Their joy in their belief, your agnosticism and aggressiveness in yours, sufficiently proves who has reached the heights of truth, contentment and perfection. In trying to prove immortality with the help of material science, we fail entirely. But in proving and demonstrating science from a spiritual stand-point, we find success. And this in itself proves which of the two include the other, and is therefore the Bow of the Ship that explores the Truth.
If you are in doubt of Immortality, try to cultivate self-control and adaptability, so that no matter what death may offer you, you will profit even though you find nothing: for then you have at least given mankind a good example how to be happy on earth — providing you seek happiness.
THE HUMAN RADIO
THE HUMAN RADIO
by Joseph A. Sadony [1877-1960]
“A brief study of certain possibilities of the human mind and the nature of modern prophecy in the light of the opinion and experience of Joseph A. Sadony.”
Valley of the Pines,
The Valley Press, 1924
God has given us the most wonderful Human Radio, and sent us a living example in the sacrifice of the Master, whose delicate, tender vital organs Mankind did destroy upon a Cross where God did attach a golden antenna to span the Universe, from whence messages of love and sacrifice were broadcasted – and not alone the Past, but the entire future.
- Joseph A. Sadony.
I believe that it is an honor to live, and a greater honor to carry out inborn ideals, be they what they may. Judas, in the act of betraying Christ, entered the hall of Immortal names walking parallel with Jesus. He is the Night were all evil is hidden. Christ is the Light of the World. Still, if there were no night of evil, of what use would be the Master’s blessing? In this is the complete memory which tells us to pray – not for prayer alone, but that we may tune in our spiritual radios to receive the silent whispers of the Universe, which will inspire us to edify ourselves that the Human Race may become one happy Family, – living under the law of creation in our younger days, and the spiritual life of a Philosopher in our declining years, after the fire of Life has been rid of its smoke, the warm embers of love remaining.
- Joseph A. Sadony.
Most of us think of a “Prophet” and the “spirit of prophecy” as a thing of the past. If we should ask a modern business man whether Prophets lived today, he might smile. Yet he is himself a “Prophet” or he would not be a successful business man.
The fault lies in association of thought and emotion about a word, such as “Prophet”, and an idea, such as “Prophecy”, which originally rotted themselves in the soil of a religion fertilized by superstition and blind unreasoning faith.
The man of today might prefer the term “Seer”, for his encyclopedia tells him that a “Seer, in the sense in which all antiquity believed in them, is simply a man who sees what others cannot see, whether of public or private interest” – whereas the Prophet is “an organ of Jehovah’s Kingship over His people…..”
The spirit of prophecy in the light of today retains the idea of foreseeing, (prevision), of foretelling, (prediction), but is stripped of Mystery and fanaticism. It is as free as the air we breathe, and not the reward exclusively of long struggling and ridiculous self-torture.
Call it a “Hunch”, an “Inspiration” – what you please. It is a “feeling in your bones”, whether based on experience amassed subconsciously through years of effort, or utterly without foundation of reason and logic. It is the “Intuition” which has evolved from animal Instinct, through knowledge in man, to itself as the mark of the “superman” that we may each become. It is to quote Mr. Sadony, “that law which governs crystallization in minerals, a law of individuality which governs instinct, the milestone of distinct species in animals: character and personality in man….”
Each generation brings its greater Prophets. We call them “men of foresight”, and speak of their deep insight into this and that – which is sufficient. They do not all cry out to the multitude. They may prophesy by their endeavors. They may materialize their own visions before others think to reap the fruit of what is possible, therefore inevitable if human progress is a fact.
We each tend to prophesy within boundaries familiar to our ambition. Our scope measures our prophecy. “I don’t believe it will rain today,” we state. “I wonder if…..” and then we forget the conclusion of our own thoughts.
A genius in any line confines his thought and efforts to the field of his interest. He specializes. He speaks with authority of past and present, which entitles him to “expectations” that are no less than predictions.
A Prophet to all would need be practiced in every trade, familiar with every tool, experienced in each phase of life.
False prophets are many. Thirst for gain or fame carries them out of bounds on wings of an imagination nourished by vanity but not governed by reason.
The essential thread of mankind has not changed. Intelligence of the past was transformed into beauty and jewels, instead of mechanical achievements. The Egyptians erected pyramids and preserved their dead instead of conquering the air. The Chinese studied stars and made delicate instruments of ivory, instead of harnessing steam in an engine. The age of specialization had not yet come. A man was a man; if a “scientist” he was likely also a “priest”; if he thought at all, he was a “philosopher”. Life as a whole was unified by that attitude which, being the “cause” of religion, was essentially religious.
Born on the crest of each wave of thought are its own prophets. Early interest was national, religious, militant. The spokesmen prophesied wars, the fate of nations, the wrath of a God. Later interest was individual, industrial, scientific. There was reaction against war and a revengeful God. Prophecy concerned itself with individual desire, needs, ambitions, with political and business ventures, scientific discoveries; it was in terms of love, happiness, peace, a state of mind and manner of living symbolized in “paradise” rather than “falling cities”……..
The astronomy of early China gave birth to astrologers that were punished with death for a mistaken prophecy. Astronomy today reveals prophets of eclipses, of comets, of all stellar movement according to known laws. And prophecy implies rather than prohibits such a knowledge of determined laws, be they of mathematics, Nature, or human nature.
A physician is consulted. By application of knowledge to his observations he diagnoses the present, deduces the past, and foresees likely developments which to the extent of his ability he controls. Without this insight into present and past, with its resultant foresight, he would fail in his profession.
Success in any line of endeavor is evidence of the conscious or unconscious use of this “power”, be it what it may. In fact, the test of the prophet is in achievement. A false prophet will have “words” without works.
So it is not difficult to find the true prophets. Edison made a business of organizing the fulfillment of “prophecies” on a large scale. The Wright brothers, Bell, Marconi – each a prophet in his own way. Then we find the “Business Prophets”, whose vision leads them to promote plans that determine the future condition of thousands of employees. Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, in fact every millionaire who did not inherit his money, are all Prophets.
Artists and authors strive to imprison their visions in pictures, symbols, words. Musicians and dramatists anticipate the trend of human emotions and often think themselves to be molding it, whereas they are merely the slaves.
An adequate study of living prophets would necessitate a catalogue of human endeavors, which in an age of specialization would be a tremendous task.
Our point is made. To those who have not understood the nature of Mr. Sadony’s work, we wish to say that whereas another might choose electricity, one of the sciences or arts, business or politics, Mr. Sadony has chosen as his field of labor, the human being which includes them all. His studies have been the human mind with all its attributes, human nature, human emotions, strengths, failings, possibilities and limitations. He has explored the human heart in all phases of life. He has equipped himself by experience with a knowledge of every tool and endeavor. He has undergone all sorrows, joys, as well as tortures to which the flesh is heir, that he might see and feel the needs of others. And he has investigated every line of thought and belief in the freedom of being identified with none.
For thirty years, without exacting compensation of any kind, Mr. Sadony has devoted his life to the solving of human problems.
In this, his chosen field, have this insight and foresight applied themselves. And that we, his friends, might better understand a certain result that we have questioned, he has permitted this booklet to be prepared, in which we quote, from letters, observations and accounts, a brief glimpse of the great amount of evidence on hand that the mind is indeed a human radio, that thoughts are things, and that the “spirit of prophecy”, far from being a thing of the dead past, is a vital activity of the human soul, expressing itself in all human endeavors as orderly and unmistakably as instinct in the perpetuation and preservation of animal species.
Mr. Sadony applied his theories not alone to others but to himself. That they “worked” was a matter of great moment to those who sought his advice.
He did find the sane solution of life and happiness in the world. Twenty years ago he set out to demonstrate that a man could build himself a “paradise on earth” with nothing but the desire to do so. His own desire for seclusion on a little eighty acre farm, near a large body of water, with a hill and valley, a winding stream, a grove of virgin pine, was so clearly formed as to convince him that it was the shadow of a reality that existed.
He sent forth a description. The place was found, but was not for sale. “It belongs to me!” he declared. And circumstances of the owners soon resulted in a reasonable sale. But it required all that he possessed. Then, without money, and as a labor of love, he built his paradise, The Valley of the Pines.
The world soon beat a path to his door. He continued his work of advising, without charge, the many thousands that wrote or came to him. His correspondence became so heavy at last that he was forced to select a little “flock”, over which he watched more closely, keeping in touch with them through correspondence. This “little flock” contained two thousand families in five hundred towns, in forty-three states and twenty-six foreign countries. Hundreds traveled long distances to talk with him. Still he found time to labor, and at the end of seventeen years felt that he had sufficiently demonstrated what a man could do with “nothing”, and that it was time to apply his theory to “business” for the better support of his family, as well as those whom he desired to help through charity.
His Valley was now a miniature kingdom, equipped with every tool, convenience and need. He had made a machine to form concrete blocks with which he built a laboratory for experiment in many fields; a studio for his correspondence, library and collection of curios; and a little home for his mother.
So at length he allowed himself to become known in a business way: first as “Consulting Efficiency Expert”, and then as “Advising Promoter and Consulting Executive” – not a sacrifice of his chosen work, but that he might better carry out his purpose among those in need.
The field of interest in a work of such scope, is unlimited. The subject in question, however, is “prophecy.” This includes with foresight, an insight into present and past, as well as that sensitivity of the mind which might be discussed in terms of “psychometry”, or “telepathy”, but finds more perfect illustration in its own counterpart and creation, the Radio” all thoughts that ever were or will be.
After thorough investigation extending over a long period of years, the evidence at hand has been found undeniable. The brief records to follow have been selected from unpublished records containing hundreds of cases in all details. But we agree with Mr. Sadony, that predictions, in themselves, whatever the comfort to an individual, are after all of less importance than that attitude or philosophy of life of which his foresight, success and mode of living are but the fruits.
My philosophy is not new. It is but the true inspiration of the prophets of old: for I do prophesy things that are to come. And if I am able to do so, then I must live in the future in order to bring it back today.
Our “knowledge” began in the past, by the accumulation of timber as material to compare with these things that happen each day. But that inspiration which every child of God can acquire, has been, is, and will continue to be in the very air we breathe. It is recorded as the rippling sands upon the sea-shore, which give evidence that there have been waves as sculptors; and when you see the waves, they tell you that they are sculptors at work, doing what they have done centuries ago, and will continue so to do.
- Joseph A. Sadony.
THE HUMAN RADIO
EXTRACTS FROM AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT
BY JOSEPH A. SADONY
Many thousands of people have asked about my work; have demanded an explanation of it, with admission or refutation of the many things that they have heard; have sought some intelligible “cause” or “means” to account for the effects and results which they are forced to admit, with or without hesitancy, that they have observed.
To these I am always glad to reply, because of their friendship, because of their most evident sincerity: in short, because they seek, ask, and knock at my door.
I have no desire to convince anyone of anything, I have nothing to say from my front door-step. But upon hearing a knock I hold open my door. To the voice of a friend or stranger, I can do naught but reply, “Come in.” Beyond this each must judge for himself, as I have judged, as others have judged.
That I have “found something” I do not deny. That the majority of people in this world have “not as yet found it”, cannot be denied. But that “it” is the heritage and flowering of mankind, the result of evolution; that each of you “possess it”, even “uses it”, with our without being aware of the fact; that it is yours for “possession” and “use” for the asking, and a simple observance of nature’s most evident laws – I do claim.
It is quite evident that I have a “house” of some sort. You may examine it if you wish. I did build it myself. So let us go back a step…..
I have lumber….. But let us go back another step.
I have a tree…… Let us go back still further.
I have a seed.
My house is proof of the seed. My lumber is evidence that I did chop down a tree; the tree that I found and planted a seed.
Would you enjoy such a house? If so “go do ye likewise.” Do you seek happiness, prosperity, security – in fact, Success?
Come dine with me then. This is my bread, my water. We are like children? We seem happy? We have all that makes for pleasure and for comfort?
Then here is a seed. Have patience.
Here is an axe…. Persevere.
Do you forget how to laugh? Is it so hard to be a child? Is it so difficult to have faith?….
We are electrical dynamos. The nerves are the wires which carry the impulse. The blood in the arteries is the iron core which induces the magnetism which we call love, or attraction.
Our ambition is the voltage of pressure; our endurance the amperes or volume; our circumstances the rheostat, and the soul within us the engineer or master. Everything depends upon the use that we make of this dynamo.
And surely one master engineer can read the indicators, voltage and amperes of any other mechanism. It is easy to understand, when one has mastered these little “mysteries”. But the uninitiated cannot understand the power of electricity. The real source is still a mystery. Wireless telegraphy proved still less comprehensible to the world at large; and even in the face of its general usage, its evolution to the radio was generally considered an impossible dream.
And yet, today we have the radio. It is regarded with little more emotion than the telephone, still it is a “miracle”.
People marvel at the possibilities of sensing thoughts in the air, but they will play with these radios, hearing music a thousand miles away. Is not the mind which created this radio which is able to receive vibrations from such a distance, greater than the radio which is but a creation or one possibly of its power?
We can conceive of nothing that has not its seed, reflection or possibility within ourselves. Every machine in existence is fundamentally a still and crude reproduction of some part of the human make-up, some combination of muscles, some faculty of body or mind.
The radio is but the outward echo of one facet of the human mind. As the radio develops we will not only hear but see, as can the sensitized mind.
We are Human Radios, the most sensitive, delicate, and perfect Radios conceivable, the perfect model from which all future improvements upon the electrical and mechanical radio will be derived. If this were not so, the radio would not be in existence. We can create or materialize nothing of which we do not ourselves consist. An invention is the manifestation and therefore absolute evidence of the existence of a thought – the thought, or that which is the seed or cause of the thought, giving it birth in accordance with definite laws.
Man, with all his ingenuity and constructiveness can discover nothing new. He merely conforms with a law already in existence for centuries. His sensibility of mind has but absorbed the radiance of existing truth, and this seems to astonish those less informed………
Let us suppose that you were to ask me for a certain flower that you had seen in Europe. If I have but three varieties, you will be unable to demonstrate the beauty of the one you have in mind. But if I have many kinds of flowers, you will likely be able to make a comparison that will convey your idea.
The process is similar to seeking the wavelength of a wireless impulse with a tuning coil. It is this same variation that gives us classical music, that gives us figures in mathematics, with rules and short methods. The more figures, experimental instruments, and acquired knowledge one possesses, the broader the scope of possible comparison.
Another stranger comes to me. He asks that I describe his father. The description is recorded in his mind, and if I have registered one thousand faces, there will be one among these that impresses me strangely. It is the addition of his mental picture that gives me this description as nearly as possible like the one in his mind, the registered picture that was his father.
These things were all clear to me very early in life, and I could demonstrate and prove them. But there was one thing that long remained half a problem, and that was how to predict. For in my own experience, the difference between past and future was that I appeared to get the information of the past through my mind, as in inductive thought, while in predicting it seemed as if I were in the future coming back, (deductive thought,) and with it a sort of reverential awe, a kind of ecstasy as if just returning from a grand concert, or a beautiful garden filled with music, color and perfume – a peculiar feeling akin to that caused by opium or morphine, as nearly as I could understand it. Once felt, it is always craved. But whereas drugs destroyed in reaction, this seemed to strengthen, giving greater endurance, greater power, greater precision and command…..
All religions embody good and have bettered the world. There are two factors, faith and science; two rules, and both are evidently right. Is it expecting too much that religion and science together create a third principle, resulting in the transformation of the world into one human family of many children, each to his own? With science to preserve order by eliminating fraud and trickery, there would be no fear of judging the innocent as guilty.
As man in inclined toward superstition, he naturally falls an easy prey to those clever enough to deceive his eye. In fact some of the brightest minds of the 19th and 20th centuries have been completely deceived in this way.
The possibility of our loved ones returning after having passed away, or at least of sending us some message, cannot be doubted. But it is the unreliability of the method used to receive these messages, as well as the unreliability of the person receiving them, which gives rise to a question. The truth is often exaggerated, and the open-minded victim easily duped…..
My faith in a supreme fountain-head of truth not only makes me more susceptible to its influence, and open to conviction of cause and effect, but cautions me to incorporate reason and logic with the possibility that my judgment may demand in the building of my mansions; it warns me to endow the framework with strength, as well as to adorn it with beauty; to preach and to practice; to love and help live; to acquire knowledge and shape it, the better to understand: as an inspiration toward that fountain-head of all wisdom whence we came, and toward which we travel.
With my understanding, and viewpoint, I could well afford to wait until my forty-seventh year before allowing my work to be revealed, with its results – without mercenary motive: simply regarding the milestones which have led me thus far on my journey through life. If I have found it worthwhile practically, the same principles may be applied to others traveling my way. With this point in view, have these facts been recorded.
And if you travel my way, finding my methods agreeable, you bathe in the same pool, and drink from the same brook. If not, then one of us is out of step, and cannot dine with the same appetite at the same table!….
“I realized when quite young that the ready response in my make-up was due to having crated a harp of experience, so I set myself about the perfecting of this. Each trade acquired, each tool or instrument mastered, added so many more strings to this harp, enabling me to give an opinion based upon absolute knowledge. And as I continued to add to this supply of “strings”, I found a quicker responses when seeking knowledge by intuition, and a correspondingly easier understanding of knowledge acquired only thru transference of thought.”……
“One cannot reach for an object to which he is not entitled. Our imagination governed by reason, is the forecast of future events, if we but understand, or make the effort…..”
“I have found that it is not always my predictions that really count, through they may convince one of the various methods by which nature unfolds her secrets……”
“I hope all my friends understand that it is impossible for me to have the radio-receiver of my brain always open to every calamity that may happen. I am human and I may be asleep and tired, just long enough to prevent warning my own son against being killed. What right have I to demand a protection exclusively for mine, when others have sacrificed in this world and have not received it?….”
I see a beautiful woman thoughtless of the morrow. That tomorrow tells me of her disfigurement, while she unconsciously smiles away her opportunities, and society bids me be silent.
“I see a sleek banker whose fate tells me that it is waiting only for ‘tomorrow’ to wrest from his hands his wealth, his wife, his friends.
“Today I see youth in full vigor and hope. At his side disease casting dice with death…..
“A friend reaches out his hand to me with a smile on his face. I long to love and to trust him. He does not know that I see a dagger in his hand, and that I already feel the spot that it will enter.
“This is the price of the human radio. But, it is a bargain, for when all pay the price, at last, brotherhood is thrown in as well as ‘Peace on Earth,’ – and paradise found again, for Thought, which is the root and seed of all growth, may not be hidden; and, thrown to the sun, night weeds will die…..”
“If I say to you, ‘You will be killed if you walk one block north,’ and you should fail to walk one block north, thus saving your life, has my prediction failed?”…….
“I know there are some things in the future that we should not know just yet. Our minds cannot comprehend them, so why use up mental vitality trying to analyze a problem too complex for our present implements.”……..
“I have often been asked about the market quotations. ‘What am I going to do tomorrow?’ etc, but these things do not interest me. They are momentary. There is not profit in that. It is the big thing. ‘What MUST I do to succeed,’ that counts. It is not the raw, uncooked food, but a table spread with which I am concerned: not the idle ‘What time is it?’ – but ‘Is this the hour of my death?’ This puts me ‘in bad’ with some of my business friends, until they know me and my subtle system of power, that he who wills, shall, or he would not be able to will. For we are lost by the words of fools, and find our way by the prattling of babes……”
The mental and emotional foundation of all humanity was shaken by the world war. And in regaining its equilibrium, it most naturally groped for spiritual truth. But in reaction it swung to the other extreme. In its blindness it was too ready to throw down the truth as exemplified by the past master-minds, rushing from place to place, seeking an easy religion governed by selfishness, hypocrisy and superstition – the curse of mankind. What the eye sees not, the ear must hear. Where outward senses fail to recognize, reason must find a solution. All faculties must work in unison, and science must corroborate the truth of religion, and vice versa, if the mystic triangle, our only rigid form, is to stand for truth.
I have found the power of prophesy by hard labor, and shall use it to help those in need.
- Joseph A. Sadony
“…… If I give you to eat of any bread, which will sustain you, then shall my predictions come to pass in every detail. For it is expected that if I am your mental physician, and predict certain events, that you have followed my instructions. And if you do not, my clothes would not fit you.
“All the things that I have predicted to you are as certain and possible as the embryo of an egg if it is worth the while to keep it in warmth in order to give it birth.”
Mr. Sadony’s correspondence and experience afford absolute evidence, with hundreds of affidavits and witnesses of certain powers or possibilities of the human mind. An exhaustive study of this evidence, or anything like a systematic weaving of phenomena with theory, would fill several volumes. In a booklet we can hardly more than touch upon a few typical cases that show the nature of our omissions. These have been selected promiscuously, just as they have been found, and as they have come, to give a better understanding of “the timber to the building.” They are but a few out of thousands that have been verified. It will be understood that the confidence of personal friends removes their cases from consideration. Furthermore the identity has been concealed in the majority of cases from which it has been considered permissible to quote.
The material at hand arranges itself in several main divisions which prove, respectively, the possibility,
I: of correct character, delineation of those unseen and previously unknown, as well as acquaintances.
II: correct sensing of thoughts or conditions “between the lines”, (psychometrically, intuitively, or clairvoyantly).
III: Correct reading of past.
IV: Correct sensing of names, facts and intelligible messages from the deceased. “Air Messages”, as Mr. Sadony has called them.
V: Fulfillment of prophecies. a. intuitive, b. scientific, c. suggestive.
VI: Warnings (and results), both positive and negative, (with ample evidence of the result of failure to follow advice.)
VII: Mechanical intuition (sensing of conditions of inanimate objects such as machines, with diagnosis and repair of troubles.) In this section also has been classed a sensing of the whereabouts of inanimate objects. And
VIII:, clairvoyant or clairaudient knowledge of conditions and events transpiring at the moment, but at great distances. With a
IXth section to include the more subtle manifestations such as unconscious preparation with a purpose that revealed itself afterwards, perhaps months or years later. And a
Xth to include all those special and more remarkable cases not found in the preceding nine divisions.
No attempt has been made to adhere strictly to this classification in selecting the following examples. The average “case” in all its details contains evidence applying to as many as six of these categories. The bulk of all cases applies to section V, the “Fulfillment of Prophecies.”
As for section I, to quote from one or two letters is to echo hundreds of the same kind that have been received.
CASE 443 – Letter 7257 – “Your deductions regarding my character, disposition, and business activity are decidedly accurate, consequently your suggestions for future possibilities have set me thinking very seriously….. Your deductions from the handwriting I enclosed describe the character of each individual exactly – you could hardly have been more correct had you know each man personally….. You perhaps will remember having told my wife at that time (a year ago) that she would gain 16 pounds in weight in August. Well, you surely told her correctly, for she weights about 23 pounds more now. (September), she is expecting an ‘arrival’ about four weeks from now…. I am still with the same firm, with the exception that one of the partners left and went in business for himself, just as you predicted to me some time ago….”
CASE 192 – Letter 1624 – “After receiving your letters I took inventory of myself and found that your deductions concerning my affairs and myself were far more accurate than I could have given myself. This was somewhat astonishing to me, you being a perfect stranger….”
In section 3, likewise, the citing of one or two letters gives the substance of hundreds.
CASE 180 – Letter 1440 – “What you told us concerning the past is positively true. It is beyond our comprehension to understand how you could bring forth the statements made.” (A.J.D., Supt. E. Public School and M.R.)
CASE 170 – Letter 1267 – “You will remember that when I had the talk with you, you did not make any predictions in regard to the future, but you told me matters that had happened in the past.” (NOTE: This man’s life was due to end in eight or nine years. There was nothing to prophesy of note, except his death, of which Mr. S. did warn his daughter later. He did, however, predict a preliminary illness from which he would fully recover in spite of medical opinion. This came to pass. Then came his death as foreseen.)
In reference to section IV, it might be explained that while writing letters, Mr. Sadony often senses names in connection with thoughts that “come to him.” Our manner of accounting for this does not alter the fact. Nor is the fact of importance to Mr. Sadony except in identifying the thought with the correspondent, or as a “milestone” which assures him that he is on the right track.
CASE 127 – “Your letter of — was read with much interest, especially as I can verify the names you mention, my father’s name is Arthur, and I have a sister who is named Charlotte. The other Dorothy probably refers to a cousin of mine. We recall an incident of 18 or 20 years ago, to which I believe you refer….”
CASE 128 – Mr. Sadony wrote, “On picking up your letter I cannot help sensing or feeling that I am in a store of some kind, where there are cookies, perhaps some groceries, ham, or preserves, and that has all come through the hard efforts of Edward, Andrew, or Ed…..”
Reply: “…. In the first paragraph you sensed in some way that we had a store, and certainly nobody could ever be more surprised than I. Yes, we have had a store for many years…. My father’s name is Andrew….”
CASE 166 – Mr. S. wrote, “in reading between the lines there appears much of which I would not write at the present, because I wish to be certain that these thoughts come from you. For in their trend appears the name of ‘Roy’, and at the same time ‘Will’. What can they have to do from a mechanical point of view?”
Reply: Yes, my son-in-law is an inventor – has a grinder he is trying to put on the market…. My sons are all mechanical too, – work for the American Railway Express Co., and my husband works for the Cadillac Motor Co. Tell me what he is going to do… and tell me about Roy, is he well?….”
CASE 215 – The verdict you render on my question of the ‘aircraft’ patent was quite gratefully received. You ask, ‘By the way, what had John to do with this? Or Agnes with you?’ John is my father’s name, and my sister’s name is Agnes. Both are interested in this stock.”
CASE 248 – From Mr. Sadony’s letter, “…. But tell me, what is this light or flame he looks into? For he seems to be a hard worker, which has made him nervous and unstrung. It seems almost as if he walked a path similar to Oscar, or was it David?… etc. …. he seems to take after his mother as much as Ellen (I believe) when she was a little girl….”
Reply: “…. we are in doubt of the names Oscar or David, unless it might be relatives in Norway….. Ellen, as you mentioned is a sister to his mother. They resembled one another very much. You ask what light or flame my husband looks into. He is a watch-maker by trade…..”
CASE 307 may bring a smile. “Now as for Robert, I hardly know what to say as I have no relatives by that name. My father’s name was Robert when he was a little boy – but he changed it to B— later. Then, too, mother said she had an uncle whose name was Robert. These two are the only two Roberts whom I know of…..”
CASE 311 – (Extract from letter 5107) “… That afternoon that we had the talk together, you said that after I got home there would be letter for me from Chicago from a heavy thick man by the name of J. John, you thought, and that at first he wouldn’t have any use for me, but afterwards would get to like me, and through him I would get a good job in March. But before that you said I would have two other offers which I would take but wouldn’t keep. Well, it all came to pass within a day or so from the time you predicted, except that the man’s name is Jeremiah instead of John. You said I was to sail a big boat successfully, which I did; and that I was to have a little girl born to me. I’ve got that too….” (Capt. M.)
CASE 337 – “You have given a true description of my character…. You ask me if I know a Jennie. They used to call me Jennie until I reached the age of twelve….”
CASE 459 – (Typical of many.) “You asked if there were not four in my family. If I am counted in, yes.”
CASE 624 – A letter was received on plain paper from a stranger. “What is the peculiar lotion and perfumes that you so often handle, and peroxide of hydrogen and muriatic acid,” wrote Mr. Sadony. The reply was written on a letter-head of the “Hair shop” owned by the writer.
CASE 662 – Mr. S. wrote, “… Then comes the thought – (omitted) – and then your thought of an Arthur L. But, realizing as you do what might be said, I would rather be silent…. (Three paragraphs of details here omitted). And here again the name of Arthur appears, and shuts off the thoughts, as it were. Surely this party lives? If so what has he to do with you? And why the secrecy of thought? At any rate I cannot quite grasp the meaning of it….”
Reply: “… I found your letter thoroughly interesting and in many ways clear and easy to understand. The Arthur L. mentioned is my husband from whom I have been entirely separated for more than — years, and surely this explains clearly your inability to see the picture distinctly concerning him….”
CASE 752 – “…. By the way, have you ever done any work for a hardware house, or something of that sort? It appears rather vividly to me….”
“Yes, my work now is in the hardware line.”
CASE 275 – “…. I cannot help sensing an elderly gentlemen, who, while at work, used a peculiar hammer and chisel, whom you take after, as well as a younger man who is named after him. The name appears to be George…. Then go back twenty-seven years, and you can no doubt remember of the times that Henry Walter passed through. Had they known what was to be, there might be a different story to tell today because of property and relation…. While of the handwriting you sent, Otto and John, I have this much to say…. (omitted)… But again as with you, the name John rings to my mind an elderly man by the same name who, like George, has worked parallel. Then comes a little woman who must have passed away somewhere near thirty years ago, but whose love and blessing surely follows her children, for her burden was a very heavy one…. Her mother used to call her Gustel, I think. At any rate the vibration of her thoughts surely must be the influence of this letter, because the same thoughts seem to be entwined in Emil and William…. And by the way, there are certain problems that might have been solved in reference to Otto and Paul. Perhaps George can explain why the chime of bells, steam and rails….”
Reply: “In reference to Otto’s hand-writing, he wrote both names, Otto and John. John is his brother. Your letter was very true, especially as far as my past is concerned….”
Then later, “…. Regarding the names would inform you that George is the name of father’s oldest brother. Gustel (who is dead) is the grandmother of Emil, William and Paul. And Emil, William and Paul are the brothers of Otto and John.”
CASE 294 – Mr. Sadony wrote, “At the close of your letter I heard these words, ‘Tell Hage’ (or some peculiar name) to stick to it and not let go just at the most important time, as I did. I’ll strand by him.’ The name given was Howard. I could not get the first name because I was not on the alert. I simply express the thought as it came to me, but in fear it was a delusion I asked if your father’s name was Howard.” (Reference to previous letter in which he spoke of the name without giving reason.)
Reply: “Your letter of —- is a remarkably true statement of myself as I know myself honestly to be…. in regard to the message, I wonder if this is not my father speaking? For this name ‘Hage’ might be Hugh, my first name, and my father was known by the name of F. Howard for forty years of his life. And it is a fact that dad quite the show business at the height of his career when he should have stayed with the only business he knew. My brother and I have been thinking of getting out of the show business…. I wonder if he (father) meant us to stick to the show business by this message?”
CASE 412 – “While I was dictating the first part of your letter, this sort of mental message seemed to take effect in my mind, which is the case in four letters out of ten of all I write….” (Long message followed.)
Reply: “The message enclosed must belong to us by the names mentioned. My mother’s name is Bessie, to whom it was addressed, and my father’s name was G— (by whom it was signed,) and the names E— and G— belong to my sister and myself. It is all very strange.”
CASE 471 – “I cannot help receiving strange thoughts. Whether they come from your letter or from thoughts in the air. I shall state them as they are.” – Message followed with reference to “Chris”, “Emma”, and “Elizabeth or Lizzie, Lezzett, or Lisette – Stecha – hard to tell” as well as reference to certain matters of the past, with mention of twenty-five years before, and mention of “my good wife, —.” “I have simply written,” wrote Mr. Sadony, “what to me would sound foolish, without knowing just all that is meant by it.”
Reply: “The Herman you spoke of… was my father who passed out twenty-five years ago. — is my mother, Lisette is my sister and Chris is my brother….”
CASE 104 – “When the first impression came, I imagined I sensed your mother’s father – an old man – bent over, round-shouldered. He apparently assisted in giving me the impression which I enclose. Now you understand that I am not a spiritualist. Neither am I connected with any ‘ism’, I am alone in this study… for the purpose of research, consequently with no other motive than to know the truth….”
(The message made reference to four names, and personal matters. It was signed by the mother and addressed indirectly to the son.)
CASE 118 – “While speaking this into my Dictaphone, a strange sentence comes to me. I am taking chances that it belongs to some of you.” (Message followed addressed to “Dear Anna.” At the end of the two hundred words there was a break in the middle of a sentence. Mr. Sadony had been called to the phone. “I have tried to get more,” he wrote, “but could not. All I could receive was ‘Otto'”.
The reply read: “I thank you for the message for my Aunt Annie…. etc.”
CASE 580 – “This is my first letter to you. Miss — gave me your address and told me of your good work, and I gave your name and address to a Miss C., who is living with me at present. She wrote you last week, and in your letter to her you sent a message which I know was meant for me…. It was from an ex-husband, who seems to realize how he wronged me, and the mistakes he made. But I do not think of the tears he caused me. I only think of the nice things he did….”
CASE 652 – “Now you speak of getting a mental message concerning an elderly lady named Anna. My mother’s name is Anna…..”
“Enclosed you will find a copy of the thoughts that came to me while dictating your letter. You are a stranger to me, and I to you. In writing these letters I write just what comes to my mind at the time, but I seldom send all I receive, because I am but a student, who has found some strange life’s problems, and this is my mode of study…..”
(This message began “Dearest Anna or Nellie.” The latter was the name of the daughter, the correspondent in this case. There was reference to twenty-three and thirty-two years before, as well as the name of another. It was signed by name.)
CASE 390 – A letter was received from Chicago. Mr. Sadony wrote, “To me it appears as if you did not live in Chicago, as your surroundings do not indicate it…. Seems to me more like a village….”
“You speak of my being a lawyer or salesman, but what of the new project you speak of, what do you see?…. How did you get that I was not in service?…. My wife and I live in a small suburb of Chicago, a village of 5000 inhabitants. I am serving this village as a village trustee. My business is selling sugar on commission.”
CASE 419 – “By the way, does your tooth bother you? Left, lower second molar? If so, look after them soon.”
“My lower left molar bothered me a little but not much. Thanks!” (Letter 6671.)
From case 764 – “Tell me, has there been poison in his blood within the last seven years? Either his kidneys or his bladder seem to have been affected….”
Reply stated that he had been a printer all his life, and the poison in his body was printer’s lead.
The materials of prophecy are limited, as with numbers from the nine digits of which infinite combinations may be obtained. Hundreds of cases might contain similar predictions without two being alike, for the combination, circumstances and individuals differ. It is the spirit of prophecy which is unlimited. Details are but the letters of the alphabet that names the human family. The names are but words that group themselves into paragraphs portraying a symbol. Paragraphs form chapters of history. What matters is the book complete. Opposite to each page of closely packed fine print, there is a large picture that tells it all at a glance. Science, with bent head and strained eyes, reads and analyzes each world of the print. The spirit of prophecy turns the pages leisurely. It tells the story that is already written, by describing pictures which children understand.
The elements applying to any subject are few. Aside form special phases that we will not consider here, the interests of an average human being may be found, for instance, in Birth, Movement, Marriage, offspring, Condition, Relation and Death. Birth and offspring might be combined. Of birth might be told the time, sex and nature; of death, the nature and time. In movement is included change (of environments, states of being, thought, emotions, plans…..) Marriage includes divorce. Condition, finance, health, etc. Relation includes meetings, as well as implying proposals, offers, propositions, transactions. And through all runs the matter of “date”, which is the least certain of all, being a matter of estimate. We see a house. We judge it to be so far away. We may exaggerate according to our interest. But the house exists. If we will continue to walk we will reach it. If we run we find it the sooner. It has been said that there are some things the human mind can never know. But, there are no “letters” missing in the alphabet that Mr. Sadony has used to describe this picture.
We quote briefly from a few. The evidence is overwhelming that the human mind may determine these things without the uncertainty of “guess-work”, “coincidence”, “chance.”
CASE 465 – Letter 7841 – “I particularly wanted to tell you of the fulfillment of your prophecy that the next addition to the W. family would be a boy. You may or may not remember that you told me I need worry about this no further, but that the boy was regularly scheduled, and would arrive in due course….”
CASE 606 – “Will write and tell you we have that new girl you told me of at Lone Lodge. Came Saturday morning, weighs 7.5 lbs….” (J. H.)
CASE 231 – When quite young Mr. Sadony made a prediction to a Mr. W. H…, that in one year and two months he would be the father of a little boy. It came to pass on the exact date. He also predicted that Mr. H. would be divorced three years later, which came to pass. A letter from Mr. H. of years later, reads, “Maybe you will also remember what you told us about a commotion in our house between the tenth of January and the fourth of February. Well, we had it. My wife was very sick and wasn’t expected to live from the first to the fourth of Feb. Those three days she wasn’t expected to live at all, but she was very sick for over four weeks – part of the time unconscious. I myself was sick from the 18th to 28th of January and my little boy was also just as sick as his mother, they both having pneumonia….”
CASE 350 – “We did have sad news from home. My little brother’s death we did receive.” It had not been stated that the sad news would be a death. Mr. Sadony wrote, “I dread to tell things of unhappiness before they come, but always try to impress the time, to prove that I felt the truth….”
CASE 563 – (From an editorial of the Morning Sentinel.) “Sunday noon, August 16th, Mr. Sadony…. prophesied the death of Mr. D.M. Miller to W.A— of this city. This is only one of a great many prophecies which have come to pass since his coming to this city….”
CASE 565 – “Mr. Sadony predicted the death of Mr. C. Christians even to the detail of his dying with a rose in his hand. The last persons to see him remarked that he picked up a rose which he held as he passed away.”
CASE 582 – (With regard to the business affairs of a Mr. C., and a change and climax to come in 1921.) “…. You were very much correct, as a part of the firm did pass away the 16th of March.”
CASE 607 – “Yes, you were indeed right about the three men drowning in White Lake. And also when you said that Dr. H’s friend would be dead when he reached Chicago. At the time, we were staying at the Beach. Do you remember telling me that we would lose two more distant relatives before the year expired, which also came to pass…..” (Mrs. H.)
CASE 648 – “You also told me that someone was going to die, and I would hear about it. I did. That one was his father, and they sent me a wire….”
CASE 540 – A clipping was found which read: “Antiquarian dies reading an Ancient Tome.” It was remembered that Mr. Sadony had predicted the death of Julius Doerner, who, as explained in the item, was “conspicuous for years as a bibliophile and antiquarian.” Mr. K.J. of Chicago was written for details. He replied, “The prediction of Mr. Doerner’s death was about six weeks before his passing out. I visited the Valley and spoke to Mr. Sadony about two oil paintings I had consigned to Mr. Doerner to sell for me. In the course of the conversation about the paintings, he advised me to take them out of his place before his death, as he had only a short time to live.”
CASE 473 – Letter 7914 – “Your prediction concerning father’s death was quite correct. As you said, he had a cancer and would live about ten days longer. He died of cancer of the stomach eleven days later, December 22nd.” (C. Weissmann.)
CASE 178 – “While visiting E. Rogers at C., in the fall of 1913, Mr. Sadony met Dr. D. and told him that his brother who had just left, would die in three weeks, and that Dr. D., himself, would take charge of his brother’s sanitarium at Rochester. Three weeks later the brother died. Dr. D. went there, and is now in charge of the sanitarium.”
CASE 638 – (From a diary of a friend.) Name: C.P. 1-10-18, Prediction: Daughter will be ill twice, and die with her third sickness. Her baby will not live.
1-24-18, Baby is in Hospital.
1-27-18, Baby died.
“There are several ways of discerning the approach of death,” Mr. Sadony once explained, “sometimes when death is to take place within a few months, I unconsciously become passive for a second, then there appears to me a mental vision. It is as if I saw an angel in black at the bedside, and in my imagination all seems to be transparent. When I see this, death is sure to come. I would forfeit my life if it failed when the hand and wrist of this figure appears opaque as if ready to be led out. Another sign of death comes to me when shaking hands with a stranger. I sometimes feel a cold feeling, as if a cold draught were passing through my hands and veins. By this I know that death is near, but must use other methods to ascertain the time.”
Mr. Sadony tells of an instance: (Case 1064), “In 1914 Mrs. Daily of Montague, eighty years old, came to visit me with her daughter, Mrs. J.A. I took her to my Study. She did not wish to leave. She cried bitterly and said, “May I come here when I am dead?” I comforted her and told her that she would be welcome. Later on, one evening in September, I remained in my office until late. At three-thirty. A.M., I went down for lunch, and then returned. When about to enter, I felt a sort of fear or dread, and waited at the door about five minutes. When I entered my thoughts turned to Mrs. Daily, and immediately I felt that cold draught of air through my body. This was about four o’clock. At nine Mrs. J.A. telephoned to say that Mrs. Daily had died at four that morning. Was this the influence of a disembodied mind, – or auto-suggestion?”
Of Troubles as well, are there many instances, as In Case 162 – “The troubles you told me would come are coming thick and fast…. The battle will be a hard one for awhile, and only today a woman who you told me would come in to act as a friend, called me and told me of —. You seem to have the situation so fully in mind….”
Of offers, case 285 is typical, and it would be useless to quote from the hundreds of others. Letter 3290 – “You stated that some offers would be made by my firm. As yet I’ve not heard from them with reference to it, though I did receive one very soon, a few days afterward, from a firm that had made one several times before, and which I threw into the wastebasket as you said I would do….” Letter 3294 – “…. But let me tell you that the two offers you spoke of came in a most pronounced and distinct manner. It was a matter of choosing either, or, and set me to do some serious thinking.”
Of Change, Case 621, for example. “….. You said that I would make a change. This change seems to have taken place inasmuch as I am writing you from th. city of D. instead of M…..”
CASE 626 – “You told me that a condition which existed at that time, and to which I very much objected, would be changed for me, and I am happy to report that the change came just as you said it would….”
CASE 627 – “In reference to Columbia University, I fear you will change your mind before June, even were I to tell you to take a course. You will take several trips of interest that will change all your plans.”
Reply: (Months later.) “The suggestion you offered about Columbia University came out as you foretold.”
CASE 293 – Letter 3422 – “Sometime ago I wrote you for information, and you told the conditions would change for me before Oct. 12th…. This change occurred to me about the 16th of October.”
Of Dates to note, Mr. Sadony was as a rule very accurate in his estimation. Case 203 is typical of many. Letter 1751 – “Mr. X. is a very sick man…. He has been near death’s door three times, and this is one of them. Complications have set in. His stomach and worry have caused much of the trouble. You have not understood each other, consequently the circumstances which have often caused you to build aircastles (which may all come true within three years). Make a note of June 11th and the 23rd, then later July 4th, 10th and 27th and note how strangely and suddenly Fate seems to play with your destiny. You must take good care of your health now, above all….. Next week you will have company which you little expect, and later a trip alone, and you will enter new fields….”
Letter 1752 – You may be aware by this time that Mr. X. passed away on June 11th, the first date of which you advised me to make a note and I am too stunned to know what to do.”
Letter 1753 – (Two months later.) “I wonder if you have anything to tell me at this time. Your first letter to me was prophetic. On the first date you mentioned, I lost my husband, then on each succeeding date there was something to remember…. I am going on the trip alone of which you wrote me, and I hope it is in the right direction.
CASE 261 – Letter 2752 – “…. You predicted that I would be working at a better position by January 15th of the next year, which would eventually lead to something better still. I began work here on the 13th of January…. You told me of a few things which would happen, and a few suggestions, which have come to pass…. I know you told me accurately of many of my characteristics, and showed me that mind-reading was a possibility….”
From Case 311 – Letter 5106 – “…. If you remember you said that I was going to have three offers, the first to come on the 28th of January. Well, it didn’t come the 28th, but it came during the week of the 28th, which I think is near enough. It certainly is remarkable how you got that…. etc.”
Of Presidential or political prophecies there have been few, except among Mr. Sadony’s most intimate friends, as he has consistently avoided prophecy of a public nature. However, we quote the following!
CASE 234 – Letter 2241 – “If I remember correctly the last time I called on you was in the Spring of 1901. Many things have happened since then. One of your prophecies was made when I was operating in stocks and bonds in the year 1901, when the market depended largely on the presidential election, at which time you predicted that McKinley would be elected President of the United States. There are other things that have come to pass, the dates of which I do not remember at present…..” (R.A.H., Vice Pres. & Mgr. of the Garment Co., Chicago, Ill.)
CASE 381 – Letter 6038 – “When your letter came saying that the world of commerce would be satisfied with the next administration, and that it would be Republican, it looked like something in the dim distance, but suddenly it is the ‘next administration!’ Did you sense something of Harding’s death?….”
Later, while talking with a group of friends upon the subject of “Gaudiness” and its “hollowness,” Mr. Sadony used as one of his examples the Democratic party, which he said was “gaudy” in its intentions, and would therefore lose in the next election.
We give only a few of the many cases of this nature on record. (Aside from the following, typical instances may be found in Cases 158 and 371 on page 75 as well as in the records beginning at the bottom of page 76, and Case 1057 on page 80.)
From Notebook number 33 of —–: Mr. Sadony foresaw many accidents and did, in many instances, give warning. Where the warning was heeded there was no accident, and where it was not heeded his prophecy was fulfilled. There were also many cases where the accident could not be avoided, so he gave no warning, but told his friends and in every case they observed that it came to pass.
CASE 1009 – Letter 2827a – “Do you remember the day of my visit when you were all working on the Log Cabin? You warned us all to be careful as you were afraid that someone would be cut in the ankle. Some hours later I saw one of the men’s axe raised for a blow, and remembered your warning. I stepped to one side as the blade descended. The head flew off and sank three inches in the ground where my heel had been, passing directly over my footprint, through the space in the air that had been occupied by my ankle. I did not ‘ask for a sign,’ but it seems that this was not sufficient. Twice since coming to C., have I so nearly failed to heed your last words of warning that l have tasted of what you feared, and it was bitter. Death is kinder by far than these conditions to which you have opened my eyes. I walked among living dead men and never knew, until a heartless smile on my own face hid the hell that was their daily bread. From this you have saved me.”
CASE 110 – “Mr. Sadony made a special call at our house to warn Mr. A. to be very careful, for in a short time he would be badly hurt. Three weeks later his hand was crushed at the foundry…..”
CASE 115 – In the year 1901, Mr. Sadony warned Mr. John Ahlmendinger of Chicago, not to allow his young son to go swimming at the time of the next thunderstorm. A few days later It began to rain, and the son wanted to go with thirteen other boys to swim at the pier of the water works, North Halsted and Lake Michigan. The boy started and was called back. In the meantime the other boys were getting drenched, so they went under the tin-lined pier. There was a crash of lightning and all were killed.
Sometime later Mrs. A. called and Mr. Sadony told her to tell her husband not to dance at the next dance which was given in honor of Mr. C. Harrison, then Mayor of the City. He danced one dance and dropped dead.
CASE 256 – Mr. Sadony told the Mayor of K. to warn his daughter not to ride on a bicycle on a certain date, so as to avoid a serious accident by the cars. The warning was forgotten, and she was killed by the electric street car at Racine.
Mr. S. had told Mr. I. that he was to have the greatest surprise of his life – which came to pass when he picked up his own daughter, right after she had been killed. He did not know who it was until he saw her face.
CASE 289 – A certain leader of ballet dances in a well known theatrical company came to Mr. Sadony in Chicago. He warned her not to dance more than a year longer, and to report to him once a month, which she did for ten months. Then three months after that she wrote, saying that she could not keep her promise to give up dancing. One month later she was dead from an Injury to her spine.
Mr. C. A. tells the following:
In the summer of 1913 K.J., C.A., U.S., P.S., Mr. Sadony and myself went up the river on a fishing trip. Mr. Sadony appeared to dread to go. He turned back three times, and even went so far as to dispatch a carrier pigeon (one of two which we carried), saying that we would leave for home in fifteen minutes. This was before we had reached the camping place. The boys all begged him to go on, so we finally reached camp. When we arrived, Mr. Sadony told us all to be careful, as he was still nervous. One of the boys had a bottle of whiskey which he asked him to give him in case of accident. In landing I had dropped my gun in the water. As I remember it, two of the other boys had dropped their guns in the mud or on land. However Mr. Sadony told each of us to look into the barrel of his gun. Fifteen minutes later I held my gun at arms length in one hand and did not grasp the barrel with the other, remembering the warning. But I did neglect to look into the barrel, although I had drained it. I pulled the trigger. The barrel burst, tearing off the thumb of my other hand which I held as far as possible from the gun. A piece of steel, nearly a foot long, knocked off the hat of Mr. U.S. Mr. Sadony immediately poured whiskey over the wound, and sent the other carrier pigeon with a note to have a doctor ready for an operation. The doctor was waiting, but I lost my thumb above the first knuckle. I no longer doubted the advisability of taking seriously any nervousness on the part of Mr. Sadony.”
From Notebook number 33 of —–:
Mr. Sadony with his family and a few friends drove around the lake past a point where he imagined seeing the fence all turn down, and a car go down the steep embankment. He spoke of this to his family and his friends. This was Monday evening. Tuesday evening, they drove by the same point. The fence was broken through. A Ford had gone down the embankment. From among the pieces at the bottom, his son brought home the rim of one of the lights, as a silent witness.
It happened many times, that Joseph avoided accidents himself. He would refuse to travel on a certain road on a certain day, saying that there was to be an accident, and he did not wish it to be a car full of his loved ones, and himself responsible at the wheel.
He would say, “We will watch now as we pass tomorrow, and see evidence of the poor blind careless mortal that does not use the power God has given us all. We may pity him, but he is reaping as he sowed. God is wise and good and just. The law of compensation does not err. We may say, ‘It might have been us.’ It might have been anyone. But was it? Were we not protected? All the world save that one could say, ‘It might have been us.’ And if so, would God then have been wise and good and just?”
“Masters rule their own destiny by thought or understanding, while the masses are ruled by environments or heredity,” Mr. Sadony would explain.
If we wish to be masters we must create a law unto ourselves, hew out a path of undeviating purpose. At the first unconscious step from this path, there tolls the death-knell of a lost soul. To waver at the influence of another, of circumstances, of environments, is to step into the path of this other, and be subject to its self-created laws for better or for worse.
These things are so subtle and so many sided that it is not only foolish and useless, but impossible to analyze them with the human mind.
Enough that we did not go. Vastly more than enough that we saw next day the wreckage of a horrible triple accident on the road in question. We did not ask or need such proof. And this happened not once, but countless times. Often Mr. Sadony would ask friends to tell him what had occurred at certain points, then pre-sensing of which made him apprehensive not for himself, but for his loved ones and his friends, whom he endeavored always to protect from taking that first unconscious step from their own path into that of another, and thereby into danger not their own….
And always they would find it as he had said, and would tell of this accident or that narrow escape which they themselves had experienced.
CASE 1056 – Mr. Sadony foresaw an accident to himself on a winter day when the ruts of ice were deep and it was necessary to drive to another town in his car. He spoke of seeing himself in a ditch by the side of the road, with a heavy-laden truck thundering by, two wheels of which had been in the same rut as the left two wheels of his own car, neither of them able to climb out of the icy rut.
It happened quickly and surprisingly in this wise. A large many-seated bus filled with people swerved around a bend, and toward us in one of the same ruts. Mr. Sadony tried to turn out, but failed. Then he put on the brakes, and swung the wheels violently so that he threw his car out of the track and we slid easily, safely down an icy incline into the ditch without tipping over, and the heavy bus, which had indeed been built out of a “truck”, and was “heavily laden”, tore by above. The prophecy was fulfilled. We were in the ditch. But an accident was avoided by Mr. Sadony’s quickness to fulfill his part of the prophecy just enough in advance to avoid the “simultaneous” fulfillment that would have been a “collision.”
There are many cases that indicate Man to be a “barometer”, recording exterior conditions; even though not aware of the fact. The following are three of the many instances that Mr. Sadony, himself, has told.
CASE 554 – I received a letter with request for advice. As I started to answer it I felt sort of dizzy, so I laid it aside. Next day I tried again, with the same result. A few days later I determined to finish, and did so, but it seemed with a queer dread. Afterward I learned that it was written by an insane woman. It seemed rather strange. Was I mentally in her environments? Did my subconscious mind sense her condition, interpreting it to my objective mind? Or was it a ‘sixth sense’ interpreting by ‘psychometry’ the magnetism of the letter.”
CASE 556 – “One summer, while writing letters, I began to muse, ‘Suppose my best horse should break his leg. Would I have to shoot him? – or could I put him in splints.’ I became nervous and sent Miss S. and Mr. A. out to see if everything was all right. They did not return, so in half an hour I went after them, finding that Andy, my best horse, had his right front leg over the manger with the tie-chain around it so that Mr. A. could not get it loose without cutting the halter. The scars of the links could be seen for a long while.
“Was this the vibration of the horse’s mind?”
CASE 1063 – Clippings were found of twenty-two years ago, telling of how Mr. Sadony had been impelled to a certain spot just in time to save a man from drowning. Upon being asked about the occasion, Mr. S. replied, “I felt a strong desire to go up the river three miles, with no other reason, apparently, than to see how a certain bank looked and how much the current had washed it away since the time when I used to swim there. I was so anxious that I could hardly wait to get started. As I approached I saw a man running along the bank. When I arrived and looked over the water, I saw an arm disappearing. I threw off my coat, took a dive, and reached him in time. When I had brought him to shore I felt satisfied that this was the mission that had forced me to go up the river at just that time.” Can this be explained? (The rescued man proved to be one of the staff of a local paper, a Mr. Hall.)
Mr. Sadony permits truth to come to him, crystalizing in its own shape. He then tries to figure out what the shape is. Whereas most of us shape things to suit ourselves, according to past acquirement.
Often he would advise a man in terms of symbols which he, himself, did not understand, while the man to whom he talked, recognized the meaning instantly.
On one occasion, while talking with a certain man, he seemed to see the symbol of a silver frog in connection with his name. It was indistinct and fragmentary. He could not himself interpret or apply this. However, it was later discovered that the middle two of his four names meant originally a silver-smith and a tadpole.
Case 612, (page 76) is an example of the application of this principle. Mr. Sadony has often explained:
“I use symbols in prevision because those things have not yet occurred, and are consequently not in my memory for comparison. Symbols therefore, in such a case, may be interpreted as ‘Causes’ rather than ‘Effects’ (or records).”
Of section VII, a study of “Mechanical Intuition”, with an account of experiences, would fill a good sized volume, and will not be considered in this booklet. Of “sensing the whereabouts of inanimate objects”, Mr. Sadony has often said:
“In reference to finding lost articles, I am never interested in the subject. Enough that we find and take care of what we possess. If harmony is lost, I am on the job.”
The subject of “Clairvoyance”, and “Unconscious Preparation”, will also be dealt with in another booklet, as they involve an account of cases that are too numerous to mention here.
The following are quoted from a selection of typical cases illustrating the general subject of Prophecy:
CASE 317-19 – A friend writes, “For three years Mr. Sadony predicted every working order that came to the Iron works. He told the foreman of the company of these two months in advance…. “He predicted Mrs. B’s death, and the divorce of V., as well as his remarriage.
“He warned Mr. C.S’s father that he had better examine the straps to his wooden leg. Mr. S. replied, ‘Oh, that’s all right. No danger.’ But he went fishing. The strap broke, and he used all his fish lines to fasten on his leg so that he could walk home.
“And I remember of another case, of some time ago. Perhaps you have forgotten. There was a man and his wife and daughter, whom Mr. Sadony warned to exchange their theater tickets. The father could not go to the performance the next day, but the mother and daughter went, and were burned to death in the Iroquois Fire….”
CASE 172 – “Last summer you predicted my mother’s illness, (she was operated on Oct. 26); my present position, (I came on to N.Y., about Sept. 1st, and opened the same day); someone making a proposition for extra work, (a couple of weeks ago); and many minor details which I just can’t recall at the moment…..”
CASE 325 – “Mr M., proprietor of the K. House, and four friends were with Mr. Sadony when he heard a step in the hall. Mr. Sadony stated that he suddenly felt a pain in his right knee. He asked Mr. C. to see who had passed. It proved to be Mrs. P., the proprietor’s sister, (fifty years of age). While Mr. C. was speaking to her, Mr. Sadony told the rest that the lady who had passed, suffered with pain in her knee, but that it would not bother her any more. Mrs. P. told Mr. C. that as she passed the door she thought, ‘I believe Mr. Sadony could cure me.’ She had planned a trip to Mount Clemens for treatment. From that moment, however, she ceased feeling the pain. Mr. Sadony felt the pain for three days.”
CASE 270 – And Mr. S. told a certain young man and young woman that they would be married in one year, but that they had better make sure that they were congenially mated or they would disagree in three years. In two, they would have a little boy. They married as prophesied.
The little boy came. At the end of three years they were divorced.
CASE 146 – “Last Spring I received a letter from you, which at the time seemed very confusing. Since then it has all become quite clear…. Perhaps you don’t remember. It would be quite impossible, with all your correspondence. It was just advice in reference to some people….”
Another letter: “Five years ago, on my first visit to you, you spoke of a man who was going to be a great help to me. You foretold my travels abroad. It was all very true.” (V.B.)
CASE 254 – “On the first of February, 1906, Prof. Sadony told me that in a year and eleven months I would have a baby girl with blue eyes and black hair. Really, the baby was born exactly in a year and eleven months, on January first, 1908.
“Then he told me that around June 20th, while going on a trip to Europe, my little girl would be sick, but that I should not worry over it because she would be all right again in a few days. I had forgotten this while away, until she was taken suddenly ill one night, and then it all came back to me. The date was June 21st.” (Mrs. M.J.)
CASE 258 – Letter 2714 – “I have been simply amazed at times when I found that events which you prophesied concerning me came to pass, although I assure you I did nothing purposely to help bring the fulfillment about.”
CASE 152 – Letter 1089 – “Your predictions to myself and family have come to pass. First for my dear mother, you predicted that in the year 1914 she would suffer the loss of three loved ones. Correct.” (Remainder omitted.)
CASE 305 – Letter 4071 – To Miss M. speaking of her mother not being well: “To me it appears as if there were something in the way of the blood or nerve impulse either at the base of the brain, the cerebellum, or in the convolutions back of the ear…” A letter came later telling of an operation which had proved necessary to relieve congestion in one of the sinuses.
CASE 587 – “For some time previous to the death of George M. Sr., the large iron safe in this office had not been locked (that is, not thoroughly locked, with the tumblers being thrown over.) It was customary just to close the safe and give the combination a slight turn on the dial.
“One night, G.M. Jr. accidentally closed and locked the safe. Mr. M. Sr. was the only one who knew the combination and as his personal papers pertaining to the estate were in the safe (He being dead), it was necessary that it be opened.
“Being office manager and acting secretary, I made every effort to open the safe, but without results. As a last resort before breaking the lock, I requested you to try to open it. You agreed, and knowing that Mr. M. was the only one who knew the combination, you took off your hat and coat, and requested that you be blindfolded. You took your place at the desk over the open ledger (as if you were Mr. M.) You previously had requested me to ask you suddenly, at a certain time, to open the safe. This I did. Whereupon you turned to the safe, and to my astonishment opened it in about ten seconds.”
CASE 109 – A Dr. A. came to Mr. Sadony with a Mrs. R. (of Evanston). He advised Mrs. R. (who asked about her husband), to take him out in the country for a rest, saying that if she did not, he would become insane. A year afterwards he became insane. She came again, and Mr. S. told her that he could be cured in seven months, but to take him out at once, or it would be too late. This was disregarded, and he became a raving maniac.
CASE 204 – Letter 1764 – “My boy is in F. He was married the 11th of Sept. in Canada. He is coming home Sunday. I am getting my divorce the 16th of January…. Everything so far you have told me has come just as you said…. ”
CASE 664 – One dark night, I drove to town with Mr. Sadony, behind a very nervous horse. As we reached the township line, Mr. S. became very nervous and asked me to get out and examine all the wheels. I said that I had done so before leaving, so we rode on for perhaps half a mile. At this point, Mr. Sadony repeated the expression of his nervousness, made the remark that he did not like to risk it any longer, and ended by making the assertion that as soon as we reached Dowie’s gate, he would get out and see what could be the matter. At Dowie’s gate he jumped out of the buggy. As soon as he took hold of the thill, it fell out of his hand. The bolt was on the ground a few feet away, in the rear.
CASE 686 – Mr. Ch— of Shelby, telephoned long distance, to ask if Mr. Sadony could give any information as to the location of the drowned bodies of his son and a companion. Mr. S. replied that it appeared to him as if only one boy had drowned, and requested that Mr. C— come to see him personally, which he did. In the course of the interview, Mr. Sadony drew a diagram of the point where the body would be cast up by the first west winds. As he described his method of doing this, he imagined himself a bird flying by, looking down from way up, at what he imagined to be a body that he could discern at a certain point. The place marked on the diagram was to be six miles north of the place where the boy was drowned.
The body of the Ch— boy’s companion was found, and examination proved that he had died of heart disease, verifying Mr. Sadony’s belief that only one boy had drowned. The Ch— boy was found about a week later a few hundred feet from the spot that had been designated.
A letter dated June 23, 1916, reads in part, “am surprised that the Boys had not called you on the phone at the time of the finding. Yes the first west wind that came did the work. Again yes, your diagram was a little further North than the body was found, but such that the current could have moved the body….”
CASE 687 – “Five or six years ago,” said one witness, “Geo. — Sr. asked Mr. Sadony for advice. He told him that if he did not take a rest within three weeks, he would never get out of bed after that. Mr. — remained at work, was taken sick, and was then taken to the Muskegon Hospital. Mr. Sadony was notified one morning that if he didn’t come to see him before noon, he would not be able to see him alive. It was impossible for him to get there in the morning as it was past train time. He said, ‘G. — shall live till I see him. He can not die. He shall not die.’ There was great emphasis and determination in his words. In the afternoon, Mr. C. and I accompanied Mr. Sadony to Muskegon, arriving there about 3:45. He took Mr. Sadony’s hand, who seemed to look past us, and said, ‘I can go now that you have come.'”
Previous to this, while Mr. — was still ill at the hospital, Mr. Christian was staying at his home. Mr. C. became nervous one day and asked Mr. Sadony to stay with him. Mr. Sadony accompanied him, and as they passed into the parlor said, “Clarence, listen to this peculiar music that comes to my mind”, whereupon he sat at the piano and improvised what he seemed to hear mentally. The music was very sad and affecting. So much so, Mr. C. tells, that Mr. Sadony’s eyes were filled with tears. “So help me God, Clarence,” he said, upon finishing. “I see a coffin and the remains of G—, and the piece that I played was a funeral march.”
“A few days later,” said Mr. Sadony, upon being questioned with regard to the occasion, “I attended the funeral and saw the coffin just as it had appeared to me.”
CASE 688 – One Spring Mr. Sadony predicted to a party of fifteen or more, that there would be five deaths from drowning in White Lake; first two and then three. Dr. Montgomery and a lady were drowned as the summer was drawing to a close. The Captain of the Life Saving Station, having faith in the prediction, put on a double guard. Later Mr. Sadony attended a birthday party at the home of A. Mr. H. had promised to cone there to meet him for the first time, but that night he was called out on duty as Deputy Sheriff. He had been nervous, however, and made the statement that he would much rather have met Mr. Sadony. He was accompanied upon his duties by two other men. About twelve-thirty Mr. Sadony went to the graphaphone and played “Nearer My God to Thee.” For some unaccountable reason he appeared to feel very sad. It was seldom that he revealed this. It was nearing two A.M., when they left for home. As he passed along the shore of White Lake, he noticed that the water was rough, and said to Mrs. Sadony, “Suppose two or even three men should hang on a boat out there: God help them.”
The incident was forgotten, but next morning the bodies of the three men were found, Mr. J.H. and the two who had accompanied him on his duties.
A week later, while putting up a stove pipe, a strong thought came to Mr. Sadony, so he wrote it down on a slip of paper to study it afterward. The words that came to him were, “Fanny, I was not murdered. It was an accident. Be happy. Someone will take my place in four years” It was signed “Joe.” At the time Mr. Sadony did not recognize the meaning, so he placed it on file. Two months later, Mrs. A. brought a visitor to his home, and introduced her as Mrs. Nanny H. Instantly Mr. Sadony went to his file, brought the slip of paper, and told her of the strange thought that he had received. Mrs. H. cried, and swore that she would never marry. However, Mr. Sadony repeated that she would, and that the man would have the same name, “Joe.” Four years later she met him on the street in another city and told him that she had married a man named “Joe”, and was very happy.
Later still, (March 2, 1915) she wrote, “in thinking over what you told me, I particularly remember one statement. That was, that in about five years I would be happier than I could think I would ever be again. And that I would be comfortably situated and well taken care of. You described my disposition very accurately and told me many instances relative to my past life very correctly….”
CASE 351 – Letter 5450 – “Contrary to your dope, I expect to move my offices tomorrow to 91 G. street….” Later, Letter 5451 – “You were right. I did not move my office junk on Monday…”
CASE 650 – “… It’s just as L. says, she is usually just on the point of writing you when she hears before the letter is even posted…. By the way, I made a mistake, in sending you the wrong handwriting to read last time, (saying it was Mr. B’s) but I thought it so wonderful because you described Mr. O., the other man in our section, to a nicety, and hit upon facts which I appreciate very much.”
CASE 363 – Letter 5709 – “Prior to about October, 1910, I had no acquaintance with you. In that month I was at your place. At that time you assumed to see my past and future. At that time you informed me that Mrs. R., my first wife, had departed this life about Feb. 3rd of that year, which was true. You also informed me that I would marry a young wife from California; which I later did. You also informed me that you would first meet Mrs. R. on a train, which was true….” – Judge R.
(NOTE: Mr. Sadony predicted Judge R’s death, which occurred in 1924.)
CASE 364 – Letter 5710 – “… You told S. of his misfortune in the lumber business, that he would realize his life’s ambition, to receive the appointment of an U.S. Judgeship – an office he had sought, and for which I had strained every energy to bring him. He abandoned hope. Time revealed the fact that the judgeship did come to him, and in the year you said it would…. You told Mrs. S. that she had left her jewelry at home and placed some in a certain drawer before her departure. You spoke of five rings. She insisted that there were only four. On her return she wrote to my wife, admitting her error, saying she had placed an old ring in the box given her by her mother. She did not wear it, but it made the five…”
CASE 145 – Letter 1003 – “…. As far as I the long Journey, two large deals being offered me, and my turning down one of them is concerned, that has all come true. The accepting or turning down of the second one is undecided yet, but will be decided very soon… I have thought of writing you a good many times on the subject, but as you declined to accept remuneration for your services, I have hesitated in doing so….”
Letter 1004 – (five years later) – “About five years ago last summer you, in conversation with my daughter, told her that within six weeks, a near relative on her Mother’s side would pass away, and described the condition of her grandmother on her mother’s side, giving exact description of her sufferings, but at the time you made these statements, none of the family had any idea that she would pass away for many months. Yet just four weeks from the time you made the prediction, Mrs. W. passed away. I am sure you had no knowledge that such a person lived, at the time you foretold her death….” (James Bayne, Pres. & Gen. Mgr., The James Bayne Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.)
(NOTE: Nine years later, in the fall of 1924, Mr. Sadony wrote to Mr. B., stating to a friend, “It is the last time I shall write him. It is his ‘Death Letter’ from me.” A few weeks later, in November, and upon the day that the above portion of this manuscript was being prepared, Mr. Bayne passed away.)
CASE 165 – Letter 1198 – “You asked about my finger and stated that on July 3rd, 4th and 9th it worried you, as if you had a pain of your own. You say it was funny but simply could not account for it. Well, when I tell you that I was stretched out on an operating table about four-thirty Saturday afternoon, July 3rd, and my finger was laid wide open, you sure will smile….” (Mr. L.R.C.)
CASE 176 – Letter 1416 – “You told me about myself that it seemed to you that some time in the past there had been a division of property in our family of which I had not received all I was entitled to. That is right. The division took place in Denmark, and I had never mentioned it to anybody where you could have obtained any information about it.
“You told Mrs. B. at our house, when she was worrying about her boy who had gone to parts unknown, that she would get a letter from him a few days before Christmas, as she did….”
Mr. Sadony explained about this matter, “I imagined I was her son, and then told her that I saw my sister in Chicago, and then left for the north. I then told her that I would try an experiment to make him write her a letter for Christmas. Before Christmas the letter arrived from Wisconsin. He was compelled to write. Why? Those are things that axe hard to explain….”
CASE 214 – Letter 1954 – “August 7 you predicted my husband would change his will before the end of that year, and to my advantage. It came true on Dec. 19th. You also said that he would meet with an accident about the same time, which came true too. He almost lost his right foot. You advised me to drop a certain friend, as she was a foe. It certainly was true. The death of my husband’s mother came true the very month that you said, and sickness and disturbance at my home in Switzerland. Some of my friends lost a dear one through death and circumstances changed entirely….”
CASE 232 – Letter 2206 – “Sixteen years ago you predicted three things to me that came true. One was that I would meet a man and go to Kansas City with him. Second that I was to go to Denver, Colorado. Third, you warned me that X was no friend of mine. Right you were….” (H.W.K.)
CASE 264 – Letter 2810 – “A phone call this morning gave me the news that the ‘blow had fallen’. They are going to break him if possible…. Prior to this it has been very quiet, and he felt it might blow over. But …. yesterday …. came in and served papers on him. They tied up his bank accounts, put a lease on his home and automobiles…. Now it gees to court…. I wanted you to know, for I remember you predicted this.”
CASE 320 – Latter 5137 – “About four years ago, before I was married, you told me that I would be married inside of two years. This was true. You also said I would not marry the girl with whom I was keeping company. This was also true. You said that I had met my future wife. This I did not know at the time, but I had met her as you said. You also said that in the near future I would be employed by a firm that had already worked for. This was true. Also that I would buy some property, which I did. Then you told my wife that upon a certain date, there would be a business transaction that would bring money. This was true, to the exact date given her about six months before this transaction…. etc.”
CASE 327 – Letter 5171 – “You told me if I didn’t see my uncle I wouldn’t get to see him. He died within a month from that time….” Another letter. “He was sick only five days. I am so glad I took your advice and came here, or I would never have seen him.”
CASE 335 – Letter 5260 – “I met the little gray-haired man you told me I would come in contact with unexpectedly. I met him on the boat coming home.”
CASE 406 – One afternoon Mr. Sadony was impressed to wire Mr. U.S. of the K. Hotel, to telephone his wife not to take the medicine she was about to take. He did so, and found that she had the bottle in her hand to take the medicine, set it down to answer the phone, and upon examining it, found that the bottle contained poison.
Upon another occasion Mr. Sadony wrote, “Now tell me what is the matter at your home. Is your wife or wife’s niece sick?… It worries me, and I would advise you to be careful.” The reply stated, “My wife is sick and we are going to have the doctor in a few days so they can operate on her.” (Letter 6533)
CASE 420 – Letter 6704 – “…. One thing which most emphatically came out as you said, was that I would be backed in my new venture by two people, one who could talk, and one with money. Sure enough, the one who could talk, after a conversation with me, went to the one with the money, and I received a certain amount of backing…. If your predictions did nothing else, they put the right kind of punch in a pretty groggy individual, and helped a whole lot….” (W.S.)
CASE 421 – Letter 6729 – “You foretold the marriage of our daughter to B.A.D., who was at that time calling upon her, but we had never thought she cared especially for him, nor he for her. Both were so young. To our surprise they skipped to the Church, only a stone’s throw from our house, and were married April 6th, 1913. This, I consider a most remarkable prophecy, …. You told my wife that her father, (then in frail health) would live longer than her mother. Her mother was buried Christmas Eve of the following year, and her father will come to visit us next week.
“You will remember a robust, red-faced, philosophical sceptic, named —. Well, he may be sceptical yet, but within a month after you left, what you saw for him materialized. You told him he had a man associated with him that would stand watching, and that he stood a good chance of having trouble and might lose something if not careful…. Now this Mr. — was a traveling salesman, and he had a sub-agent, but he thought him straight. He was soon failing to get satisfactory reports, however, and found that the fellow had pawned a valuable diamond ring, using about $300.00 of the Company’s money to redeem it….”
CASE 436 – Letter 7190 – “You will remember telling me at H. that I would hear from my son in Feb. (that he was still alive.) Well, I did….”
CASE 474 – Letter 7928 – “The most important predictions in my case are two. In March, I traded my farm for a house and lot. After signing the contract I found I was getting the worst of the deal. In speaking of the matter to you, you said there was a third party in the case who did not care to trade, and advised me to see this party, and between us we could agree to call the deal off. This matter turned out as you predicted. I desired a political position in this town. I wrote you about it, and you advised me not to run as my health would not permit it. A little later I was taken down with congested lungs, and was sick at the time of election….” (W.J.W.)
CASE 482 – Letter 9406 – “I have had very great mental trouble since the commencement of this year. One day, while looking into my papers, your letters came to hand, and on perusing them over again, I was struck by your prophetic insight into coming events in my life, which cast their shadows not before me, but before your mind’s eye.” (Details of case omitted.) – Banabihari Patit, Pleader, Cuttack, Orissa, India.
CASE 588 – “I was much worried over my son, Clarence, who was then living in Pittsburgh, Pa. Not having heard from him, I was advised to call upon you for advice…. You told me that I would see my son shortly, and that he would have a lady with him. Of course I could not reconcile this statement with my knowledge of how sick he had been. But the next morning who should walk into my room but my son, with a lady who was a perfect stranger to me.”
The following cases have been selected from among those reported by a witness other than the one concerned:
CASE 107 – Mr. Sadony was introduced to a Mr. A.A. at the Sylvan Beach Pier. In the course of conversation he told Mr. A. that his head, for the moment, resembled a long high bridge. Mr. A. replied, “That is strange, I am working on the new specifications of the bridge crossing the Mississippi River. I am an electrical Engineer.” (Was this a form of visualizing the thought?)
CASE 135 – Mr. Sadony warned William McKie, druggist in Kalamazoo, to be careful. He predicted an explosion. I received a letter from Mrs. B. enclosing a clipping, and saying “The prophecy to Mr. McKie came, and he is now lying at Borgess Hospital, severely burned as a result of the explosion. Mr. Sadony predicted to Mrs. B. that she was to meet a light complected man by name of Charles, a dentist. A month later she met a Dr. Charles H—, dentist, and married him the 20th of May.
CASE 136 – One evening in 1902 a Dr. Bell of Chicago, interviewed Mr. Sadony with regard to his experiences in psychometrizing. He brought forth an odd pocket-book, asking Mr. S. to tell him what thoughts it brought. “I imagine myself riding along on horseback”, was the reply, “I stopped at a bridge, heard a peculiar noise, and jumped from the horse.” Dr. Bell then explained that the little pocket-book was made from the skin of the snake which had the “peculiar noise”, and which he had actually killed at the brook.
Mr. Sadony then said, “Doctor, do you fear the dog of one of your patients?” “No”, answered the Doctor. “There is one that is dangerous, but he is tied up.” “Why don’t you carry a gun?” asked Mr. S., intimating that there was danger. That was the last time Mr. Sadony ever saw Dr. Bell alive, as the dog broke loose and bit him, thus causing him to die of hydrophobia.
CASE 153 – Mr. Sadony told a Mr. B. that he would change his vocation in two weeks and three days. He replied that this was impossible as he had been in the same business for nine years. Mr. B. returned later, however, to tell Mr. Sadony that this had come to pass, although he could not understand how.
Mr. Sadony told Mrs. B. to insure her husband, that she would thank him for it in two weeks. Ten days from this time he was struck by an auto and his skull fractured. Having five children, Mrs. B. was indeed thankful.
CASE 399 – C.S., night clerk of the —- Tavern, was threatened with death by a man whom he had reproached for appearing vulgar to a lady. Shortly after, Mr. Sadony advised him not to carry fire-arms. He did so, however, and one night encountered the man who had threatened him, and who now sprang at him. Mr. C.S. shot and killed him, after which he was arrested. Mr. Sadony told him in a letter not to fear as he would be acquitted, which came to pass.
(NOTE: Letter 9998, from Mr. C.S. himself reads, “I take great pleasure in being able to say that I was acquitted as you said I would be.”)
CASE 549 – September 1, 1922, Mr. Sadony predicted that before very long we would read in the papers of two attempts at assassination, one in a little country near Greece and Turkey, and one in France which would create quite a stir, as it would concern some prominent figure, such as Marshal Foche or the President. There were three witnesses to this statement. Nine others were told of the prophecy within the next day or two. Sept. 5th, clippings were found, “Arrests Bare Plot to Kill Royal Family of Roumania,” and two others: Paris, Sept. 9th, “Student Fires on President’s Home”; “Attempts to Shoot Millerand Fails.”
CASE 683 – Mr. W.R. of the Tannery was told that four inspectors would be sent to the tannery, who would find upon examination that the leather was far below average; also that an offer would be made to him, and that within three weeks there would be a man hurt badly on the second floor of the tannery. He was warned to look after the machine so that he would not be blamed. The four inspectors arrived. Four hides out of two hundred were accepted. He received an offer, and in three weeks a man’s finger was torn off on the second floor at that particular machine.
CASE 671 – “In 1907 Mr. Sadony and l were on a train coming from Belvidere, Ill. He made the remark, “The Engineer of this train seems nervous. I feel nervous too, but I think it will be over before we reach Elgin, which is the next station.” Ten minutes later the train gave a sudden jerk, followed by spasmodic jerks. The connecting rod of the engine had broken, nearly causing a serious wreck.”
CASE 1031 – On the first of January, 1923, Mr. Sadony told several friends that during the year to come there would be three occasions when the papers would take more than usual interest in a death in the moving picture world. One, he said, seemed to be, more than a movie star. One was a general favorite of many fans. The third case seemed different, not exactly a star, yet with stars involved. It looked something like murder, but he was not sure that it was actually a “death”. The friends who kept track of this matter each offered the same list at the end of a year. The first was Wallace Reid, the “general favorite”, (Jan. 17, 1923). The second was Sarah Bernhardt, who had been featured in pictures, but was “more than a movie star” being first of all a Tragedienne. The third, at the close of the year, being reported in the papers on the first day of the new year, was not a movie star, nor was it a death, but it “looked something like murder”. The headlines read, “Two Movie Stars held after rich oil man is shot in his apartment.”
CASE 672 – “But by far the most remarkable prediction to me occurred when I was with Mr. Sadony in Los Angeles in 1906. At 3:00 A.M. on Feb. 1st, Mr. Sadony awoke himself, and then woke me to tell me that someone was passing away and calling for me. On Feb. 3rd, I received a telegram saying that my father had passed away in New York at precisely that moment.”
CASE 674 – In the year 1910 Mr. Sadony predicted that the Cayuga (a steamer) would sink, or nearly sink. A little later it struck a deadhead and had to land its passengers at once.
Case 680 – One summer Mr. Sadony remarked to Mrs. A., and M.L., as they sat on the shore of White Lake, “I feel sorry for the man who is to drown in a few hours.” A few hours later a man was drowned near the Tannery.
CASE 666 – “One time white eating at the table, Mr. Sadony made the assertion to the rest of us who happened to be with him, ‘In twenty minutes from now, I see one hundred souls going down in a ship in the northeast.’ He explained that a direct line from where he sat, lying between the Atlantic Ocean and Michigan, would locate the position. We found afterwards that the name of the boat was ‘The Empress of Ireland,’ and that it sank at the time mentioned.”
CASE 667 – “Another time, when I was having dinner with Mr. Sadony at the Saratoga Café in Chicago, we ordered soup. When the waitress brought it in, he said, “You certainly were speedy in removing the mouse that fell in this soup.” She blushed and quickly returned it, but would not wait upon us. We made inquiry and found that this had actually occurred.”
CASE 710 – Mr. A.T. Mills was told that his son, Frank, then at London, would soon sign a big contract as leading man for a large Theatrical Company. A clipping soon stated “A cablegram to friends on this side of the water brings information that Frank Mills, the well known actor, has signed a contract as leading man with Olga Nethersole.”
CASE 253 – The following incident happened when Mr. Sadony was quite young. He visited the home of a man in Belvidere who took three or four swallows from a bottle of iron tonic at certain times of the day and before retiring.
One evening Mr. S. was in the upper part of the house, when he called out suddenly, “What’s that you’re drinking!” He heard a crash of glass below, and ran to find his host in the pantry, pale as a ghost. “My God”, he asked, “Why did you say that.” “I don’t know, I just had to,” replied Mr. S., who was just as startled as the other, and hardly realized what had happened. They both looked at the bottle on the floor, which had been to the man’s lips. In reaching to his accustomed shelf of medicines in the dark, confident with long habit, he had taken a bottle of iodine which had been misplaced.
CASE 557 – ln 1911 Mr. Sadony sent for three large fire extinguishers. There were those who thought this foolish, with running water in the house, and no fire at the time. He insisted, however, and filled them at once. Six hours afterwards, at 2:00 A.M., he was working in his shop. He saw flames in the window. With the chemical the house was saved. The lamp had exploded and set fire to the bedding.
CASE 558 – On meeting for the first time a Mrs. R.W., Mr. Sadony remarked that her face appeared to him, for a moment like an old man with a violin. She was startled and replied that this was strange because she had been thinking of such a man whom she had met at a musical in Paris. She expected to return to take lessons from him, if possible.
CASE 158 – On the morning of September 2, 1917, while sitting at the breakfast table, Mr. Sadony told his family and others, who were with him, that he saw C.C. overlooking his aeroplane (Lafayette Escadrille at the front in France). He was smoking a cigarette, and saying to a blond man with a very short mustache, “Believe me, I’ll get someone soon.”
Mr. Sadony then spoke of seeing a German repairing something on a broken wing. Later he saw C. go up, and while about six hundred feet high he followed another machine, trying to rise over it. Then this same German came into view far above C., and, nearing him, shot twice. C. fell.
This so impressed Mr. Sadony that he immediately wrote C. a letter, warning him, and stating “—if you will think of me and my words when in real danger, I will be able to take you by the hand and congratulate you…. But… be on the job…. I know what I am talking about….”
This was the last. A cable from Paris, dated October 4th, told of his having been seen falling down out of control, back of the German lines, after an engagement with three German planes.
CASE 371 – A. Mr. H.R. and his brother came from the East and worked for a wholesale house on Water Street, in Chicago, by the river. One day Mr. Sadony told them to “lay off” and come up, as he had something very important to tell them. They came, and that afternoon the building where they were employed, caved in, killing a number of men.
CASE 547 – (August 31, 1922) Mr. Sadony spoke in the morning to all present at his breakfast table, (nine in number) of seeing mentally some miners caught in a pocket. He said that there were 47 miners, three of whom were still alive as he spoke, trying to dig out. The rescue party were trying to dig down to them, he said, and in a day or two we would read about it in the papers.
Monday, September 1st, Miss A.H. found an article in the Chicago Tribune, dated Jackson, California, August 31st, and giving the details of the disaster. Reference to 47 miners removes the case from likelihood of “coincidence”.
CASE 612 – In their first conversation Mr. Sadony asked Mr. H. about a business in which he seemed to be interested, saying that he saw mentally a house in construction, many houses in construction, but the whole matter puzzled him because there did not seem to be any evidence of occupation at any time, present or future, and their construction seemed odd, as well as the size. Mr. H. and his friend (Mr. W.) were very much amused, as one of the projects which Mr. H. was then interested in launching and furthering, was a new kind of toy, a peculiar kind of building blocks with which children could easily construct substantial little houses of any miniature size, according to the number of blocks at hand.
Mr. S. wrote afterward to Mr. H., “I could not estimate how a structure could be built without anyone living in it! It confused me because it was so unique. But it is through these experiments that I obtain further knowledge in my researches. And as the language of symbolism was the first created, it is the most permanent and least confusing, and I naturally accept these impressions as truth. But it requires language to express, which is confusing, as it was in your case.”
The following has been selected from records in the notebook of one of Mr. Sadony’s friends.
“Mr. Sadony was on the production staff of a certain play in which Miss F.D. spoke the lines, ‘A-Chang, another star is falling from the sky….’ (meaning a death). Upon one occasion in calling this, her voice affected him so strangely that he could hardly speak. He felt the shadow of the death from which he had been doing his best to save her. Standing back of the scenes together they had talked often, and he had warned her repeatedly about certain things. The next day he wrote her a long letter, advising in detail and asking that she listen to his words before it was too late, so that in August of the following year she might look back in realizing the truth of all that he had said. But she did not heed his warnings. She did not write him at the time he had suggested. He could do no more. Six months before ‘August’ she was found dead.” (Circumstances are here omitted, but it was by no means a natural or a necessary death.)
“Then there was Mr. M.C. whom Mr. Sadony told in an interview to go slowly at Chicago Avenue and Wells St. He was one of the oldest gripmen on the Lincoln Ave. carline. The warning was not heeded. There were a number of men working at the corner mentioned. A colored man raised his head and turned around. He was struck and killed.”
“Mr. M.C. later brought another man to see Mr. Sadony. Mr. S. said that he could see nothing for him after Thursday. He seemed to be there, but in a sort of haze through which Mr. S. could barely see him. He could see a clock on Monroe Street, as the car in which the man seemed to be sitting passed a jewelry store. It was nine-thirty. The man made light of it. The next Thursday at nine-thirty he dropped dead of heart failure at Monroe Street.”
The following cases are selected from another notebook as recorded by one witness, and corroborated in many of its details by ten to fifteen others:
CASE 1009 – One time, when eating some blueberries that had been brought to him, he spoke of what he saw “through the eyes of one of the berries.” He described the scene, which was in large proportions, a giant burned stump on one side and nearby an enormous tree, also black and burned. We were told by the friend who had brought the berries that in just such a location the berries had been picked, but that the burned stump was quite small, and the tree of average size.
CASE 1010 – And again, some honey was sent to Joseph from another state. As he tasted it he closed his eyes, and said that he was imagining that he was one of the bees, and described the scene that he saw while in search of flowers for the honey that he was tasting. He wrote this description in the letter in which he thanked his unknown friends for the gift. They replied that the scene he had described was their own home and farm, where the bees had indeed obtained the very honey that they had sent him.
CASE 1014 – At lunch one noon in January of 1922, Joseph asked me to remind him to tell me of something that he saw, but which he did not like to mention at the table. Later I asked him, and he told me that he had seen a family in Russia eating the limb of a little girl. The rest was cooked and ready to eat. It was too horrible for him to look longer. The child was not their own, but a neighbor’s. He spoke also of an old woman that had been consumed…. We found a clipping in the paper dated February 1st, which spoke of “an old woman and a child of nine that have followed the cats and dogs that already have been consumed.”
CASE 1024 – When Mrs. Nitti’s case first came out in the papers, there appeared no other outcome than that she would hang. In fact she was sentenced, yet Joseph said “Mrs Nitti will never hang.” He repeated this more than once, as time passed. So I made a note. “Mrs. Nitti will not hang. Watch papers.” A clipping of April 14th read, “Supreme Court saves Mrs. Nitti from Gallows.” “New Trial granted Mrs. Nitti.” Other clippings gave further details. Joseph explained the form in which this prediction came to him. He “imagined” seeing the mother’s hand stretched toward the Master praying, “Do not let her enter Eternity that way.” The look on the Master’s face was as it had been when He said to the woman, “—then neither do I condemn thee. Go — and sin no more.”
Addendum, December 1, 1924: Papers reported “Mrs. Nitti Freed. Case is Dropped.”
CASE 1025 – At breakfast on the morning of Feb. 15th, 1924, Joseph told us of having awakened early “seeing” a man striking his wife with an axe. Why he should have “tuned in” with this at just that time, he did not know. A few days later a clipping was found among some papers about to be thrown away. What he had “seen” in his passing “glimpse” was happening at the time. “Attacks his wife with axe,” reads the caption. “Green Valley, Ill., Feb. 15th, Ed. Ary, a farmer living seven miles southeast of here, after attacking his wife and three daughters with an axe early this morning, hanged himself in a grove near his home in Malone Township”…. etc.
CASE 1026 – As we were driving downtown one day, we passed a Mr. M. and his family. As we approached them Joseph said, “Just now he is saying, “Here comes Sadony’s car.” One of the boys afterwards asked Mr. M’s daughter what her father had said as they approached. “He said, ‘Here come’s Sadony’s car'” she replied.
CASE 1027 – The son of the owner of a gravel boat was drowned in White Lake. The coast guard were unable to locate the body. That night, at midnight, Joseph went out with a friend, equipped with an electric searchlight and a storage battery. He tied three sinkers to three corks and told the friend to row about in the dark, which he did, making circles with his eye on a dock-light to keep his bearings. Suddenly Joseph felt that they were above the body and dropped one of the corks. They repeated the process until the third cork had been dropped, then they turned on the light. At one side of the boat they beheld the three corks floating within a short distance from each other. In the midst of them Joseph put the light down into the water. He was himself quite startled to see the beam of light shining directly upon a dead and upturned face. The body was wedged between two logs so that the drags of the coast-guard had passed over it without revealing its presence.
CASE 1051 – We drove to Muskegon one day in October of 1923. Joseph pointed to a particular telephone post as we passed it – only one out of the thousands along the Michigan State Highway – and he said, “That post will be smashed by a car. We will watch and see.” But November and December passed without the sign of a scratch. On January 15th we drove along the same road for the first time in a number of days. The post was broken and splintered. Markings on the ground showed plainly where a car had left the road at great speed….
“A new bridge was being built over the river between Whitehall and Montague. Joseph pointed to a particular section of railing in the temporary detour bridge. ‘Next time we pass, that will be broken,’ he said. ‘At that point a driver will lose confidence in passing a Southbound car.’ And the next day, but one, we found the railing under repair at the point foreseen.”
CASE 1029 – One evening Joseph parked his car in front of a small cigar and candy store. The little Italian keeper came out and began to tell him of his troubles with his wife, and of how terrible and cruel she was.
Joseph told him to be good to her, “for just two weeks,” he said, “And you will not regret it. Everything will be for the best then. She will not be with you after that. She will be happy. You will be happy, if you have been kind and good.”
“She will die,” he told us after we had left. “He will then know that I knew, if he does not now.”
Three weeks later we drew up in front of the same little store. The little man ran out and offered Joseph a big fat cigar as a gift.
“By golly, you were right,” he beamed. “She died last week.”
And from the same notebook we take the following extracts: “He predicted the transparent gas that was later developed and put to such deadly use…. He saw a fleet of submarines before the submarine was invented…. He saw the secret of blowing up submarines by foreseeing the side blown out of the first one, and watching it sink…. And he told in details of remarkable methods of the spies and spoke in particular of a string of English towns on or near the coast where men kept carrier pigeons that left for Germany daily with intimate reports of what was going on….
He foretold a Catastrophy that would occur within a month or two – seven to twelve hundred people taken at once, – not shot as in war, but like a tidal wave of souls going over. And not once but many times he foretold such catastrophies as well as describing the scene at the moment that it was happening so many hundred or thousands of miles away. Many times it would be the sinking of a great ship. Other times an earthquake. But always we would hear of it as prophesied, and with all details as described.
“Then perhaps he would speak of some smaller Catastrophe happening nearer home, as for instance was recorded on January 6th, 1918. ‘A house is burning so many miles north of here’, he said. And the next day this was proved to be true.
“And again on the 10th of the same month he was seized with the feeling of houses burning or burned, and of persons lost in the snow and suffering with cold. It was discovered that one house was at that time completely destroyed by fire, and that the entire family, father, mother and four children were forced into the snow in their night clothes. And at the same time there were other fires less serious. And a man, the caretaker of Alexander Dowie’s home on White Lake was lost in a snowdrift and died…..
“And then, at times, Joseph would show us a small revolving model of the world, with a detailed map upon its surface. He would imagine that it was the Earth itself, and would describe the feelings and thoughts that came to him from different parts at different times. Past, Present and Future. And he would point to certain countries and certain cities, saying ‘At this moment this and this is happening such and such a man is planning that; earthquakes here; a ship at the bottom of the sea there….’
“And Joseph prophesied the end of the war in a remarkable manner. He said that the war would be soon over. But there was an American flag hanging before his home. It showed signs of the weather. He was about to replace it with a new one, but he changed his mind one day when he was asked about the war. ‘When the last star falls from that flag,’ he said, ‘The World War will be over.’ And it is a remarkable fact that the last star blew down on Nov. 11th of 1918, when the Armistice was signed.
“It is hard to explain these things. Was this a wonderful ‘sign’ from some higher power, or did Joseph in foreseeing the time of the War’s end, see also other details of the same day, thus making use of a strange ‘coincidence’, just as he might have seen a certain branch of a tree to fall, which would enable him to say, ‘When that branch falls down the war will be over?'”
CASE 568 – (A newspaper clipping) “J.A. Sadony foretold a great disaster which would happen the first week in May, and no one paid much attention to his prophecy. The fact is being recalled in the light of the Lusitania disaster.”
CASE 568a – (Another clipping) “Jan. 30th Now that Italy is beginning to recover from effects of the earthquakes which have brought ruin and desolation, country folk here recall that Mr. J.A. Sadony prophesied three months ago the approach of an unusual commotion of the earth in the southern part of Europe shortly after New Year’s….”
CASE 163 – Letter 1184 – “… You then told me about papers my family had of which they were not aware, that would show that we owned a mine in the southwest, away from railroads. The mine had been abandoned, but was still in operation at that time, although we did not know this then. We found the papers, showing that the records, etc., had been burned in 1872, and were never heard of since, as the original owners were dead. But now we own the mine, after several lawsuits, etc. But had we not found out about them that year, and paid the taxes, we would have lost them, as jumpers had been paying the taxes and working them….
“Last summer I was present when you warned a young man about going into the water because of heart trouble. That next Sunday he was drowned. (Mr. McCabe, of Chicago)
“You have told many things that were taking place at the time….”
CASE 484 – (Srikrishna Chatterjee, B. L. Cuttack, India: youngest son of Prem Chandra Tarkavagisha, distinguished Sanskrit Scholar of Bengal in the 19th Century.)
Mr. Chatterjee wrote to ask, “Do you know of anybody who could give me a spirit photograph of my departed father? He was the Professor of Rhetoric in the Sanskrit College of Calcutta from the thirties to the middle sixties….
Mr. Sadony replied, “As I read your card, a strange feeling came to me, as if your father brought it; and with him a younger woman, with a most beautiful soul. He spoke first in a strange language, then in five different tongues, the last a universal language I understood. The names were all foreign ones, but I will give them as closely as possible. “My son, the only photograph of my features I shall imprint on your soul. My deeds are photographed in the minds of my past friends. There is no pen, color, or chemical on earth that can reproduce my present features…. These words you are now reading are the only photograph of myself I can give you….” Now then, dear brother, the voice of the woman seemed to speak, and she called the name “Birwar”, “Borwar”, or “Birtware”, and continued as if speaking to him. It appears that this boy, who must be her son, was at the brink of Eternity twice. She further speaks of the joy of holding in her arms in the future this boy’s male child. But she warns him to he more careful of his health. Then there were three more she spoke of – one older, the name sounded something like “Ratuswar”, and then she came to your name, but it sounded so different than you have signed it that I could hardly understand, till she pointed to your card. When I asked mentally when she was blessed with a spiritual form, the answer as near as I could understand was 1902. The relief from her suffering was so great, as she said, that she has been in ecstasy since.” (Remainder of message omitted here.)
“I have no doubt whatsoever” wrote M. Chatterjee, “that the ‘younger woman’ is my dear departed wife. She went to the Higher Life on the 4th of January, 1903.” (Note: four days later than 1902.) “She died of tetanus after terrible suffering of 16 or 17 days…. The name ‘Birwar’ is a contraction or corruption of ‘Bireswar,’ the name of my third boy. Yes he was on the brink of Eternity twice, his last illness being double pneumonia. I fear my dear wife will not have the joy of holding in her arms in the future this boy’s male child, as he has set his face against marriage….
“‘Ratuswar’ is a contraction of ‘Ratueswar’, my second boy…. As to my name…. Do you know that Hindu ladies do not pronounce their husband’s names during their earth life?….”
Mr. Sadony wrote in a letter of June, 1916, “This I know positively, that your wife will influence your son to marry.”
In a letter of 1916, Mr. Sadony predicted the end of the war. Then in April, 1917, he wrote to the son, ”…. You will make the change to another city, and before you receive this letter you will have made two changes. At first things may appear slow, but it is as a moth in a cocoon, waiting for this cruel war to end, which will come to pass sooner than the world realizes, as even now the central powers have formed a plan to surrender with as good grace as possible under the circumstances. England and the Allies will be the gainers. India will awaken – at least her sons, who will make use of the opportunity to become coworkers with all the world….” (Remainder of letter omitted.)
A postscript to another letter read, “I see one body in your place being divested of its soul. Let me know if this has occurred since my writing this, as I expect one more to follow. And tell Abhaya that God has called her to His home….”
In Jan. 1920, a letter from the son stated, “I have passed through the changes you predicted.”
In March, the father wrote, “‘You say, ‘At one time since my last communication (1917) I seemed to see you at the portals of death.’ If it was in August or September, 1918, you would be right, for I was then in the death-door condition. It was an attack of influenza…. You say ‘You are now 68 years of age, are you not?’ My answer is, I am now in the 67th year of my age.
“In reference to your message of death, my eldest brother died a year after your seeing the vision, (March, 1918), and my second brother followed him in December. Your prophecy about my sister Abhaya appears to be erroneous. She is living still.” (Note: She died one year and one month after the date of this letter.)
“Your prophecy that my wife’s spirit will influence my boy to marry has come true. He married in August last. He is now Professor at the Bhumikar Brahman College….”
“Another prediction of yours has also been verified. In your letter of Feb. 20th, 1916, you predicted a ‘Journey’. That journey was undertaken by me in October, 1919. In September I was seized with a desire to see my second boy and his two children and wife at Nasirabad, which must be about 1500 miles from this place…. I went to Calcutta, and thence proceeded…. I visited Arraha, Pushkar, Chitor, Udaipur, Ujjain, (and eight other places) in the course of my ‘Journey’. I showed your letter to several friends, and told many more that you had predicted my journey upwards of three years before.
Addendum Case 484 – In February of 1924, Mr. Sadony entered his Study, stating that he distinctly felt the presence of Srikrishna Chatterjee, who at that time seemed to be in a dying or unconscious condition.
Upon receipt of a booklet sent him by Mr. Sadony in April, Mr. Chatterjee wrote, “There is much truth in the dubiousness expressed by the words, ‘if still with us’, on the title page…. I was confined to bed by a profound nervous prostration for five months from Nov. 1923…. It seemed to me that consciousness had left me. It has now come back….”
In August of 1924 Mr. Sadony wrote, “With regard to my writing ‘If still with us’, in presenting my booklet to you, my reason was a peculiar incident. About the middle of February, while in my Study, I seemed to feel your presence, just as if you were in that sphere which hovers between death and life, a living dreamland, the sphere which brings me so many messages – as if you were in the next world, but still anchored by a silk thread to this one. I began to fear, for I felt that you had something still to complete….”
Just as this booklet was going to press, a letter was received from Mr. Chatterjee, in which he stated, “You are quite right in saying that in February last I was in that sphere which hovers between life and death – in the next world. Dear brother, it seemed to me that I died, and have come back to life again…”
With this letter came a copy of the fifth edition of the life of Srikrishna Chatterjee’s father, (Life and Slokas of Prem Chandra Tarkavagisa, by Rai Ramakhoy Chatterji Bahadur, printed by Norendra Nath Bose at the St. Andrew’s Steam Printing Works, 81 Radha Bazar Street, Calcutta). It is written in Bengali, but at the close, in English, we find an account of the attempt which had been made to secure a spirit photograph of the Pandit Tarkavagisa. There is reference to communication with “Julia’s Bureau” in London, the medium photographer Edward Wyllie, the Normans, etc. (From all of which excuse had been offered for failure to produce the desired photograph).
Then the account concludes, “At last in 1916, Mr. Joseph A. Sadony, the great American psychic, when communicated with on the subject, wrote to say: – ‘As I read your card’, etc. (quoting in detail the message given at the beginning of this case, 484.)
“Thus”, concludes the writer, “the question whether a spirit photo of the Pandit could be had, has received its quietus after a correspondence with different psychics and mediums in almost all parts of the world extending over a period of nearly twelve years.”
“I leave it to others to explain these things,” Mr. Sadony has often said of his work and experiences, “These are the results. I am willing to tell of the steps that led up to them. The Scientist must explain, if he can.”
If I have prophesied, even once, correctly, this is absolute proof of more than the possibility. We all possess the ability to “foresee”, but our objective desires are too strong to allow subjective thoughts to live. Meals and sleep come too close together for most of us, and our desire for excitement and companionship deafens our ears to the secrets of seclusion. I am often sad for the want of someone to share with me all that fills the entire atmosphere from time immemorial, using me as a willing subject. Does this seem strange? The air today is filled with music and laughter, even in the dead loneliness and silence of the Wilderness. Tune in your radio and see!
- Joseph A. Sadony
Book of Crumbs – II
A second book of CRUMBS From a Table Spread
Printed and Published
at the Valley Press
BY THE VALLEY PRESS
The mind must be fed
But let us lay aside fine words and spiced dishes.
Let us set the wine aside until evening.
Let us sip the milk of our childhood — and live on Bread for a day….
You ask, “What is Truth?” Truth is an established principle, a law unerring, fixed by the Creator of reality. It can be acquired by man, sustained by reason and logic. It is the criterion of God. It is the existence within existence, or the soul of life.
Man’s understanding is limited. Beyond this limit he fails to grasp Truth. It is like going into a forest. One can go no further than the center without beginning to come out again.
While we possess this human conveyance we are taxed by it’s laws to obey its own mandates: a law onto itself which may conflict with modern Christianity, but did not under the teaching of the Master.
He who is able to recognize his own weakness, is able to understand the power of virtue — just as the simpleton, when able to respect a wise man, loses his title as a fool.
He who lives in despair and dies in hope, lives to give hope to those who are to die in despair.
Cannot the soul of intelligence be that Law which governs crystallization in minerals, a law of individuality which governs instinct, the milestone of distinct species in the animal: character and personality in man.
I do not seek pleasure. I let it find me.
Forget your kind deeds, so your friends may remind you of them by following your example.
We blindly assume responsibility with eyes upon the reward, balancing lightly the fact that our mountain of ambition is as high as our valley of difficulties and problems is deep. The law of compensation keeps her books perfectly balanced. Though but a dewdrop be absorbed and evaporated, it has its own accounting — by its sediment, which remains: as do man’s accomplishments. The hands of the clock themselves mean nothing, though they be studded with diamonds. They may be replaced by a dry twig. …For back of them exists a powerful spring governed by a hair-spring, its weakest affinity of impulse which is governed by its compensated regulator, Time. The hands but point to the Past’s dead. We have wings, still we dare not fly — just yet.
If a man thinks it is a sacrilege to breathe upon a toad, to him it shall be. As a man thinketh, so is he — but not as he thinketh himself to be.
The man who is selfish, is so ignorant that he cannot see that there is an abundance of everything. The unselfish man knows that there is an exhaustless supply of everything.
Let him who would be heard give his sermons in whispers.
Falsehoods are so subtle that it behooves us to examine the mirror’s deformity, rather than to blame its reflection. Neither should we blame a perfect mirror for our own disfigurement.
His foot has reached a precipice, who thinketh himself safe.
This precious electrical force, magnetism, vibrations, subjective consciousness, ether, mental telepathy, intuition, inspiration, illumination, the “voice of the spirit”, re-incarnation of thought, “angel voices”, the whisperings of God within us, or the honest creation of man’s aspiration for Truth — call it cloth, shape, or what you please — will still be the original substance used: the Law of Life and Truth.
He who will not cast a few drops of water upon a dry plant, cannot expect to pluck the flowers.
God does not create a master-piece just to destroy it. And, as His work is of love and construction, He would never build unless He had a place for this construction. As the soul is all love, we naturally grasp for that inheritance.
Let your imaginary hurts be destroyed by the flame of sleep. The cup of hunger shall be filled for him who will resign himself to the will of his Creator; for there is a way as long as we have eyes, ears, and a tongue, to see, to hear, and to give.
When the gaming season is closed, a hunter is apt to kick his hound about every day. But the first day of the season he will overfeed him and kill him with kindness.
When one starts with all vim, and after a while begins to relax, it is evident that he is not in the right territory — for if the want lasts but a certain time, it proves that the brain, and not the heart is working.
One must feel the sorrow to place the picture into color.
Human faculties are flowing springs of pure water that often dry up for want of use. They may become a destructive flood if turned into one channel by discretion…. Endeavor to drink of each, if but one drop, to keep them gently flowing.
Let no spectacular sermon or service control the true good common sense that God gave you. Clarity begins at home, and your prayers should be offered up in your own little bedroom where no one but God and His servants may hear you.
Man can change nothing — except an individuality.
Bear in mind that there is no frown in existence that cannot be destroyed with a smile.
All you really need to make good, is to close your eyes and see nothing but your ambition to do so. Don’t lose the thought for one moment, and you will find that every side-track will lead to your point of concentration, just as all tracks lead to a big city.
As we think and act, so we are. Our thoughts leave an indelible mark upon our features, while our actions leave monuments in the graveyards of the memories of others.
If you wish to determine your own value, consider what good you do to those you meet, what value they place upon it, what joy they derive, and what pleasure you have received in giving it: then multiply the result with your own modesty and appreciation.
Just place eight kings in a ditch to dig, and they will accomplish no more than poor Pat, with a pick and shovel. But place them upon their thrones, and where they belong, and you will see some action……
Tears that have evaporated can never be dried by the hand of sympathy…. They must be paid for.
It is little credit to a natural, born artist to draw a wonderful picture. There is more credit due to one who is not an artist, and who still draws well.
One must undergo all the anguish of mind that the flesh is heir to, in order to see the wants of others.
We must not judge future events by past experiences.
Let not your feet dance your brain to death.
Some think they must live to eat and to love. Some eat that they may live and be loved. Is it not better to feel that one is born to live, and to understand love, than to think one lives but to die?
Real joys are debts paid in full.
Our desires and ambitions are frames to be filled with that which we lack and which will make us complete. Many of us have unframed art-galleries; many of us, pictures to give away, but failing to do so in fear that the frame may outshine the picture, or vice versa.
Curiosity is a mental snare by which curses and blessing seek an outlet.
Some of us mortals give away more grain and fruit than we grow in our field and orchard; and many of us accept more than we need to plant in the Springtime of action.
As jazz music is a mental drug, so is a sweet melody good bread to our hungry bodies.
A mental stimulus is to the body what sunshine is to the flower. Both may grow in shadows: but without distinction of color or beauty.
If you have done all you could, and the world still looks drab — try a little music.
Diplomacy is thrice a virtue when a pleasant smile of forgiveness or tolerance meets and overcomes a grinning sneer of disrespect.
To be affected by the criticism of another, is not only to compliment him, but to admit the question of doubt as to validity of acquirements.
I believe it is far safer to starve on the road to our real want, than to have an attack of gout in but a momentary pleasure that we know is not our own.
He whose one desire to make money, is successful — until he becomes covetous.
Man will live as long as he is able to substitute a mechanical energy for his own, to realize and understand his complexity, to control his animal propensities, and to possess a want. When he is complete, by the amalgamation of every know chemical, life and love which here exists, his mission on earth has been fulfilled.
All that man needs for health, happiness, and prosperity, is hard work under discipline: whether that discipline be self-obligated, through pride, or any other cause. This keeps the well-water of his brain clear, cool and sparkling.
Neglected virtues become burdens of Necessity.
When everything appears undecided, why not visualize your real desires, and govern circumstances, instead of allowing circumstances to govern you? Why not make the dress fit you, instead of trying to make yourself fit into the dress?
An ignorant man displays his emotions in tears: a wise man, in action.
It is the small things that are most important, for they are in the making and can be altered. The big things have already been made, and are permanent.
You who have ever been in fear of Death, and who question Immortality, see before you each day the manifestation of Death, and still you know it not. You, Fathers and Mothers who are atheists, gaze with pride and love upon your baby boys and girls, and are not aware of their loss by Death from Babyhood into Manhood and Womanhood: for they are now within your elements, and the child has passed away. They are called as you are: Man and Woman. And they are called to Death. It is your unreceptive mind which selects and grinds the color that you mix with the Dew of Death upon the brows of those whom you would force into the shadow of Death, the unreal: Manhood, the death of your child; Godhood, the passing of man. Mortality is but a shadow, ill-shapen and deformed; Immortality, the substance upon which the light of God shines in all splendor.
Give more thought to life’s to-morrow, to pay for your needs to come, than to the past dead which gives you no return. You can shape the future and offset the past by a perfect masterpiece. You can always patch and repair a broken pitcher — which will make it more valuable through realization and appreciation. Likewise, false pride can be eliminated by asking forgiveness. For greater is he who receives an undeserving blow in silence, than he who strikes one, even though justified.
I would rather trust a thief than an honest man who knows no temptation. Each stumbling block in our way has given us more Prestige, and the right to accept the reward our efforts seek.
Let the man who would be contented, without malice, without envy — let him spin his own web.
One who drifts aimlessly over the waters of inspiration, becomes wrecked upon the shoals of the imagination.
Man seeks for truth in every part of this earth, but only at the height of his eyes. He gathers material about him which confuses, hampers and trips his movements, until his progress is uncertain and slow, because of matching his timber to complete the picture of his ideal.
Let him sit himself down and gaze upward, for there he will find Truth, already shaped in all its splendor, as an obedient Servant instead of a pitiless Master……
……BUT WE cannot live by bread alone. We must drink water to carry that staff of life through our veins and arteries. As the Master has rightly spoken, “Eat ye and drink of my body and blood.” Eat ye the bread of truth, and scatter it to the four parts of the earth by the pure water of deeds and action. What he hath offered thee by birth thou mayest possess in Death.
Book of Crumbs – I
JOSEPH A. SADONY
Printed and Published
at The Valley Press
THE COLLECTED MINIATURE WORKS OF JOSEPH SADONY
Valley of the Pines
First Edition of the Second
“PINE TREE BOOKLET”
BY THE VALLEY PRESS
VALLEY OF THE PINES
“….Then the master of the house said to his servants, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city. and bring in hither the poor and the maimed, and the halt and the blind.
“And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”
Remember, there are no miracles, unless a leap from one point to another — and the gap that we have leaped is a law of Nature which we have omitted.
Often we absorb knowledge or food not meant for us, and of which, like a stain, we must rid ourselves in order to start anew.
Show me a man who has not made mistakes, and I will how you one who will soon make them.
Joy and pleasure is the law of gravitation that evolves unto spiritual perfection: if not amalgamated with sensuality and the animal propensities.
A fault once denied is twice committed.
In swatting a fly, you know, we often hit ourselves with more vigor than we intended.
Thoughts are wreathes of evaporating intelligence.
No matter how strong we may think we are, a few grains of sand thrown in the eyes will make us helpless.
He who thinks himself great, is that much more a coward; and to the extend of his greatness does he fear Death.
God places in our make-up future realities which can often be interpreted by our imagination or visualized pictures.
The past is the memory of the body or mind. The future is the memory of the soul.
Never measure what you are going to do by seconds, nor what you have done by minutes, but what you will do by centuries.
It often pays a man to protect his individuality by burning all bridges behind him.
Death is more natural than birth: Birth can be prevented, but Death never.
Do not allow anything to appear out of your reach. The fact that you can anticipate the possibilities, is evidence that you are entitled to them, and can realize them. A beginning appears hard because the end seems so far off — but who wants the end?
The greatest virtue of achievement is appreciation.
Be careful not to allow the weather-vane to stick, or it will lie.
Admiration is an unconsciousness confession of dormant accomplishments in the admirer.
When a masterpiece is in the making one must expect broken tools, dirt, and labor. But later comes the polishing, where only the dust remains to be swept away.
We often try short-cuts in life, trying to run a wide guage car on a narrow guage rail, and wonder why there are so many bumps. King or fool, act — live the part.
If you wish to become a butterfly, become a worm: for it is as essential to understand the stratas of God’s footstool, with its darkest hour, as the air-currents in the brightest sunshine of joy.
A loyal friend despises secrets. A pretended one welcomes them.
The man who can blind himself to sorrow and pain, has all the joy of the Universe, and knows not the darkness in his blindness.
The really dangerous person is one who is impulsive in action. He explodes his imaginary grievances into action without reflection; while one who hesitates, and gloats in the thought of revenge, unconsciously uses a lightning rod and becomes harmless.
Let the man among us who is most efficient and capable lead the way, and let the rest of us thank God that we can serve.
The man who is sincere seldom advertises his intentions.
Our infirmities are only as we form them mentally, and allow them to escape unconsciously. Later they return with a large family. Loose impulses cause genius to turn to insanity, and the victim to lose the power of his compass.
Clothe an absolute necessity in beauty and charm, and not only will it be fashionable, but it will give birth to a greater beauty and loveliness: for a necessity is the shell of protection, God’s gift, a chrysalis: a butterfly from a worm; from a man to a God.
When calamity comes, dilute it with past joys.
When a man complains to you, ask him what he demands, what he receives, and what he is worth. Nothing more need be said.
A great man will not trample on a worm; nor will he sneak to a king. The man who labors in silence and darkness possesses more power then the one who holds his hand above his head in broad daylight and proclaims his intentions.
What you have had will never buy you a good meal.
Do not get into the habit of believing, and making others believe that you have reached the height of your ambition. Remember that it is only the foundation whereupon your future edifice shall stand.
Everything has its price — which is a necessity. Beyond that it is luxury; beyond that, a curse.
Immortality always seeks the shade of Respectability.
Love has hope where reason dies of starvation.
One with beauty and charm is a child of luxury — the coat of the leopard. But the one who is the leopard’s hide when shorn of its fur, but with the tough leather as protection, is a child of necessity to support the child of luxury.
Fortunate is the man who carries all the prismatic colors of life, so that he may adapt himself, or apply his judgments.
Thoughts are composed of what one’s vitality consists of.
The ladder of a social climber leans against a cloud that has no silver lining.
The man who is insane has stepped on one end of his teeter-totter and stayed there.
The stolen toy is the symbol of the hangman’s noose.
If you wish to be happy and successful, adopt a girl and a boy: Apprehension and Comprehension.
If a student does not make himself a part of everything, he is not a part of the Whole.
He that seeketh hath a house to build to live therein. But he that seeketh not, has not been born.
We can measure the value of a thing by the time it required to complete it.
The man that counts, is the one who will swallow things, say nothing, and await his chance. An empty barrel makes the most noise, and thunder, with all its racket, is harmless, because the silent flash of lightning has already destroyed. — Let it thunder.
Realization of your wants brings death closer.
A fly woke me, irritated me — I killed it. It sought food. It forced me to end its life by its desire for food, and my irritation. Desire but hastens consummation, with irritation the medium. A nation desires greater territory. An irritation brings war!
I saw a picture of the masses on a treadmill — grinding, grinding, grinding. Grinding what? — Only their bearings, for the want of unselfish oil.
Labor, discipline and self-control still the fire of impulsiveness, so the hand of virtue may lead on to fill the void created by environments contrary to the growth of enlightenment.
Education is the musical instrument upon which the Spirit of God plays music of truths.
The more noise one can endure, the less sensitive his intellectual ability. His mental faculties are tuned to coarse slow vibrations. His endurance is a scale of acquirements.
He who is convinced against his will, will soon forget.
An uncontrollable imagination indicates that there is no wall between the spiritual and the material.
The crucial test comes when you wash your hands: then if no stain remains, your conscience may be clear.
He who is penitent of sin is half forgiven; but he who confesses his sin in penitence is entirely forgiven because a penitent possesses a truthful conscience which bears witness and passes sentence, but one who also confesses sin, destroys his alter of false pride, and expiates his penance to become a pure child of righteousness.
A genius is but an opening through the Wall that upholds truth and wisdom.
When a man condemns you, tell him to buy a new set of rules and implements, and you won’t have to tell him he lies.
Man will doubt immortality as long as his objective memory is a part of his judgment.
Ignorant faith is Instinct.
The person worth while is the one who can accomplish things out of his sphere, not flying just because he has wings.
The man who lives within the chamber of licentious thoughts, must expect to pay its rent.
Courage makes a good man better, a bad man worse, because it is the powder behind the bullet.
Why be burdened with tools if no use is made of them? If no timber, then lay them aside for a time and gather timber.
An envious man is made gloomy not only by his own cloud, but by another’s sunshine.
A poor man should acquire the dignity of a rich man, and a rich man should live the life of a poor man.
Any environment feeding upon itself, brings deterioration and annihilation thru fermentation.
It is impossible to see one’s own reflection in those who do not possess its likeness. No one is perfect. But the man who excels, flies his own colors.
Consider the hypocrite who constantly raises the flag of truce in times of peace, and cries aloud, “I am an honest, virtuous man.” I would like to know who taught such a man that there ever existed dishonesty or vice, if he has not already dipped his hand in slime and suspicion. Or who told him he was naked when there were no clothes? And why try to blot out a sin that has not been committed? — But thus the world is. Where there is flexibility of motion there is life.
The more one binds himself to society, the more of a slave he become to slaves.
A curse, name or criticism has only the value that the victim places upon it.
Many minds are pregnant. Few give birth. Still fewer live to mature.
I believe in laboring hard to offset the mental, so that I may stand on the see-saw of life, just above the fulcrum, the spot where good judgment and common sense are born.
From Birth we journey to Death: Death is our reward to Life.
Do not rush anything. Simply let each little cell burst as a bubble, deposit its sentiment, and, like the minutest bit of life in the coral, form a structure that is indestructible in all its beauty.
He receives the most reward who is expecting none.
The man that conquers himself, conquers his enemies.
He is safer to think what we intend to say, than to say what we intend to think.
One can often win by silence, where aggressiveness loses the battle.
What you create, that you are.
One may obtain mental clothing in blood stained Europe, but the clean, virgin soil of the West is the best place on earth either to interpret past history or solve future mysteries. If one will learn what the appetites of the human mind consist of, then he can feed food that will continuously call for more. And as the Baker is as glad to get rid of the bread as the hungry man is to eat and pay for it, there is no denying that knowledge was created to be applied and passed on, the circulating coin of the mind. For if we hold it, it becomes musty, and fanaticism is born. But if we pass it on, our ears hear more keenly, our eyes discern more clearly, and the tongue is more clever at repartee. It is only the clever man who can make a mistake and in the same breath use it as a comedy to cover the defect.
If you let Pride build a wall about you, Habit will build a trench.
Always bear in mind that the bravest and strongest warrior becomes helpless at the point of his own sword.
The spirit of serving is becoming to the high as well as the lowly, but dignity belongs to him who is able to uphold it.
We but grasp at the thing we would be, and fall back on the lap of false destiny.
In the name of Love and Charity give your surplus profits at your youth, so that they may be returned to you in old age as necessities.
If a piano is not tuned, you cannot play correctly. This does not prove that the player is wrong. The fault is with the instrument. God is good, but we are poor instruments, out of tune. When our thoughts embody divine
Ideals, we throw off the shackles of death.
Ask, and ye shall receive that which must be paid for. Ask not your desires, and the fulfillment shall be your wages.
Success: To create your own wants to meet unavoidable circumstances that will form a bond of love and happiness.
Enthusiasm is an outburst of a new discovery realized.
Just get into the game of being boys and girls. It is the most wonderful game in the world. Even the Master played it when He said “Suffer little children to come unto me. Forbid them not.” As little children we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven — but not as old men and women: for they are left behind to clean the cobwebs of old Mother Earth.
As we think and act, so are we. Our thoughts leave an indelible mark upon our features, while our actions leave monuments in the graveyards of the memories of others.
He who used Truth as a weapon, makes many enemies, but creates one Friend.
Money cannot always cover sin, for tho the barrel and hoops may be made of the strongest wood and iron, the acid of immortality may burn its way through, rot the wood, and rust the iron.
You go upon the mountain top, calling a name you do not mean, expecting the echo to repeat the name you do — and are despondent when you hear the result.
If through my charity I give thee a coin, and it fails to give birth to another by its Gift, then thou art not worthy to have received it, and it will but make thee lose another, having lost its seed. We need go to no one for proof of life and death. We can see and realize, so that, to us, it will be absolute knowledge, without assumption, without theory, without mysticism — simply the truth. And as for modern Christianity, ninety-nine percent of the workers do not believe entirely in their views which they can only assume to be true. The one percent feel the spirit of the Master, and are sincere thru the spirit of faith. If we should place all creeds and sects in a wine-press, we would obtain one drop of pure water, transparent, crystal-clear, the living diamond of truth, which is the one perfection, the creation and why we are.
When a man has something new, or claims a power above the ordinary, such as Prophecy, the mass flock to him and say, “Let us see. Let us see.” The wiser people say, “I will wait until he has been established for five years. If he lasts that long he must have something, and then I will go to see him.”
The still wiser men say, “We will wait ten years.”
The students of philosophy say, “We will wait twenty years, or perhaps thirty years; and then, if he is still alive, we can be certain that he has something worth investigating.”
But the Philosopher says, “I will wait until the day of his death, and go to see him at the side of his death-bed to receive his message.”
The Silent Wanderer
Echoes of the Life and Teachings of The Master Jesus
A series of little stories from a new angle of possibilities
JOSEPH A. SADONY
Printed and Published
at the Valley Press
The Month of April
BY THE VALLEY PRESS
VALLEY OF THE PINES
The Silent Wanderer
WE Labor for the Silent Wanderer,
Who travels among all nations.
His name is Love.
He is the shepherd,
but ye know Him not.
THE first seed was called Jesus, the Christ.
And now the fruit of His love, the bread
of His body, is everywhere, if ye will but
grasp and eat with understanding.
For Beauty and Love there is no death.
THE SILENT WANDERER goes from place to place, seeking love and rest among His people: and they know it not, and in their blindness rush on to their desired goal, which but leads to their childhood.
FORTUNATE is he who hears the soft tapping at the door of his heart, and whose voice responds to the tender appeal of the New-comer, the gentle Shepherd seeking rest after having placed his flock in safety for the night.
Let not flesh reason when the clouds obscure the sun.
THE SILENT WANDERER — I
“He maketh thy enemy his footstool.”
AND IT SO HAPPENED that upon a certain day, the Master and His disciples were sore pressed, for there were those who did not believe, and those who feared the new teaching.
There were those also who had made dire threats to the twelve for their bold testimony. Then came the day for Jesus and the disciples to travel over the mountain to preach the gospel. It was voiced about that the road to Capernaum was dangerous and beset by ruffians: one a bold Captain named Barabbas, cruel and crafty, who would not hesitate to take life.
Peter, in apprehension for the safety of Jesus, said, “Master, is it not well that we arm ourselves to protect life and our property?” Jesus said, “Peter, whom service thou? If it is God, then have no fear of man or death, for thou shalt lose nothing which is thine.” So they prepared for the long journey. They traveled many miles, and became tired and worn. At nightfall they prepared to a place to rest and sleep. When all was made ready they heard shouts and curses, and were immediately surrounded by Barabbas and his men who quickly bound all those who sought to resist, save Jesus and John.
Barabbas faced the Master, exclaiming, “So this is the Carpenter, the professed son of God, who makes even the Romans frown! But tell me, where is thy power of sorcery now?”
Jesus, with a smile of compassion upon His face, said, “Barabbas, knowest thou not that what thou taketh thou canst not hold? Was it not so with thy mother in giving thee birth to fulfill the Gospel? Think well of these things, for we shall meet again. I shall soon be as free in my new Kingdom, as thou be bound on earth.”
Barabbas’ face became clouded with anger and resentment. He ordered his men to take all of the Apostles’ belongings and be on their way. As soon as they departed, John unbound the eleven while Jesus walked to a secluded spot, there to meditate and pray.
The next day before sunrise, they once more began their journey in silence.
Judas broke the silence, saying, “Master, why could we not have been escorted by soldiers?”
Jesus answered, “Because of thy lack of faith, do I this unto thee.” Peter said, “Master, I have still a strong arm, had I but a sword for our defense.”
But Jesus said, “Simon Peter, keep thy strong right hand to hold the Keys to My Kingdom.”
And thus, at each question, they were ashamed.
At last, on nearing their destination, they beheld a cloud of dust; and soon they discerned a man on horseback who approached the Master with a large bundle, saying, “My master, Barabbas, sent me in haste to return Thee all Thy belongings, and to say Thou art a greater thief than he, for Thou didst steal his black heart away. He shall upon the morrow surrender himself with those who have been cast into prison for making insurrection with him, and bids me add that he is not worthy to follow you near, but only at a distance so that Thy shadow shall not fall upon his unworthy body.”
And, with a low bow, the man disappeared. Peter turned to Jesus with tears of humiliation, and said, “Master, forgive us. We are but children in a new-found faith. I see the footstool at my feet.
“And behold, the unworthy master did become a servant unto us, for the city and our goods are before us.” And so it happened that the deed of forgiveness freed Barabbas once more, and, in turn, crucified the Master Jesus so that we might think, love, and pray.
NOTE: While these are the first and second stories to be printed, they are not the first in the unpublished manuscript known as “The Silent Wanderer”, from which the present series is being selected.
THE SILENT WANDERER — II
AND IT CAME TO PASS, after Joseph had received warning in his dream of the Christ Child’s danger, that he, with Mary, gathered together their few belongings and escaped in haste into the desert.
They continued, weary with heat and dust, until at last they beheld some tents. : whereupon Joseph spake unto Mary, saying, “Let us there find rest, and shelter from the sun.”
As they drew near, a woman of Mary’s age came forth. and with trembling voice besought them to wend their way, for her husband was a robber of the highway, and by nightfall would return with all his men.
But Joseph asked that they might rest until the shadows lengthened, so she bade them enter, and gave them milk and bread. Mary then asked for a basin of water with which to bathe her child, and this also was gladly furnished by the robber’s wife.
Upon beholding the white, transparent skin of the Baby Jesus, the poor woman wept many tears in admiration, saying, “Oh, that my child were so beautiful as thine!” And with that she brought from another tent, a child of the same age.
“Behold, what curse has been wrought upon my son!” she grieved, and showed them the little body which was covered with ulcers and sores. Mary was moved with a mother’s pity and said, “My sister, have ye faith in the power of Jehova? If so, then bathe thy child in this water with which my child was cleansed.”
With great faith and trembling the woman did as Mary said, and as she bathed the sores and ulcers, they fell away, until at last her child came forth all clean and whole.
Thirty-two years passed by, and three men were hanged upon the cross. One of them reviled the Man with the crown of thorns. The other gazed at Him with pity and respect, then said to the first, “Silence thy tongue, Knave! Canst thou not see that He is not one of us? We are hardened and deserve our merits, but this Man is just; and is it not an honor to die with Him?” Then, fixing his eyes upon the Master, he said in gentle tones, “Brother, have I not met Thee before?”
Jesus turned to him, and whispered, “Once thou wast cleansed by the same water that cleansed my body; and now at the last hour, shall thy body be cleansed by my blood, for thy kind words of comfort. Born from the heart of the most lowly and blind, thou yet didst see. I shall remember thee in my Father’s House; and, though an outcast, yet thy name shall live.”
And, Gentle Reader, the Book was closed: but to-day it lives upon the highest peak on earth — the Holy Bible.
ONE DAY JESUS and the Apostles were near the bank of a river partaking of some little food that they had brought to sustain them on their journey. Peter saw tears come into the Master’s eyes and fall onto His cheek, so he drew near. “Why weepest, thou?” he whispered softly. “Peter, just a few tears that you need not shed when I am gone.” replied the Master.
FRAGMENTS IN PLASTIC PROSE
Valley of the Pines
The material embodied in these Fragments has appeared elsewhere, in different form: i.e. in Timber, The Whisper, The “Voice of Tomorrow” Calendar, Thoughts, The Poetry Society Year Book, Michigan Poets,The Muskegon Chronicle, The Kalamazoo Gazette, The Bay City Times, The Pasadena Star News, The San Jose Mercury Herald, The Chicago Daily Tribune; and in newspapers or periodicals of Argentina, Brasil, China, England and India.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
It is the fruit of plastic living and plastic thinking. . .
Freed from the habits of memory, the grooves of graphophone records, the rails of routine and the ruts of traveled roads:
no longer hemmed in by the expectations of others,
no longer dancing to the rhymes of men and measured rhythms contrary to all pulses of Nature,
which we and our thoughts must follow,
a living lie if we be unwilling prisoners …
There is a definite reason for selecting “Plastic Prose” as the substance for this first of a series of brochures in preparation at The Valley Press. The presentation of Joseph Sadony, his “Valley of the Pines” and matters of greater philosophic and scientific import, is being reserved for the book which is soon to follow. Meanwhile, however, Mr. Sadony, while not professing nor intending to be a poet, is now widely accredited, on the poetic side of the fence, with having originated “Plastic Prose”. It is understood that several volumes by Mr. Sadony will in due time appear in this form.
Therefore, to meet the immediate need of an introduction to “Plastic Prose”, with exemplification from the writings of Joseph Sadony which will answer queries concerning his use of it, we pause long enough in the midst of other efforts to present a small selection for this purpose.
Broken lines were used generations before poets called the result “Free Verse”, and worked out techniques of their own for using it. The use of short paragraphs containing phrases or single sentences may be found in many variations before Joseph Sadony, but no one previously has termed it “Plastic Prose” in contradistinction to “Free Verse”, working out a justifiable, simple and definite “technique” which entitles it to Identity as a literary form. Plastic Prose is not a writer’s affectation and it does not pretend to be “poetry”. There is a single purpose back of its typographical arrangement: i.e. to break up the printed form into phrases identical with the tempo of the original thought’s creation, thus attuning the reader to the same tempo which, in addition to the resulting visual relief and easier mental assimilation, is of definite aid in reading “between the lines” by this attunement with the author. The purpose is practical rather than poetic, hence “Plastic Prose” rather than “Free Verse”, hence also the elimination of unnecessary capital letters in connection with the phrasing. The following is self-explanatory, from
“THERE IS A SECRET LANGUAGE in the tempo of things which gives birth to personalities.”
There is a spirit of things that is at home in neither prose or poetry.
In this trend has been the bulk of much of the philosophic and meditative work of Joseph Sadony.
Its expression has given birth to a definite and simple technique of emancipated prose rather than liberated poetry.
It is the reduction of “paragraphs” to the tempo of speaking or thinking.
It has been arranged, as here exemplified, for thus, in speaking or dictating,
the words fell from the lips of the author in phrases doubly effective
because of the pauses, omissions and suspensions that seemed instruments of telepathic processes
involving subtleties and significances that could be captured or conveyed in no other way than by the same alignment of verbal fibres.
THROUGHOUT THE AGES man has searched experimentally for that elusive, most transparent, least artificial and most flexible technique of literary expression
which allows both thinker and reader greater mastery of thought over its medium,
and which, being capable of being molded to suit any purpose or tempo,
lends itself to the plainness of diction which, even as simplicity of dress, is so essential
to the freedom, efficiency and dignity of the human body
as well as the ancient and recently evolving modern American ideals of literary excellence: rapidity and directness as well as nobility of thought.
EVEN AS PETALS unfold from buds,
and limbs of trees branch forth distinct to monument their source in unseen roots
so does thought condense in the mind, flash from the tongue or distil from the pen of a man inspired:
thoughts that are often poetic yet not poetry,
thoughts that are often dramatic, yet not drama.
wisdom befitting philosophy,
Visions akin to revelations,
truths and knowledge germain to science and psychology,
So with flowers and with thoughts,
so with whispers of wisdom or phrases of beauty,
parries of wit, or lightning-flashes of truth that give birth to centuries of echoing thunder;
so with the spirit that moves the quick or quiet tongue of a Thinker who is also a Doer, not merely a speaker or dreamer of Thoughts.
THE LATE EDWARD DAVIS, author of “Lovers of Life” once presented Joseph Sadony with a book of “Free Verse” upon the fly-leaf of which he wrote,
The body of your writing is too great
and chastely beautiful to be deprived of the vestments, gauze, plumage and jewels of aesthetic illusion.”
Joseph replied, “I am but a silent wanderer seeking for truth.
“I have found a skeleton-key to the Archives of the Ages, therefore have neither time to read, nor inclination to polish and adorn.
“As you must know, I am not an orator; neither a writer;
“not a rich man, neither a poor man.
“Symbolically I am but a diamond miner,
“and there I must remain to gather the jewels in the rough
“for the writer to shape and grind into beauty,
“to present to the orator who through the voice of man places it in its setting of gold
“to present it to people either as a luxury to those who can afford it,
“or a necessity to those that hunger.
“The gift of perfect language has never been mine
“and I do not profess to be able always to express my meaning aesthetically,
“any more than the rough bark and thorns which protect the perfume in its veins,
“that is carried up to the beautiful blossom of the rose (such as you represent) and which alone
“has an exquisite language of tenderness, beauty and fragrance, opposite to its bark and thorns.
“BUT I DID challenge God to reveal Himself in a direct way,
“by going halfway to meet Him,
“by breaking ground and cultivating it.
“God then sent me mental seeds, which my faith, interest and will weeded until the flowers blossomed.
“And still there was no God until the perfume oozed out in wreaths of evaporating intelligence
“which satisfied me more than faith,
“more than absolute evidence…
“I found that I was a part of the Flower, because without me the Flower could not have lived.
So God and I made…”
THE FAST APPROACHING “Age of Intuition” demands a new literature and a new art in each department of human effort,
new standards, systems, techniques to meet the change of tempo,
the quickening of the spirit and methods demanded by increasing mental flexibility and new standards of simplicity.
We offer Joseph Sadony as “An American Thinker” in which the thoughts, the conditions and the fulfillments of this new epoch have for a quarter century cast their shadows before.
We offer “Plastic Prose” as nature’s own choice and synthesis of all literary departures from traditional and artificial molds.
We offer this small brochure as a fragile introduction to both, though it be but an interlude in the continued preparation of more significant works the publication of which is still pending, as previously announced.
— THE VALLEY PRESS
VALLEY OF THE PINES
…And these thoughts fill the air; not my own, but like a thief I take them…
AND WHAT AM I
I AM BUT A LANDMARK to happy spiritual destinies.
I am but a milestone pointing the way to the individual cities of those who look up to me to show them that way:
only a mere post stuck in the ground, with a white board.
But the greatest thing is the Hand that has written the direction on the signboard of my brain.
Is this any credit to the board, when there are so many?
Any credit to the post stuck in the ground?
Or to Him who has placed there, and who has surveyed the destinies of mankind…
I believe the credit is due to the tired wayfaring man who seeks his own path.
My personality counts for little.
It is but the cloak of the soul within.
If it is good and pleasing, it is but the natural result of the good already acquired and implanted.
I cannot paint the petals of my heart-flowers any other colors than those God or nature has given them.
If one walks in my garden, he must expect to find the flowers which are supposed to grow there. . . Joseph Sadony
NIGHT: the swish of the Water that we call Dreams.
DAY: the grinding of wheels to crush Wheat for Daily Bread.
NOT ALONE TO PLANT THE WHEAT, but to grind it and bake the Bread of Tomorrow;
not alone to dream Dreams, but to clothe them with flesh and blood…
THE WIND CARRIES THE SEEDS where they will grow,
because there it has been before, millions of times, and carried the drops of water to make it fertile…
NATURE IS A VAST HARP, but it requires the fingers of wisdom
to pass over its strings tenderly and aggressively, to liberate the melodies of life…
TRUE POEMS ARE WORDS without time or flesh:
the whisperings from those who fly above the sordid things of life, and who left their heavy shoes of mortality behind them…
A GOOD POEM is but the melody of a thinker’s song: the words , the seed of his dream.
WHAT IS THAT THRILL in a waving of the hand of a child and an old man?
THERE IS NOTHING more beautiful or graceful in life than a new full-blown rose,
a boy and a girl at the dawn of manhood and womanhood.
THE LIGHT OF GOD is seen in the darkest hours,
only when our pent-up soul struggles for freedom or imprisonment.
DRINK AND DRAIN THE CUP to the dregs.
Not only will it make you immune, but a master as well.
WHAT IS IT, and where does it come from when a mother derives joy in sacrificing for her child?
Where, the hunters joy in killing but not eating?
Where, the miser’s joy in possessing and not spending?
IF A DOG DIES, he is a nuisance and a stench.
But if he has saved the life of your little child, he is not dead.
He still lives in your Thought.
FROM THE QUARRY I brought a large cube of granite.
I give it to a sculptor.
He returned it as a perfect likeness of my father.
I enjoyed it more, because my father had passed on long ago
The granite seemed to have lost its identity, by form and features.
It involved something akin to affection.
I thought: is this not similar to our animal body,
the Soul shaping it by a Personality, and a Character of Identity that we love?
WHERE ARE ALL THE LEAVES NOW that shall shelter us from the heat of the sun next summer?
They are waiting to be born as tomorrow’s children.
Shall we prune these trees now? in order to give the coming leaves a good foundation?
Or shall we welcome them on limbs and foundation that shall not allow them to mature.
Whose fault is it but those with saw in hand that rusts for the want of use?
HOW OFTEN DO I PITY THE SOUL forced to use a body bent by dissipation,
where pride, dignity and self-esteem have been stifled and shackled by ignorance and environments.
Does it not make one think of the embarrassment of a great musician.
playing on a piano out of tune, with keys and strings missing:
trying to express his inspiration to a hungry audience, with great disappointment?
Then blaming the God of Music, instead of the neglected instrument and man’s blindness?
I KNOW YOU ARE HURT.
All the better, for it awakens pity, hope and love.
There can be no mountain without a valley, no trough in the sea without the crest, no good without evil.
But the glory is to control the rushing waters to grind our grain,
while we lie in the grass to learn its origin.
GODS STOREHOUSE is all ours,
if we can imprison it, harness it, and then take care of it.
Build the barn and harness first; then it will come.
Plant the seed.
Put a skin around things.
I AM IN THE “BIG CITY” with the shrieking of whistles,
the tearing of steel on steel that was taken from the ground by blood of human hands.
Here I find wood chopped down against Nature,
stone hewn from the faces of mountains…
It is “Civilization” — competitive cleverness in the eyes of the masses — great ant-hills of prisons.
It takes a great man to survive the City,
because the current of the rapids runs so swiftly there is no turning back once launched on its surface.
The further one goes, the higher the walls.
Fortunate is he who survives with a clear conscience.
MUST WE NOT BOW OUR HEADS to the storm, in recognition of a great power?
Do we not tremble just a little at a flash of lightning?
Does it not affect us to see the tree bending low when forced by the tempest to bow?
We are insulated from these things in the city.
Nature ceases to be a part of us.
Yet in the country we may lie under a tree at night and feel safe because God and Nature are supreme.
He who hears not the voice of Nature, hears not the voice of God.
BEHOLD THESE THINGS and tell me what the world has come to.
when we use the fine-bred race-horses for the plow,
roast birds of paradise,
feed geese and ostriches in bird cages,
force young geniuses to labor in factories
while the unfit are placed on the pedestal of fame by doting mothers, forced fathers and scheming money-changers…
Who or what is the cause, that we have so few real singers?
Surely not the public alone.
Is it too many pianos, and no tuners?
Too many tuners, and few pianos?
Or not enough interest in either one?
WHY MUST REAL ESTATE and salesmanship claim the keenest minds
instead of the education of the human race?
What really is our goal?
And what is best done?
Why does it cost so much for some to be beautiful;
and others make no effort, and outclass them all?
Why some so ugly in disposition, no matter how they try to be agreeable;
while others make no effort, and are loved for their efforts, supposedly made…
It’s not alone that we have wagon wheels that turn, big or small:
They must be built for the load, the road and the wagon,
if we are to save time, money and muscle, as intended.
And so it should be, should it not? — with the human race.
Each axle, or man, should be well oiled with understanding,
to avoid any friction while at work or play.
Then we shall have music and songs instead of wealth and war…
SOME MUST SPIN, some must weave, and still others must wear.
We each have been chosen for a particular purpose, and it is our duty to seek guidance of our innermost desires.
If we have made no decision as yet, it proves that
the right path is still unmanifested,
and that it may be all the more important for being delayed.
The century plant has its purpose as well as the twenty-four hour morning glory.
The century plant must receive much attention in order that others as well as ourselves may see its beauty,
and behold its blossom an hundred years hence.
We have the farmer to sow and plant the hemp and cotton;
the laborer to execute the designs of the manufacturers;
we have the dreamer to draw pictures of Eden;
the explorer and inventor to find and transport;
the thinker, to design;
the practical man to put into shape,
the speaker to inspire activity,
the financier to economize,
that all the human family may be happy…
FROM WHENCE WAS BORN our great operas,
symphonies of music and melodies that thrill a nation,
if not by the help of man’s imagination,
using human emotions as a great harp to interpret and awaken every emotion,
from the primitive rhythm of a dried tree-trunk as a dream, to the violin and harp;
touching every phase of love, hate, heaven and hell:
urging us onward toward perfection or the expression of the soul with tears and smiles,
opening our eyes to the rising sun,
running to a cave at the approach of the storm,
humming a melody of “Home, Sweet Home” at sundown,
then tuning up once again each string in sweet slumbers of the night by the vibrant whispers of God’s activity
motivated for the benefit of His children’s understanding of Him from whence came everything in existence.
EACH BUBBLING SPRING is like a human being born Of mother earth.
It meets another, and they melt into one of love;
then still others fuse into families, communities, states and nations,
and die, at last, at the brink of the sea, only to LIVE as many into one GOD…
Not a spring that does not die in youth as a brook;
not a brook, save to die to live as man, the mighty river
which “dies” into the Ocean only to become the God of Waters,
even as Man…
ON A STARLIGHT NIGHT
HAVE YOU EVER stood alone,
with outstretched arms
on a starlight night,
to recognize your weak helplessness?
How small — and yet
that divinity within must exist in order for you to be conscious of all these marvels.
For if you do recognize these thing to exist, you can only do so
either by having created them as your own, or by being a part of the Inventor.
For to recognize anything you must have been the possessor.
And even if but a memory, then you must have come from a former existence that created these things,
just as a bird building its first nest remembers the process of its parents,
how and what to choose. We call it instinct,
Why not occasionally dip down deep into the trunk and roots of our tree of life,
and see what may be there to awaken the virtues
of past ages.
Does this seem so great a task,
or is it easier to dance to the rhythm of modern jazz,
to make you forget the wholesome things of life that solitude can teach?
For ambition is the sunlight of thought That tries to grow in the garden of God, your brain.
EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE has its primary foundation,
the valued pearl in the irritating grain of sand,
happiness in sorrow’s realization.
When man forgets slavery days, he forgets also his freedom.
Water held back creates a reservoir of power,
human emotions as well.
Revenge, if tamed, will cause enemies to become friends.
Such is activity that gives birth to the tides of life,
to the purity of a running brook,
the song of happiness;
the cleansing storm, the leveler of the human race.
He who stops too long to question or doubt
pronounces his own sentence of sleep,
and may become the grain of sand,
but is still the soul of a pearl.
WHY SHOULD WE NOT, with expectancy, joy and fragrant anticipation,
watch the bud of the coming rose,
rather than with tears and regret, the dried petals of our forefathers
whose good seeds still live in the coming flowers of our next generation?
WHEN I BEHOLD a silent flowing river, I become lonesome and pensive.
Perhaps it is because I see it flow on, never to return the same,
taking with it just a little earth toward the leveling of the world…
WHERE IT NOT for the Unknowable would man seek and become clean, transparent and pure as the runing brook,
Washed with sunlight and pebbles upon a long journey to its father of waters,
emptying its little load of the earth’s salts?
WHAT IS THE RELATION of the spark the charge powder?
It gives it birth to discharge, a soul to release itself.
What is the relation of that sprk of God’s Intelligence to man?
There must be an inlet and an outlet…
But where is that Gate of Power,
And who shall open the door of Paradise and close The door of Prison?
A COUNTRY may become old and crafty, having lost its sentimental, romantic principles;
but from among its men and women shall spring Youth and Love, to find a new country . . .
And like the seeds of that old, worn-out orchard, shall produce a new orchard,
displaying a pure white blanket of blossoms in that new Springtime that God will not deny
as a prophecy of the coming new fruit that will never die: the soul of His children —
the swing of the pendulum of progress.
I SAW A LARGE, strong oak tree with leaves fully grown.
There came a storm,
a silent flash of lightning;
and with the rumbling of the thunder there fell a limb.
As the sun lengthened its shadows, the leaves of the tree floated softly to the ground, their mission fulfilled,
the juice of their vitality returned from whence they came.
But the leaves of the limb felled in its full vigor clung fast to the branches,
their juices frozen in a form of suspended activity,
even as a man struck down in his prime,
earthbound for a time, because of purposes unfulfilled;
without outlet for his energy not yet spent.
SURELY IT IS ONLY by walking in the shadow of Death’s Valley
that we learn the blessing of God’s sunshine,
ever upon the heights of His mercy and love.
THERE WERE THOSE who believed in Jesus, and Him crucified.
The children of those followers of Christ went at first to pray and worship at the Cross.
But they soon forgot.
The cross rotted at the foot,
until at last from neglect, it fell down.
FROM THE NEXT GENERATION there came a philosopher
in whose breast there stirred a half-forgotten memory as he saw it lying there.
“IT SEEMS TO ME that this should be standing” he mused.
So he dug a hole, but planted the cross upside down,
head buried in the earth, jagged end up.
a symbol of the dagger —
a rotted finger pointing toward the sky.
THE BLOOD OF JESUS, caught in the cup turned upside down and sank into the earth.
There, white lilies sprang up, spotted with red:
even nature lifting the blood toward the sky, saying “Father, see!”
TODAY THE MINER is digging the ore for the metal,
the forester is pruning the trees for the carpenter,
the silk-worm is busy with the spinning of silk,
a young servant of God is studying his ritual that he may deliver a good sermon;
children are being reared who will grace the ceremony…
What ceremony? Our own ceremony, our last one here, when our coffin,
fashioned from the many contributions being prepared today,
and holding the dust of our body’s dissolution,
will be carried to the grave…
the moment we begin to live in this world, that moment we begin to die.
Therefore let us live each day as if it were our last, and realize
that our present life’s importance is not so great as our own spiritual evolution.
ONCE THERE WAS a blacksmith who shod a horse, and drove in one nail badly,
so that the horse became lame when carrying a servant
to deliver a message which reached the King too late to save his Kingdom.
PRIMITIVE MAN sought caves for warmth
until he became more wise through suffering, through deprivation, and by the experience of accidents.
At last he began to compare,
to think instead of acting by habit alone.
He saw vast trees fall, rub against others, and catch fire.
He imitated this, and became more warm,
liberating sunlight of which, as yet he knew nothing.
Thousand of years later we find him building furnaces
to carry the same sunlight, in steam and heat, to a distance.
Still he beheld trees falling, cut down by electricity.
Again he began to think, still more deeply, toward the source of all this power.
And now, like his hidden soul, today he takes “heat” and creates steam
which in turn is exchanged for electricity
which is sent through a cold wire to become heat again, though it be miles away
transporting the flames until they reach the will-power of man.
And still he looks for more trees to fall — to scrape together — to learn Why they fall:
ever seeking what he did not, does not, yet know.
He must see it, as we do the flames,
and study where those flames are
while passing through the wire unseen, unfelt —
and still, he cannot deny that it is there,
just as with the intellect of the soul
within our bodies — unseen, unknown,
until we exchange OUR flame into Electricity
which is the Source of Power that we call God…
From “Give it a Thought”
When one realizes that ambition is the fire which fuses the gold of faith,
which in turn is shaped by intuition to that form which gave us our first desire —
then he will realize what it means to “seek, knock and ask” — and Why.
The man without ambition has no love — without love, no ambition:
even though it be ambition of self-love, there is the foundation of new discoveries of the soul,
the two points of art and science, instinct and intuit tive imagination.
We must keep both alive, for one is food for the
other, Night and Day,
the duality of mental evolution fro beast to God.
In my youth, when I reached for a book, I heard the words, “Why must you dig in the graves of the past,
when you may grasp the future that is still unborn:
Let the night be the past, the future the morning.
Blessed is he who will dip with the cup of his heart into the pure fresh water of life, to drink and be refreshed
instead of dipping with the cup of his skull into the dark pool of the past, which has been recorded”.
And then my reading was over.
I tried to record the thoughts, but failed.
I was too slow – and perhaps too happy drinking them.
There is no witness more honest than the conscience, the servant of God’s justice:
And when this servant leaves, the soul has been smothered, and has no need of Justice:
for but a stone remains which has neither pleasure, anticipation, nor Life.
Do you know that death visits you every day, trying to befriend you, whether you will or not? —
and at last becomes your bosom friend who rows you over
that dreamy river to the next journey of mental life…
Appreciate the living, so you need not mourn the loss.
Feed them bread of kindness, instead of sacrificing the roses
that are meant for living eyes rather than those which see them not:
and often but a record of neglect,
a love message too late…
No matter how great a man may have become, he must pass through the some door as the fool,
as a symbol of the soul’s existence of equality;
and that no matter how small that spark of soul, it is still the principle of God, and will not deny equality.
There is a dignity to the simple flavor of truth, that is lacking in the empty flow of mere eloquence,
for words are but an expression of experience, and experience is but one percent of Truth.
Your faith in God is a most fertile seed of progress.
The ground in which it grows is reason and logic.
Neither can flourish without the other: see the value of the seed within the flower,
or within an egg…
True friendship has no lock nor key;
walls are transparent, vices soften into virtues;
criticism into praise, stains into gaudy colors;
money has no purse nor safe, rivers no banks;
just a life of confidence and contentment…
Such is true friendship.
How can we think what God is, when the eye cannot see itself, neither a mountain be measured without its base?
If we have been sown into this world by some great design, is it not just
that we depend upon that purpose for what is to be,
by trying to help being perfect, with due respect for that great Power
which has given us Understanding to mature, and which men of thinking mind call “God”?
The word “God” is written and pronounced in many different ways, yet the Ineffable Name itself can only be thought:
and that, the very first thought of a child for its Creator.
God manifest Himself in our thoughts
He but whispers, and it becomes an echo in our prayers.
Happiness is a prayer of virtue from a clear conscience of having been Just
and prepared to give as we have received;
to know that on leaving this world into the Unknown, we leave no debt for having been born,
but a greater sunshine for having lived on earth, to have dried the tears of sorrow,
and relaxed the bitter smiles of those persecuted unjustly.
You who have ever been in fear of Death, and who question Immortality,
see before you each day the manifestation of death, and still you know it not.
You, Fathers and Mothers, who are atheists, gaze with pride and love upon your baby boys and girls,
and are not aware of their loss by Death from Babyhood into Manhood and Womanhood:
for they are now within your elements, and the child has passed away.
They are called as you are: Man and Woman; and thus is Death.
It is your unreceptive mind which selects and grinds the color that you mix with the Dew of Death upon the brows
of those whom you would force into the shadow of Death, the unreal:
Manhood, the death of your child;
Godhood, the passing of man.
Justice is an axe in the hands of trusted pioneers.
It must have a keep edge gained from experience.
It must be tempered with prudence, and used with discretion and consideration,
with sympathy and kindness; for then, and only then,
will Law and Order uphold the Ideals of God’s noble-men.
The seeds of Nature are not the only life born in the depth of the damp ground.
The seed of our knowledge too was born in the cold, selfish, damp, misty ground of blind ignorance.
But the sun’s reflection has warmed the heart to beat faithfully
for the eyes and ears to behold the grandeur of Nature,
so that man might awaken into that illumination of wisdom,
the blossom from that seed once buried as dead, but transferred into fruit as food for the soul.
Every man and woman on earth has received a message to deliver at the height of his or her understanding;
and when that message becomes one word, then shall there be peace always.
Our body mutilates it; our mind deforms it; our heart longs for it.
We come into the world with it, and leave the world bathing it in tears;
but we return whence it was born, leaving behind that which distorted and adulterated it,
and once again it shines out in all glory:
it is called “LOVE”…
We still have with us the mob rule — Crucify him!
Let no one loosen chains of freedom. Let not one man forge ahead
to know our sins, to expose our hidden greed, the secret of the Night;
lest we who blind justice may be sent to the gallows.
We want nothing new.
Let the sins of our fathers suffice.
They lived through it; so shall we.
As for our children, they can take care of themselves.
And blindly they crucify their own children into slavery.
The Mob Rules.
I may often talk of God, but if you have lifted too high, and dragged down the clouds from where they belong,
and float over the earth half-dazed in a spiritual mist, while the good feet of your body dangle helpless,
do not think me cruel if I demand red blood where red blood is needed;
and if I tell you that well-prepared food and care of the body,
are as important for the soul as are thoughts of God.
A violin, a brush and oil paint, a supple body,
are not the only means for the expression of visions, mastership, inspiration.
The means is but an outlet of what is free to all.
The tender hand of a good Samaritan,
the unselfish hand of a Sister of Mercy,
the feeder of the poor,
the protector of widows and children,
— these play the sweetest music;
painting with their blood pictures of love upon the memory of man.
A dance of beauty evokes the sublime art of motion,
the rhythm of that beautiful body of flesh, the house of the soul.
Just seek an outlet for your message that will long outlive your body;
for houses were built only as temporary dwellings for the soul.
Learn how to play. Be boys and girls.
Never lay aside past toys permanently, for children Of God never grow old.
Suffer little children to come unto me — not bald-headed flint-hearts.
For who told them that they were bald-headed, if not the master Time?
— which really does not exist. They but thought through their material organs,
that part of the material life that is tuned and timed by earth’s chemicals alone.
There is no heart that does not long for affection.
Romance is written in every fiber of the human heart.
It is unfortunate that in modern society, our girls will to entertain the desire to live and flourish in a business world.
They thus often sacrifice the romance of life.
They still the language of the heart, slow down the powers of attraction, dam the life-giving waters of sentiment.
This is a mechanistic age and many girls become machines: efficient and faithful — but machines.
Under the law of compensation the neglected river of sentiment that flows through the beautiful, fertile Country of Romance, will dry up.
The waters will then swell the streams and turn the wheels of the mills, and of commerce.
But after the river of sentiment is dried up, the
fertile Country of Romance will become arid, and a desert.
The mills, too, will then fall into disuse and decay, for there will be no more grain.
How little do we appreciate the precious sleep that sweeps away the shavings and sawdust of our mistakes.
Each morning gives us another chance to rectify them, recharged, better and stronger to face the world with a new weapon,
until we reach a mountain-top from which we glide into a valley of life — or death… Which shall it be?
Let your imaginary hurts be destroyed by the flame of sleep.
The cup of hunger shall be filled for him who will resign himself to the will of the Creator.
for there is a way, as long as we have eyes, ears and a tongue , to see, to hear and to give.
Man strives to perfect by Nature.
He strengthens himself by sensuality, creating a family.
He is proud, covets, steals, destroys, creates —
all to an end of Strength.
He possesses, perpetually acquires, accumulates.
And in creating he does not realize that the seed of the same law is also born to continue still the path toward the God of creation
which manifests itself through Nature, silent, relentless, but absolutely through love, and both faith and charity.
Don’t ever think you can be free from all suffering.
That can never be, as long as your soul has the cloth of flesh;
as the soul is incorruptible, spiritual or ethereal, and the body corruptible, material, the two shall always conflict, depending upon understanding.
In the family of the greatest physician there is physical pain; and doubt of Christian faith in the family of loyal Bishops.
There is ever counterfeit money among us in circulation; and we must test it when receiving wages.
For it is that which causes doubt and sorrow.
Its redeeming feature is that it forces us to think, to analyze and to be cautious —
Which in turn creates progress, knowledge, and the understanding of an Ideal life with but little sorrow or pain in its prevention.
No man is safe from temptation as long as he has even one desire left,
as long as one of his human appetites has not been appeased.
For it but seeks its own counterpart, as a climax of completeness,
Be it a work of art, a martyr, or its own destruction.
Why always let tragedy remind you how well off you were?
Why not appreciate the absence of sorrow and pain, hunger and poverty?
Many a person has been shackled for life by some tribute;
forced to accept it, where pride was the jailor.
You ask, “What is Truth?”
Truth is an established principle,
a law unerring, fixed by the Creator of reality.
It can be acquired by man, sustained by reason and logic.
It is the criterion of God.
It is the existence within existence, or the Soul of Life…
The capacity of man for Understanding is limited.
Beyond this limit he fails to grasp Truth.
It is like going into a forest. One can go no further than the center
without beginning to come out again.
It is well that there is ever the mystery of that which is still unknown;
for an unsolved puzzle we always carry in our pockets,
but when solved, we throw it away.
It is considered a sad thing to live useless lives and be counted a drone.
But are there useless lives?
Because it appears that there are, do not others live
doubly useful lives in reaction to the idle example shown?
One “drone” might awaken the genius in a dozen.
Do not many drones insure the hive of industry, in order to perpetuate the individual sect or nation?
We may think so, with out limited knowledge, but there is really nothing useless in God’s world.
Years of search have failed to reveal one useless thing.
Vengeance shall be mine, sayeth the Lord, for my law
has been not to degrade my servants who but delivered my message,
or perhaps altered it: but if so,
to me they shall answer for their deeds, not unto another servant.
As long as you have some vitality, leave some mark — some good sign in its passing.
It is the greatest investment in life, right or wrong.
If wrong you will have taught the coming generation what not to do.
If right, they will follow in your footsteps, instead of wandering into doubt and useless sacrifice.
Our weakness is our strength, if we will it rightly; our disease, our health.
We are shown by our sins the penalties without a loss; our infirmities without annihilation.
There is but a scar, as evidence only.
If you have not gathered wisdom that can give you joy to brighten some dark day, then you have journeyed thus far in vain.
And that sack God gave you to carry your grain, has been worn threadbare,
and your grain has leaked out.
Turn your feet and follow the green sprouts back to your childhood days,
and begin over…
The strong arm of the sculptor brings into existence the artist’s greatest inspiration in the hardest marble.
His masterpiece may then be lasting;
remembered and loved by future generations…
Do you not think it a law that he who is most valued must be visited tragedies, tests of endurance, humiliation and sorrow?
Let us go slowly, carefully, but surely, before we say “Yes”, or “No”,
so that we will leave no blot that cannot ever be erased.
Never say No or Yes until placed where it belongs,
and then make it absolute.
This will destroy the false superstition, deceit and illusion that has held down humanity for ages.
What we do, let us do fearlessly, conscientiously, but absolutely.
Let us do…
are one of the strings on the harp of God.
Keep yourself at the right pitch so you may not be pointed out as a discord in the sweet melody of Nature’s song.
Every man climbs to the top of his own mountain of efficiency,
There to record at his greatest height the road beneath him.
For never again will his material faculties be as strong as at that moment,
to be used as he slowly glides down into a new peaceful valley of maturity.
But let him ever keep in mind the shape and direction of the country he saw while at his greatest height, and physical prime.
If you know when you are most efficient mentally;
when you have tested yourself thoroughly, physically, mentally and spiritually;
When you have reached the zenith of your life, so far as you know, in all-around experience and perfection —
then draw a picture of your Ideal.
From then on follow it regardless of ought else;
for you then begin to descend the other side of the mountain.
But if you have thus raised the flag of your Standard,
it identifies your entire life.
by Joseph A. Sadony
by Joseph A. Sadony
GATES OF THE MIND
NO MAN can contribute to the world more than his own personal experience, the harvest of his own research and experiment, unless it be the fruit of inspiration or prophetic insight. The works of Joseph Sadony contain a rich store of both.
Gates of the Mind is one of a number of manuscript volumes thus far withheld form publication by the author. Though its subtitle is Proven Psychic Discoveries, various digressions from the narrative reveal that its purpose is not autobiographical. It is an introduction of the anatomy of prophetic intuition. The small book here privately printed is rather less than a “condensation”; it contains but a small portion of the first volume of this unpublished work.
Underlying and eclipsing the narrative is a rational of the physiological foundations and scientific investigation of mental phenomena considered as tele-empathic and telepathic phenomena of the human nervous system.
It is a conclusion of the author and his associates in research that most mystic, psychic, and occult terms used in describing mental phenomena are misleading, that there exist no mysterious “faculties” of a mystic or occult nature, but that the imagination, if used correctly, is capable of portraying past, present, or future events within the limitations imposed by the fact that the imagination is dependent entirely on memory of past sensory experience to provide the elements of its portrayal.
For example, the author claims that the term “thought transference ” is a misnomer, that it is impossible for what is usually designated a “thought” to be transferred from one mind to another mind, but that it is possible and of common occurrence to induce in another mind a thought that is similar to one experienced in your own mind, or vice versa. The exact degree of similarity will depend upon the similarity of past experience. The induced thought, however, is entirely the product of the selective simulation of memory elements in an activity of the imagination. The thought is your own, and has not been “transferred” from another mind, even though it be similar in every respect. A phenomenon has taken place, but it is one of thought induction, not thought transference.
We are living through a crisis the full extent and meaning of which is realized by only a few. We are and have been witnessing periods of confusion and revolution, not only in world politics, in science, education, industry, and art, but also in psychology, philosophy, and religion.
We are witnessing and shall witness the collapse of theories and concepts in all fields of thought. No science can continue to stand on its present foundations without adjustments made necessary by the confusion and poverty of existing verbal organization. Neither the philosophies nor the psychologies can withstand the critical application of the operational view with any greater success than the physical sciences. They will be forced to more strict correlation of Language, Logic, and Life.
Thus we have undergone and are still undergoing a revolution in the physical sciences. Even now new foundations are being lad to complete the bridge extending from atomic to organic, thence to astronomic dimensions. The biologist must know his physics and chemistry as well as his psychology; and a psychologist without knowledge of the former is not worthy of the name. The philosopher who does not know by first-hand research and experimentation these fundaments of life and the physical universe must resign himself to his own amusement, for his mental structures can be only dialectic castles in the air.
The confusion of the age was manifest in the first few sessions of the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion at the opening of World War II. The scholars admitted that they were confused, and that they did not know how to “think with a view to action,” or how to teach each other to the end of reaching mutual understanding and agreement. As a result they were forced to agree to disagree, to predict a pluralistic instead of a monolithic civilization.
Gates of the Mind is the beginning of an answer to the scholars on the part of a student of life and human nature, a seeker for truth and an independent investigator on an experimental basis of the operations of the human mind in relation to physiological and psychological consequences. Here for the first time is the beginning of a detailed account of a personal adventure in the deliberate and purposive development of prophetic intuition, and its application to problems of nature and human nature, science, philosophy, religion, education, industry, war, and peace.
There has been need for an effort on the part of someone capable of experiencing and demonstrating as well as observing so-called psychic and mental phenomena to separate the wheat from the chaff, to paint the picture of just what can and cannot be expected of it in the present state of man’s development; to function of man’s sympathetic sensitivities from all the technical and psychic “racketeering”; to encourage the individual development of these sensitivities along healthy and constructive lines, and to discourage the authoritarian capitalization of psychological or spiritual truths and the subjugation of peoples by psychological tricks. In this small book is the beginning of Mr. Sadony’s answer to this need.
And in answer to those who may ask “Who is Joseph Sadony?” we quote data contained in Who’s Who in Michigan and Who’s Who in the Central States:
SADONY, Joseph A. Founder and director, Educational Research Laboratories, Montague, Michigan; columnist, Muskegon Chronicle (Mich.) since 1929 Home: “Valley of the Pines,” Montague, Michigan; b. Montabaur, near Ems, Germany, Feb. 22, 1877; s. Alexander Nichols and Apollonia Reipert) S.; m. Mary Lillian Kochem, in 1906; ch. Joseph Jr. (1909). Came with parents to America in 1894 and located in Kalamazoo, Mich.; later moved to Chicago; traveled in West, walking eighteen hundred miles on foot investigating conditions in Indian Reservations for Theodore Roosevelt. In 1908 returned to Michigan and purchased 80 acre estate now known as the “Valley of the Pines” which he equipped with shops and laboratories later known as the Educational Research Laboratories, affiliated with Valley Research Corporation. Held office as constable, justice of the peace, spl. Deputy sheriff, school moderator, dir. of the district school board, etc. Has done much good in his guidance and help to people and carries on an extensive correspondence throughout the world as “philosopher, guide and friend” (without compensation) to many thousands of people. For several years editor and publisher of The Whisper an Independent, international journalette of Prevenient Thought) and the “Voice of Tomorrow Calendar.” Originator of “Plastic Prose” as a literary form adapted to radio script; author of Fragments in Plastic Prose, My Answers, and other works; technical papers: “Concerning Tidal Effects on Atmospheric Diathermancy,” “The Function of Gravitation in the Determination of the Fundamental Constants and Ratios of the Physical Sciences,” etc.; research developments and patents: moisture vapor barrier materials used by armed forces during the war; apparatus and methods of sonic analysis for detection of defects in exhaust valves and other mental automotive parts. Member American Association for the Advancement of Science; Mason (past master, Montague Lodge No. 198 F. & A.M.); demit to Whitehall Lodge No. 310; Muskegon Commandery No. 22, Knight Templar, life member; served as organist for the Eastern Star (Mrs. Sadony being past worthy matron); Saladin Temple, AAONMS. Life member; De Witt Clinton Consistory, Grand Rapids.
From the view of some, a greater importance should be attached to the application of prophetic intuition to fundamental problems of science, philosophy, education, and religion, rather than to elements of mere personal experience. But to the laymen there can be nothing more important than how he can benefit by personal experience, rather than by the acquisition of knowledge or theory concerning the more abstruse problems of science or philosophy.
For his benefit, then, who cares little for the deeper problems that might be discussed at greater length, we may conclude this introduction by assuring him that so far as mental phenomena are concerned, together with the conclusions expressed in Mr. Sadony’s comments in Gates of the Mind, we are only a few of many who will agree that they have been established with as much certainty for those of us who have participated in the experimental investigation of this subject as the results of our research in the fields of radionics, electrostatics, electro-magnetism, and gravitation.
Educational Research Laboratories
It matters not who in the world of time the mind may be; Truth imprints upon its tablet its own law. If that mind is so constituted, it can no more help reflecting the fact than a mirror can help reflecting the rays of the sun if at just that angle to catch the eye as well as to send the reflection that will come to the human eye that receives it. The receiver is just as important as the sender.
PERIODICALLY in the history of the world it becomes essential for men mentally akin to find each other, to know each other, and in unison deliver a message of truth to enlighten, to strengthen, to correct mistakes, in an effort to avoid just what has happened to us all. But how is this to be done, if not by education? Not to condemn the methods of others, but to substitute a better way that will defend itself.
All religions embody good and have bettered the world. There are still two factors: Faith and Science; two rules, and both are evidently right. Is it expecting too much that Religion and Science together create the third principle, resulting in the transformation of the world into one human family of many children, each to his own? With Science to preserve order by eliminating fraud and trickery, there would be no fear of judging the innocent as guilty.
As man is inclined toward superstition, he naturally falls an easy prey to those clever enough to deceive his eye. In fact, some of the brightest minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been completely deceived in this way. The possibility of our loved ones returning after having passed away, or at least of sending us some message or thought, cannot be doubted. But it is the unreliability of the method used to receive these messages, as well as the unreliability of the person receiving them, that gives rise to a question. The truth is often exaggerated, and the open-minded victim easily duped.
Within mankind there is a power so great that it would be dangerous to know it until we are perfect in humility and self-control. Until then it is hidden from us by our selfish, animal nature, which causes the mind to become cloudy and discontented.
Even as trees sleep in the winter and blossom again in the spring, so also does humanity alternately sleep and blossom: periodically come the fruits of genius, great minds and sensitive souls who give voice, as “human radios,” to the great broadcasting of the ages, the Song of Truth. And with their passing, humanity gradually falls asleep again until the next “wave” or cycle.
In this spiritual sleep, this ebb of the soul, is the heyday of false prophets: therein will be found the origin of superstition, in “imitation” of what did hold some truth, but is now a word without meaning, a body without a soul.
Why do supposedly great but false prophets and teachers flourish for a day and then die in obscurity, leaving no flourishing field to prove the fertility of their teaching?
The shell of the wheat was there; the worlds and phrases-all borrowed to feed people who do not think for themselves; and even when planted, gave up no fruit because the spirit of God was lacking, and because they who professed, denied the simplicity which was the soul itself.
Man slowly approaches the epoch of the human radio. His antenna of imagination opens that inner ear that hears the silent broadcast of the ages. It still vibrates in the atmosphere. Man’s mortal ear already hears the music and the words…
We may view this psychologically rather than from a spiritual or religious point of view; nevertheless, it is clear that an even greater revelation will accompany the discovery of a “radio” in the human mind than what took place industrially, internationally, and domestically with the invention and introduction of radio into our homes.
The entire universe is within the human head in the same manner that music broadcast from various cities all over the world is within the radio, or within the room in which its is being received.
We forget that a well-governed and trustworthy imagination contains the tools that make education from the specifications of wisdom; that therein also are the antennae of man with which he searches for God: that aerial to receive the message; the chamber of transformation in which the “word is made flesh’; where thoughts are dramatized in symbols that are revelations if they be attuned to “facts.”
We still have more to learn of the rooms of man’s mind, to find the doors leading to that religious ecstasy, the mystery, the frenzy of the aborigines, the bliss of divinity felt by martyrs and saints, the hypnotic power of our professional men-all still in its infancy.
No one will deny facts, unless he has a subtle purpose to use opportunities for selfish purposes. Truth is self-evident, and needs no support. It supports itself. And if the pillars of a structure are lies, it will collapse. Still, the spirit of true support is ever present, so that a new permanent structure shall rise from the ashes and dust of falsehood. There are ever present health germs to continue life, even among death germs. That is the law of adjustment, compensation, and growth, the manifestation of life.
All that matters most to man is back of his own eyes, and there he flounders in the dark, thinking he thinks a thought, but unaware of the origin of that thought, or of its fruits; “imagining’ things without the slightest conception of the power and mechanism that he is using.
Surely we may learn much by watching the insect with its antennae moving in every direction, sensing the danger we cannot see. It protects itself without the great gift to man: imagination. It only acts upon its inherent power of instinct. It uses its antennae to sense approaching danger, which it avoids, but knows not its source, without reason. Why should not man have a more highly developed sense by the protection of reason, or the cause with its effect?
If the same amount of energy and education had been utilized for psychological, mental, and spiritual power as for the comforts of economic, mechanical, and electrical power, what would have been accomplished to further the progress of humanity?
There is no excuse for man to underestimate the power of the mind at the loss of his inheritance from God or Nature, from ancestry, or self-acquired. If we refuse to use reason and logic as a foundation to intuition, whom can we blame for the failure in evolution? whom but our own negligence? Nature offers us her fruits. Why are men ashamed to admit their belief for or against spirituality?
How can anyone judge or give an opinion of the power of prayer, of Christianity, or of the prophets, unless he has given it a lifetime of experience to see the answer, and then left us the records, by which we may judge?
There is much that might be said of certain facts and truths that would by compel us to search the Book of Mistakes made by those who were sincere, but too enthusiastic to allow Nature to grow in its own good time; where swords have been unsheathed without provocation, only in fear of apparently losing opportunities. If there be any loss, let us go back and see whether the purse had a hole in it: whether the compass was influenced by a nail; whether the watch kept good time as it should, or whether we were controlled by our stomach, our heart, or our mind…
We are ever traveling toward the future, where all truth is born. Should we waste time in disputing the possibility of truth we think we have not, or be open to the possibilities that the world shall know tomorrow, as yesterday gave us for today?
We have a duty we owe to humanity-to those who have knocked upon doors of empty churches, temples, and schools, but not prisons. We must help men and women who can do work, not as missionaries; nor under the flags of politics, cults, or isms, but just pure, cleanhearted leaders who are handicapped, discouraged, held back — being used as steppingstones to respectability by the profane.
Why waste time, paper, and ink analyzing flavors, the taste of fruit? Let us eat what Nature has given for thousands of years; and turn it into good health, joy, long life, and normal appreciative thoughts, so that the real knowledge of life may be born normally for today and tomorrow, and not for thousands of years hence.
We cannot afford to spend much time considering the opinions or methods of yesterday; nor stop to harvest their fruits today, when we must plant for a new generation, knowing that all those who do not now understand will gradually do so as time passes, for “Time proveth all things.”
The individual awakening and cultivation of intuition is the foremost concern of all leaders and teachers who may be pioneering in the prevenience of a new era; until all education is “Prevenient education” our problems as a nation shall not be solved.
Written history contains no records of a nation in the position in which the United States of American now stands, with the possibilities in its hands for the manifestation of a spirit of prevenience that would enable it to become the dominating culture of a new epoch by demonstrating a new level of revolutionary “warfare”: without muscle and bloodshed, as an example to set before the other nations of the world.
Who shall plant the seeds of the new viewpoint in the ground thus made ready; who but those thinkers and leaders who prove by their stability, adaptability, reliability, and endurance that they have been chosen by their own fertility to survive as the foundations for new structures and the roots of a new generation?
As Americans should we not fight for what America represents, as the melting pot of the world, with many laws inherited, yet obeying but one law, that of our pioneering forefathers for freedom of thought, speech, and religion founded on logic, reason, and reality, as well as (and above all) one Supreme Being of power that may be clothed in any raiment desired, but internally one and the same hub of that Wheel of Truth, where the spokes are teachers and exemplifiers; the rim, those whose personal responsibility is to protect those who teach; the steel hoop, the beasts of burden; and the movements, of the combined machinery of the world?
Things have only been partly done. The mansion is still in process. We are all but workers at the scaffolding (parties and divisions) of American as well as Christianity. When a mansion is done, what happens to the scaffolding? It is torn down, revealing the completed examples as models for a Universal Christianity and a United Nations of the World.
The two are inseparables, the north and south poles of each other, the spirit and the body, the ideals and the nation, the way of life and the government to make it possible.
Can we expect to crystallize Utopia and usher in the long-heralded Millennium? That’s not the question. It is the dream and the vision that point down the highway. Though we fall by the wayside and never reach it, we must believe in it. Otherwise we travel in a vicious circle. It is only the hope that leads us on.
The problems of the ages still face us, but today we are better equipped than ever before to understand them, if we will only discard the limiting thought habits of ancestral education, and adopt the mental tools and implements offered us today, with which to understand and shape tomorrow.
What excuse have we to neglect a progress that we may further in our own way? Who should be to blame in the misunderstanding of a bugle call-the wounded lips that fail to shape the notes, the bugle, or the man who is supposed to know the signal and fails to execute it?
Someone must hit the gong so the blind may hear the hour. Another must turn the hands for the deaf, so they may see. Why the slate and chalk, memory’s purpose and traces of the blueprint? Surely there must be many laborers to one architect or overseer. Why should we deny our destiny? If there be an effect, surely there has been a cause. If we hear an echo there must have been a voice to send it. If you or I have an ideal to express, whence came its cause? Others may try to play music and fail. Why? Is it for the want of a piano, a melody, or trained fingers?
If you have dreams and visions only, without framing them exposed to eyes that seek them, you speak a language that you alone understand. It is useless to those called to cooperate with you-workmen of the temple idle, waiting for your designs while you sleep, and they vanish. Whom do you think shall spin, weave, work in the quarries, or gather timber to materialize dreams given you, if you fail to sing your melody?
Why cannot more men utilize the gifts they really possess, but which they do not seem to realize are in their possession? Why carry the newly felled trees to be made into lumber, when beasts of burden would gladly carry them for a cast-off meal? Why all the spiritual confusion throughout the world, when there is no discord where truth exists?
How many fine minds are there hidden in obscurity at the front line of commercialism, shackled to an organization because of wages and an inferiority complex; while if but allowed to dream, away from the grinding note of gears, a new musician, poet, or scientist may be born. Give men a change to spread their shallow or clay roots. The top can always be pruned from faults. But let their roots alone, to allow character to prove their value before we forget why we live, and how.
Why do not men of learning come together to exchange views, as pugilists do blows; wrestlers, holds; athletes, feats of endurance, so that monuments of knowledge may be like large, fine trees as landmarks to the wayfaring man who is traveling through unknown lands, the labyrinth of the world’s paths, to his home and loved one, whether mortal or immortal, and do those things of the sake of truth instead of wealth and glory? Truth itself if glorified, and so are they who dispense it.
The progress of the world’s education, research, and understanding would be so much more enhanced if we allowed thinking men to do their thinking without a handicap. Let them be able to think and do their best while the man with muscle removes stumbling blocks so the dreamer may dream visions governed by thinkers for the doers to give it life.
If each man or personality in the entire world represented an individual key to his greatest treasure vault, we would not need to fear a burglar picking our lock, for no two keys would be alike. Still, all are expected to eat from the same plate the same amount, dress alike, be punished alike, be rewarded alike, and die alike. Why not examine the tumblers of these human locks and see who should be trusted most, and with what responsibility, so that we will find geniuses to teach us short methods, instead of waiting for them every century or so?
The trouble with most of us is that we shape things to suit ourselves, according to past acquirements; whereas we should permit truth to come to us, crystallizing in its own shape; we should then try to figure out what the shape its.
The seed of truth must preserve itself for future generations in a vocabulary untainted by those words that have attracted to themselves all the odium of a confusion of fraudulence, fakery, trickery, and overgrown superstition.
The world is waiting for someone to come to teach them; all looking in different directions for another coming, save those who believe that He has already come. Does one appear upon a crest of notoriety? Then it is not He. Does he found a cult or a “system”? The Maser himself comes not in these ways-but as a breeze across a prairie where labor all notions, all races, sects, and creeds… each fanned by the breeze, and differently; each giving expression to his reception and appreciation of the One Gentle Breeze through this world: each clothing a Christ in virtues thus conceived. One is wet, and the breeze dries him. One is covered with dust, and it blows away this dust, fanning the hair from his eyes. One draws a bow at his enemy, and the breeze prevents, carrying it back to the sender. One aims with the breeze a dart just to warn, and fall short of its mark, but the breeze carries it on to the heart of him who deserved the death-blow that it was…
At best we are but cogs in the Wheel of Time, and call it “history”-which is but the echo for philosophers: the flames, and the smoke rolling away; cause and effect, blinded by the blindness of man to know neither the beginning nor the end, nor what is one; thinking mortal what is immortal; feeling the heat; seeing the smoke; combining nothing as one cause-thinking only in jets, as the beating and breathing of heart and lungs. Is it not true?
The only cause a man has for not realizing his power as a man, is that he never has tried to select the mental food his brain should digest to prove how in all simplicity his ideals lie at his feet if he will but select the mental food to accomplish all his desires that but cast their shadow before him. Let him but cast their shadow before him. Let him but awaken his gift of logic and reason to realize that to think a thing is to shape action, energy, and influence to that creation thought. For we only want those things made manifest by what we have allowed our brain to consume.
Thus we arrive at the purpose of these prefatory and fragmentary paragraphs, which is to provide a few samples of the food for thought that has sustained me in the continuation of that quest of which the beginning is subjected to both chronicle and commentary in Gates of the Mind.
Valley of the Pines
WE are not so alone today  as we were forty-five years ago. Turn on your radio and see. And what will you say within forty-five years more? May you not then hear the whispering thoughts of loved ones gone before you within their past silence, as it was half a century before — only waiting for us to find the spiritual dial, as we found the material one, within the mind and hand of man who did seek, and who found it-but shadow of the real yet to come?
My mother was showing me a picture. She said, “That is where I was born, Joseph.” For a minute I looked at it, and it didn’t seem right. I said, “But, Mother, shouldn’t there be a river over here?” I pointed to the right. “And shouldn’t there be a barn besides just a house?”
“What makes you say that, Joey? The artist made this just like it was. No, We were away from the river. We had no barn. What makes you say that?”
“Well, anyway,” I said, “I remember the river, and a barn and a bridge.”
Mother said, “Joseph, you mustn’t talk like that. You never went as far as the river. You couldn’t possibly remember it. Besides, that’s where your father was born. It was his father who had a” Suddenly my mother stopped and looked at me biting her lower lip. For a moment she seemed not to see me, though looking right at me.
I said, “Mother! What’s the matter? “She said, “Joseph, you couldn’t possibly remember that, because you were never there, but that’s where your father was born, by the river, near a bridge. And your grandfather had a barn, because he had horses. That was on the Rhine, near Coblens. “Herman was my only brother, and he was older than I was. When I was seven he was twelve. He was a cripple from birth, but he was beautiful and he was good. I always went to Herman when I didn’t understand something and no one else would talk with me.
It was spring, and we were watching a robin build a nest outside the window.
I said, “Do you think that’s the same one that built there last year, the nest that fell down when the wind blew this winter?”
Herman said, “I think it’s maybe one of the young ones that was born in the old nest.”
I said, “But how would it know? If it was born in the old nest, how would it know how to build a new one? Can a mother robin teach it?”
“But how?” I insisted.
“Well, they call it instinct, Joey, but what that is I can’t tell you. I guess it’s born in them because the mother and father knew; back and back so far that nobody knows anything about it.”
“Herman, do you think we know things because Mother and Father knew them, even if they don’t tell us?”
“Well, I think maybe we feel things and do things like they did, Joey. I’ve heard Father say you are sometimes just like Grandpa Jean Marie Felix Reipert. He was a bookbinder, like Uncle, and an artist too, always working with his hands, making things like you do.”
I said, “Herman, sometimes I feel as if I could almost remember things before I was born. But just when I think I do, I forget it again. Do you ever feel that way?”
Herman said, “Well, I know what you mean. It’s like a dream. When you wake up you can’t remember it, but you know you were dreaming.
I said, “Yes, only it’s not when I’m asleep, Herman. It’s when I’m awake, and when I’ve been thinking and then stop thinking for a minute. When I start thinking again, it’s gone.”
Herman looked at me a minute and said, “You’ve always been funny that way, Joey. When you say things without thinking you are usually right, and everyone wonders how you know. But when you think about thins you act as if you didn’t know anything at all. I suppose you know that sometimes worries Mother, because she’s afraid Father won’t understand it. He doesn’t like that sort of thing one little bit.”
“But what can I do about it, Herman?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say too much without thinking when Father is around. It’s better when he thinks you’re dumb than when he worries, wondering what’s got into you. Some day I’ll tell you why he worries about it.”
“Tell me, Herman! Please tell me!”
“Ssh! Joey, they’ll hear us. I’ll tell you sometime when nobody’s home but you and me.”
It was pitch dark and I woke from a nightmare in a cold sweat. I must have cried out in my sleep because Mother had her hand over my mouth, whispering, “Be quiet, Joseph! Don’t wake your father. What were you dreaming?”
I said, “I dreamed that Herman was hanging on the wall with his arms out, like on a cross. He was nailed there.”
My mother gasped and said, “Joey! Promise me you won’t tell anyone that! Don’t tell your father, and don’t tell Herman or your sisters.”
I promised, and then asked, “Why?”
“Because,” she said, “your father doesn’t like such things, and we mustn’t think of the or tell about them. But you frighten me.”
“I’m sorry, Mother.”
“I’m not blaming you, Joseph. You can’t help how strange it is. I dreamed a dream like that about Herman the night you were born, and I didn’t dare say anything about it. Because eight months before you were born I started dreaming strange dreams, and they all came true. That never happened to me before, and it has never happened since you were born. But during that time all my dreams came true except that last one about Herman. You’re the first I’ve told, because now you dream it too! Let us say a prayer, Joey, and not tell anyone.”
So Mother left me, but I didn’t sleep. Something troubled me, but I did not know what it was. It was something more than my dream about Herman; something that made me feel all alone in the world, even with a large family.
I lay in the dark; then suddenly something happened to me that I did not comprehend until years later, in memory. The vague distress of an internal conflict I could not understand suddenly vanished. In that moment I gained a new sense of identity. Yet I felt like a stranger in the bosom of my own family. Suddenly I didn’t know who I was, and lay there in the dark asking myself, “Who am I? Where am I? How did I get here?”
But there was no uneasiness in the sensation; rather a sense of impending excitement, as if I had entered a new world and could hardly wait to explore it. Somewhere in this new world a treasure was hidden, and I would find it. For some reason my heart was glowing as if I had fallen in love with something I couldn’t see. All my inner senses were affected by this, so that strong, tender arms picked me up, but I could see no face because I was suddenly tired, and suddenly safe. When I woke it was morning.
The world was the same, after all; but something inside of me was different. I felt happy about something and didn’t know why, I saw more than I usually did. I stopped to look at things that I usually passed by; and when I looked at the same old things I had seen every day, I now saw something I hadn’t before, and identified them in my mind. I heard sounds and knew what they meant without turning my head to look. I felt the urge to go out exploring, but suddenly felt the need of sharing all this new world with someone who would understand it. I though of Herman, but he was crippled and couldn’t go with me.
So I stayed home with Herman, I couldn’t tell him about my dream, so I asked him, “Herman, can’t you tell me now why Father worries about what gets into me? Mother is outside now. No one will hear us. The girls have gone too. What is Father worried about? What does he think is going to happen to me?”
“Well, he thinks something gets into you, Joey. And he doesn’t know whether it’s a devil or an angel. Sometimes he’s sure it’s a devil, and that it’ll lead you to no good end. Remember how one time you would run off with his gun and go shooting by the castle on the Rhine; and next thing he knew you would be playing priest with an old soap box for an altar, serving mass? One day you would be catching crabs down by the pond, and spend hours looking at the worms you would break out of those long stick-like things you found. And next day you would imitate Saint Joseph, and say you wanted to be a carpenter.”
“Do I have to be the same all the time, Herman?”
“Not for my part, Joey. That’s what I like about you. One never knows what you are going to say or do next.”
“Doesn’t Father like that?”
“Well, it isn’t just that. It’s when you say things about the future, or when you seem so positive about something you couldn’t possibly know. And when things happen to you that are mysterious.” “But nothing mysterious happens to me, Herman.”
“Do you remember the time you had Uncle take you coasting on Montabaur hill? You didn’t have a sled, so you took a ladder instead. The hill was all ice, and at the bottom was the crossroad. Uncle said a team of horses was coming, but it was too late for him to stop you, and you could not stop yourself. He said there was nothing on earth could keep you from being killed or badly hurt.”
“But I wasn’t hurt a bit, Herman.”
“That’s just the thing, Joey. Ladder and all, you shot right through between the legs of the horses, entirely unhurt. How did you do it? You didn’t know. No one knew. That was a mystery. And then when they asked you if you weren’t frightened when you saw the team ahead of you, you said no, you weren’t, because the minute you saw them you thought about something else and forgot all about them.”
“Well, I did, Herman, I closed my eyes, and saw the picture in the church.”
“Yes, I know, Joey. But you said you knew you weren’t going to be hurt.”
“I did know it. I wasn’t hurt.”
“Well, all right. I believe you. But I’m showing you what worries Father. When they asked you how you knew you weren’t going to be hurt bad or killed, you said it was because you were going to marry a girl named Mary, with black eyes and dark hair when you were twenty-seven years old, so that’s how you knew you weren’t going to be killed before then.”
“That’s how I did know, Herman.”
“Well, that’s what Father doesn’t like. It’s either nonsense, or you know. And if you know, how do you know? He doesn’t like it either way, Joey.”
So that night I lay there again in the dark feeling like a stranger, I tried to remember how it all came about that I was there, and why I felt like I sometimes did. It was the “feeling” that made me say things and think things like Herman said Father didn’t like, and Mother seemed to understand but hushed me up so he wouldn’t hear me.
I was six years old we were still in Montabaur, when there began to be talk in the family about going to America. It was then that I began to be conscious of a world beyond the village limits, I climbed to the top of the hill to try to see some of it. I was alone, but I imagined that men were walking up the hill with me, and that I was one of them.
We all had on light, flexible suits of armor, like fish scales made of metal. There was a bright red cross on each breast, a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other.
It was fifty years before I found out, inadvertently, that the village of Montabaur and the hill I climbed that day were originally called Humbach; and that centuries before met the Crusaders had climbed that hill and looked down over the beautiful country, calling it “The Holy Land.” The hill reminded them of that Mount that Christ had ascended to pray, with Peter, James and John, where He was transfigured before them. So they christened it Mount Tabor, and henceforth the little village at its foot was called Montabaur.
I did not know this as I trudged along that day, surrounded by the creation of my own imagination, a company of Christian warriors with swords and Bibles.
When I reached the top I still could not see America. So I closed my eyes, but all I could “see” was a lot of Indians. That was of course because of what I had heard about America.
So far as I know now I had no knowledge of the Crusaders, or in any case of their relation to the hill at Montabaur. Of course it is possible there was a foundation for the “image play” with my remembering it. The fact is here unimportant as the purpose of these early recollections is more to provide the background and to portray the general nature of early thought elements as based on experience.
At present his is merely illustrative of a later problem: What distinguishes a “true” imagination from a “false” one as an element of imaginative experience when it is regarded as an established fact that we can think only with what we have acquired to think with? In other words, all imaginative experience is made up of combinations and recombinations of elements of sensory experience with a physiological foundation. Nevertheless it has been established by experiment that the separate parts or memory elements may be put together correctly or incorrectly to form a true or false internal representation of external events or conditions. What distinguishes between the true” and the “false” when immediate verification by observation or experiment is impossible?
The answer, later to be set forth more fully, is that the distinguishing characteristic of a “true” imagination is a “feeling” that must be felt in order to understand its nature.
I did not at first comprehend this, but now in looking back at many thousands of imaginative experiences of childhood and youth, I see that when the exercise of the imagination is either unaccompanied by any feeling whatsoever, or when the imagination produces a feeling as a result of its exercise (e.g. imagining Indians is followed by a feeling of excitement and anticipation), the imagination is not to be trusted unless a train of thought is followed back to determine its origin, and unless the logic and reason are sufficiently matured and trained to adjust and retouch the picture in accordance with experience, or reason based on observation and experiment.
On the other hand, if a certain type of “feeling” (which is a dominant experience throughout this record) precedes the exercise of the imagination, and in fact produces the imagination by selective stimulation and blending of memory elements to express, to clothe, to embody, or to interpret the “feeling,” we have then a type of spiritual inspiration and mental phenomena that merits further investigation, to which an introduction will be found in these pages.
My first experiences of a distinction in feeling associated with imagination were largely unrealized at the time, but preserved in memory. In climbing Mount Tabor, for example, the “feeling” came over me first that I was not alone. This caused met to imagine myself surrounded with companions all starting out together for some distant place to fight a battle. We would have swords but we would also have Bibles. The Cross would be our armor inside, but outside we would need armor of steel.
I did not then realize that these details characterized the Crusaders, who gave the hill historic background and a name. All the elements were familiar to me, but not the history. My memory contained swords, Bibles, Crosses, metal armor, and the idea of men who would use these things. Emphatically, I did not see the “spirits” of Crusaders walking up the hill with me. What I “saw” was entirely the product of my own imagination in which was composited various elements of memory acquired by previous sensory experience.
But these memory elements were selectively stimulated, assembled, and imbued with life by a “feeling” at a particular time, under a particular condition, at a particular place, which invested them with a meaning I did not myself comprehend until fifty years later. Whence and what the “feeling”? Why the particular mental imagery evoked by the feeling? Not in these few childhood cases alone, but in thousands upon thousands of cases extending through a lifetime: my own and the lives of many others whose experiences I have investigated.
That was the quest in which, symbolically at least, I set forth with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other, to find the answer. I sought the truth, and as time went on I found that my imagination provided the truth in one instance and deceived me in another. It deceived me when I used my own reason and memory to speculate on things I didn’t know enough about. It deceived me when I concentrated or “tried.” It never deceived me when I didn’t try, and didn’t care, and had a “feeling” first that started my imagination going to piece together in a flash what was aroused from my memory by the feeling. What was the feeling?
I stress this because as time went on people who knew more about such things than I would say, ” The boy is psychic, ” or “He is clairvoyant.” “It must be telepathy or psychometry,” and so on. And I knew they were all wrong. I possess no special, mystic, or occult sense that other men do not possess. My mental operations are limited entirely to what I have acquired and recorded by sensory experience. My imagination has only my own memory to draw on. I visualize something spontaneously past, present or future, near or far; it proves correct, with witnesses to verify it. My records contain thousand of such witnessed cases in which I was correct 98% of the time. What did I “see”? Nothing but a composite of my own memory elements of past experience.
Truly and literally it was “nothing but my imagination.” Still it corresponded with the truth. Why? Was it a good guess? Was it “coincidence”? Was it “chance”? These were questions to be answered by experimental research. At first I did not know. But time ruled out chance beyond all dispute. And I did soon find out that man’s most important thinking does not take place in the brain alone, but with the entire body and nervous system.
Truth is not to be found in man’s memory of words or his reflective visual or oral thinking. Words and memories of sights and sounds may be woven together into endless combinations. What gives them meaning? What determines the exact word or memory elements that will be combined in any given concept or idea or train of thought? What assurances have we that our ideas have any correspondence with reality at all?
Our only assurance from a scientific point of view is one based on experience, observation and experiment. How then is it possible to know things in the future, at a distance in the present and in the past, without opportunity for experience, observation, or experiment? I can only say that I have established this fact for myself, that I am writing this commentary on my early experience to introduce you to what I did and how I did it, so you too may establish the facts for yourself, without taking anyone’s word for it; mine or that of anyone else.
It requires not the use of some mysterious faculty you do not possess, but rather the suspension of the use of your “intellect”(verbal memory, reason, etc.) until after your feeling of intuition has clothed itself imaginatively. Then harness it by “logic and reason,” by all means, if you can. But you must first learn how to stop thinking at will. You must learn how to “deconcentrate” instead of concentrating. You must make no strenuous “effort.” You can’t “force” it. You can’t “play” with it. You can’t “practice” it. Spontaneity is its most essential characteristic. It cannot manifest in the realm of habit or “conditioned reflexes,” as in the case of instinct.
In the language of the New Testament, you must not try to move the spirit; you must let the spirit move you. This means that you must let the truth shape you, for the simple reason that you cannot shape the truth. Your relation to truth is direct, and not by reflective or verbal representation. You will find the truth neither in words nor in memories, but only in direct nervous coordination of the whole of your immediate sensory experience, internal as well as external.
Just as the law of crystallization and chemical combination in the mineral kingdom and the inorganic world, so also the law of selective absorption in the organic world and vegetable kingdom, preserving the species, materializing the truth and meaning of the seed. And so also the selective excitation and conditioning of reflexes in the formation and operation of instinct in the animal kingdom. And there is evidence that a similar law is at work in a more complicated system of self-conditioning reflexes as manifest in the
Vastly superior nervous organization of man: a mechanism of adaptation not only to so-called seen or visible environments, but also to “unseen” environments such as those manifest in radiant energy and the specifications of future growth as manifest in seeds.
All I knew as a child was that I had some sort of relation with what I could neither see, hear, smell, taste nor touch; and that relation was a “feeling.”
But I found that “thinking” and “imagining” first created a false feeling that lied to me. It was only when the feeling came first, without thinking, that the feeling was right. And my thoughts and imaginations were right only if they were induced by the feeling and not by association of thought resulting from what I saw or heard. Sometimes there was nothing in my experience to fit the feelings that came to me. Often I could not understand them at all in terms of word or ideas familiar to me. Still I “knew”; but I couldn’t explain it.
I feel it necessary for the sake of the intellect of those who have had no such experiences to explain thus at length the view from which my own are regarded. None was regarded as occult or mystic in nature; none involved mysterious unknown senses, nor were they “extra-sensory” or “super-sensory.” Man’s relation with his environments, the universe, the rest of mankind, Deity, or forms of energy or life beyond his present understanding is regarded as a physiological, neurological, sensory relation. No responsive or imaginative activity is regarded as possible without a nervous organization with a physiological foundation. And I have established to my own satisfaction by experiment that if I apparently “see” a vision or dream, a dream that proves to be prophetic, there is no so-called faculty of prevision, or second sight. The “third eye” employed in such experiences is nothing more nor less than the “imagination” that every man, woman, and child exercises to a greater or lesser degree. This “mind’s eye” of imagination has never, does not, cannot, and never will “see” anything outside of one’s own physiological organization. Its sensations are entirely “memory sensations.” It is strictly limited to the momentary and fragmentary revival of past experiences as recorded in memory. Its one and essential power, which distinguishes the complicated nervous organization of man from the more simple one of the animal, is the power of recombination by means of which the imagination can make new creations out of the memory elements of old experiences.
Thus we symbolize; we indulge in fantasy; we speculate and theorize; we create works of art; we invent; and thus we produce a culture and a civilization. But as we thus change environments, we change our “destiny,” and we change the character of adaptation that operates in the law of the survival of the fit. It becomes necessary to adapt oneself to subtler and more complicated environments. It becomes necessary to develop foresight, a knowledge of consequences; to plan, to prepare, to prevent. We find that only those who do this survive.
So now we have a law of the survival of the intuitively fit. But intuition needs to be redefined, or we shall have to find a new word for it.
Possibly there was a time when brute strength survived, but it soon became evident that a less strong and more sensitive nervous organism better adapted itself to environments in the survival of the instinctively fit.
With the appearance of man there was anew element; intelligence. Neither brute strength nor instinct could cope with it. The intellect that could make a trap, dig a pitfall for mastodons, and invent a gun soon became king of the earth.
And then what, as men fight each other as well as the elements of nature, to say nothing of man’s own creations, which break his bones and blast him from the face of the earth? Do the strong battle and kill themselves off so that the meek shall inherit the earth?
Man now finds others than himself to battle. He builds cities, and the earth trembles, opens great jaws and swallows them up. Volcanoes belch forth and bury them. Winds blow and lay them low. The rain falls and great floods sweep all before them. Lightning strikes and burns his structures to the ground. He builds ships and they sink at sea. He makes fast-moving engines and dashes to destruction. He digs in the bowels of the earth for its riches and is buried alive. The sun dries up his crops and he perishes in famine.
Pestilence breaks out and leaves a city of dead to be buried unknown by the sands of ten thousand years, which he later digs up to decipher its records. And ever and anon, as the beating pulse of an eternal war drum, he goes to battle again, with ever increasing cunning in horrible devices with which to slay himself.
It is the last cycle; the final “survival.” And is it the strong who survive? Is it the cunning? Is it the meek? Is it the tyrant? Is it the selfish and arrogant? It is not. It is they who feel the “feeling” and act on it. It is they who had a “hunch” not to buy tickets on the ship that was going to sink. It is they who did not build a city where Vesuvius would belch forth its lava and flames. It is they who do not buy or build a house below the future flood-crest of a river. It is they who packed their belongings and left the day before an earthquake shattered their home. It is they who do these things without even thinking why.
What is the “feeling”? If we waited to use it until we knew what it was, we would be like the farmer who still uses kerosene lamps because he doesn’t intend to use electricity until he knows what it is. The wren does not know why it flies south; but it flies, and thus escapes cold and starvation. An animal obeys a “feeling” directly, without translating it into words or thoughts of visual (imaginative) representation. Man has so far lost his neural relation with reality (by having substituted a world of words and symbolic representations) that he regards as abnormal those who retain it or regain it. He invests it with an air of mystery, and represents it by misleading words of special vocabularies, mystic, occult, theosophical, theological, psychological, and psychic.
The mystery is no longer in the physiological and nervous organization of mannot any more than in the construction of the Geiger counter. The mystery is in the so-called cosmic rays that act on the Geiger counter. What are they, and where are they from? The mystery is in the source of energy or life that acts on the nervous organization of man to produce the “feeling.” What is it, and where is it from? There need be no other mystery. The organism upon which it acts is now fairly well known. New ductless glands will be discovered. Many functions and operations will be better understood. But in all its essentials the physiological foundation and nervous organization is well enough understood, in the light of developments in the field of electronics and radiant energy, to know that man is capable of experiencing “feelings” (independent of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) that emanate from sources known or unknown. Heat is but an obvious example, as well as electrical conditions of the atmosphere.
Beyond this coordinated sensitivity of the entire nervous system no further or special sense is required. It is superfluous and absurd to postulate mysterious powers of vision, clairaudience, “psychic abilities,” and so on, when the normal powers and modus operandi of imagination and memory not only suffice in explanation, but may be investigated experimentally to establish the fact that one’s so-called psychic faculties are entirely limited constituently to the contents of the individual memory, just as the constituents of words are limited to the alphabet employed, and my verbal representation is limited to my vocabulary (i.e., my verbal memory_, unless I pause to look up or coin a word for an idea that has not yet been incorporated in my verbal organization.
And yet I have had words come to mind and pass over my tongue in experimental conditions, words entirely unfamiliar to me, words in foreign languages, or technical terms that could be found in a dictionary, and some that could not, containing information that I did not myself knew, and that was verified as correct. I used familiar syllable, however. I used the familiar alphabet. And even where I inscribed hieroglyphics entirely unfamiliar to me, it was a composition of familiar smaller elements of lines and curves, shapes and angles. The fact still described in terms so vastly misleading and misunderstood as remains that my vision of these things cannot correctly be “psychic,” telepathic, and so on. It was nothing whatever but imagination compositing familiar elements of previous sensory experience recorded in memory.
I see and correctly describe a scene ten thousand miles away. (I have done this under experimental conditions as recorded in my files.) I see and describe a future event, which occurs exactly as I described it, with only minor variations. What is lacking or faulty in my description is lacking in my memory. For what so I see? Nothing but my own imagination.
Actually I do not see ten thousand miles away with any form of “vision” whatever. I do not “see” the future. My reception or perception of these things is entirely formless, entirely a “feeling,” entirely devoid of image, word, thought or concept. What makes it intelligible to myself or someone else is the activity of my imagination, which endeavors to symbolize, portray or interpret the “feeling.”
And what is the “feeling”? That is the one great mystery. That is the quest. That is the source of all inspiration, the fountainhead of all spiritual gifts, the heart and life of all religion. This is the foundation that science has provided for spiritual understanding: a physiological foundation for a nervous organization that responds to an unknown source or sources of energy in the form of “feelings.” These feelings are neurological and physiological; not the activity of a special or occult “sense,” but the coordinated activity of the entire nervous organization. The reaction is one of selective stimulation of previously experienced and conditioned reflex arcs of memory. The imagination interprets the “feeling” in terms of memories associated with similar feelings. Thus a complex feeling is broken down into its elements by symbolic representation in an imaginative composite of memory elements. Thereby we “understand” it.
With this explanation we may hope to contribute to a better understanding of mental phenomena stripped of the deceiving terminology of generations of “psychic racketeering.” Man’s “all-seeing eye” is his imagination, and his imagination sees not beyond his own nerve ends. It sees only the “past” that has been recorded in memory. Still, by this means he may portray what has not yet been recorded (i.e., the future); he may “see” around the world; and he may explore the past before his birth in the history of the human race. And why? Because his quivering nerves are open to the universe and susceptible to innumerable feelings. The feelings stimulate and thus clothe themselves in reawakened memory sensations.
Thus we do not see the past, present or future beyond the range of our senses, but we “imagine” it. And if our “feeling” is genuine, or imagination is “true.”
Can there be a “false feeling”? Yes, when it is merely the echo of a past feeling aroused by suggestion, association of thought, and memory of words: i.e., intellectual activity in general. The “feeling from outside” can bring you information of a phenomenal nature only when you are able to suspend all internal activity of thought. The “feeling” must have an empty slate to write on. It must be allowed to select your memories, to shape them in your imagination, to choose its own words. The result will be instantaneous; and until you understand the language of feeling, you may not be able to distinguish such formations from your own thoughts. Or, on the other hand, the experience may be so pronounced that you will think you see a “vision,” a “spirit” or a “ghost.”
You may feel indignant if others call it a hallucination or “imagination,” but that is exactly what it is, nothing more. Still, it may be a genuine experience and the “vision” may be true in every detail within the capacity of your memory to provide the necessary elements.
To help you understand how this can be, and to help you to distinguish between false and true, the wrong and right use of the imagination, the false echo from the genuine feeling, I have taken these pains both to record and to comment on my own personal adventures and research along these lines.
Not everything is easy to explain, but we must avoid attaching the “mystery” to the wrong place. Within all seeds is the “design” of what they will become by growth and development. The creative power exists in the unrecorded. What has been recorded is already “dead.” Thus the creative and progressive power in man necessarily manifests as a prophetic power, active in determining what he shall be, and not what he has been.
What has been inherited or already determined as a conditioned reflex is of the past. But what selects or chooses, as in the power of selective absorption of a seed, or the power of selective stimulation in physiological man, is of the “future” in function of “time,” which exists solely as a biological phenomenon of succession in growth.
Thus there are innumerable sources of prophetic “feeling” in man that need not be the occasion of any “mystery.” In our very careless and inadequate verbal organization we speak of wishes, wants, desires, appetites, hunger; of ambition, aspiration, ideals; hope, Anticipation, expectations, faith, and so on. These terms are neither clearly understood, defined nor differentiated; and means have not been provided to distinguish between those sources of prophetic feeling that are inherent to the structure of our physiological organization, as in the case of animals whose cycle of progressive activity repeats itself each generation, and those sources of prophetic feeling that are not inherent to the individual physiological structure but which manifest in human progress, which repeats itself in cycles extending through several generations.
To the latter we must attach the “mystery.” Self-preservation is not a remarkable phenomenon, but race-preservation is. The man who will fight to preserve himself or his family is not a particularly interesting object of study, but the man who will live his life and give his life for the sake of mankind and human progress is manifesting the mystery that is the religion of mankind. What is the source of his “feelings”?
But to return to my own experiences, I have found that whereas “memory is not inherited (i.e., it is not possible to “remember” before we were born in terms of our ability to recall our own sensory experience since birth), we do nevertheless inherit enough of our parents, and through them of past ancestors, to manifest a “feeling” that is capable of arousing parallel memories in our own experience. And thus our imagination may approximate some condition or memory of a parent or ancestor before our birth.
I make this statement on the basis of considerable evidence. Often, however, there is a composite of elements derived from both father and mother, so that the feeling is complex and the resulting imagination a mixture.
Just what caused my mother to dream prophetic dreams while bearing me, and not any of the other children, is something that I do not even attempt to explain. What caused me to dream at the age of seven, going on eight, on a night when I was “reborn” by a distinct psychological change, a dream similar to one my mother dreamed the night I was born one month too soonthat again is something I cannot explain at this stage of the record. And why we both should have dreamed that Herman was hanging on the wall, nailed there as if he had been crucified, might possibly be considered a coincidence, in view of the fact that the symbolism is not unusual in a Catholic family; and if we consider crucifixion to be a symbol of suffering, it could certainly apply to poor Herman, a cripple from birth.
Nevertheless I can swear that under the circumstances neither Mother nor I breathed a word to Herman about that dream; nor did we tell anyone else, on account of Father’s attitude toward such thins.
We could not regard the dream as prophetic in a literal sense, since it would be absurd to think that Herman would ever really be found hanging on the wall. At most we could regard it as symbolic, and at worst as symbolic of death. But the dream of a series that had not come true, and it had upset her so much at the time that I was precipitated into the world in a premature birth.
Therefore our feelings can be imagined when Herman called Mother one day, after a spell of suffering, and said, “Mother, hang me on the wall here!”
Shocked, and thinking he was perhaps delirious, she asked, “And why should I do that?”
He answered, “Because I want to die like Christ died.”
Mother said, “But you are not going to die, Herman! Don’t talk that way.”
He answered, “Yes, I am, Mother.”
She put her arm about him, and they prayed together.
Then Herman cried himself to sleep.
He never woke up again.
So Herman died just when I felt that I needed him most. Now I was the only boy; I had no brother; and I was indeed alone in the world. For my father was working all day at the large paper mill; my mother was kept busy; the girls had their own interests. I was sent to a Catholic school, but outside of school had to shift for myself.
And now I made some discoveries; first, that Herman was not “dead.”
How did I know? I could not see him, nor could I hear his voice. But I very definitely “felt” his presence. And then, of course, I could imagine him by remembering him and in my imagination I could carry on a conversation with him.
Was this really Herman or only my imagination? Well, in the first place, what is the difference between the first sense impression, and the recalling of that sense impression as a memory?
When the reflection of light from Herman that affected my optic nerves affected instead the silver emulsion of a photographic film, we look at the result and say, “That’s Herman.”
I recall the image of Herman in my memory and say to myself, “It’s Herman.”
Certainly I know that it is only my memory, and only in my imagination. But then I think, “Well, anyway, Herman is still alive in my mind.”
It was that way when Herman was still alive; when I was off somewhere and he was home. I could remember him then too. But now this was different, because there was a “feeling.” And somehow Herman, or the thought of Herman, seemed to be able to put a life into my memory and make me imagine things I never imagined before, all through that feeling.
The first time I felt it was a few days after Herman was buried. The feeling came first, and then I thought of Herman.
I imagined him saying, “Well, Joey, I’m still here in your memory, anyway.”
I thought, “Now you won’t have to stay home all the time, Herman. You can play with me”
And then in my imagination, my memory of Herman said, “Then don’t remember me this way, Joey! I’m not crippled any more.”
It was then that I realized I was remembering Herman just as he had been when I saw him last. So I changed everything except his face and his eyes and my memory of his voice. Limb by limb I took my memory of Herman and made it over in my imagination, until it could run around as I did.
And then I was so thrilled by the difference that tears came to my eyes. The feeling became so strong that it burst out of my mouth, and I said, “Thanks!”
Then something struck me funny, and I said, “Herman, was that me thanking you, or you thanking me?”
Suddenly a joyous feeling filled me, and I laughed with it.
I ran out to play and imagined Herman running out with me. I began to show him all the things he hadn’t been able to see or do when he was crippled.
It did not occur to me to regard it as anything other than pure imagination on my part. I did not think Herman’s “spirit” was running around with me. I had always carried on conversations in my mind; and now for a while, instead of talking with myself, I talked with a reconstructed memory of Herman in my imagination. The fact that my imaginary and reconstructed brother occasionally said things in my imagination that I did not knowingly put into his mouth was a fact that passed unnoticed by me at the time. I took it for granted as something quite to be expected.
For example, I would go to the woods, and I would imagine Herman saying, “Well, Joey, we haven’t seen any Indians yet.”
And this would remind me that my chief anticipation on leaving Montabaur for the New World was the prospect of Indians. There was first a long coach ride. It was right, and I was the only one of all the passengers who stayed awake. I imagined Indians stopping the horses and saying that they would kill me if I made a sound or woke the rest up.
I thought, “But you were asleep, Herman.”
And my imagination of Herman answered, “Not when you were scalped, Joey. That woke me up.”
And then I laughed, because I had forgotten that incident; but now I remembered that right while I was in the thick of my imaginary Indians during the coach ride, someone in the coach dropped something that hit me on the head. So vivid were my imaginings that for a moment I thought I had been scalped, and woke Herman up with my war-whoop.
School made me nervous, sitting so still. One day I began to beat a rhythm with my hands and feet. The teacher told me to stop, and asked me what I was doing it for. I couldn’t answer her.
She said, “Well, if you can do a thing, you can explain why you were doing it. Now tell me!”
All I could say was, “I don’t know.”
So she struck me over the knuckles with a ruler, and said, “Well, don’t do it again, or this ruler will know a better place to hit you.”
I sat there stunned and humiliated, with tears blinding my eyes. It was not just the pain on the knuckles. It was worse than that. I had not been long in the school, and I had looked up with admiration at the teacher. I had wanted her to like me, and now she had struck me.
Needing some comfort, I imagined Herman saying, “Why didn’t you tell her, Joey? Tell her why you were doing that. Go after school and tell her.”
“But I don’t know why.”
“Yes you do.” And then it came to me. On the way to America we could not afford a first class passage, so we were near the engine of the ship during the entire trip. For seventeen days the rhythmic beat of the engine pounded its way into my system, so that whenever I became nervous or restless my feet or fingers unconsciously tapped out the rhythm of the monotonous chugging of the ship’s engine.
Then I imagined Herman saying, “Do you remember how you tied a tin can to a string and let it down over the side of the ship, Joey?”
Then I thought, “Yes, I would draw it up full of water sometimes. But one day the water in the can was warm. And then it was cold again. I wonder why that was?”
The answer came, “Ask her. Ask the teacher when you explain about beating your hands and feet.”
And so I did. She was interested, and talked about it with someone else. Then she told me that when the water I drew up was warm, we were crossing the Gulf Stream. She said she was sorry she had struck my knuckles with the ruler, and would not have done so if I had explained to her; but I wouldn’t answer her, and that’s why she struck me.
As time passed I took more and more to wandering through the woods, studying all living things in my own way, speaking to them and making believe that they answered me.
I thought, “Everything could speak if we could only interpret it.”
By this even as a child, I did not believe that animals and trees could speak the English or any other language of spoken words, or that they had human qualities. (That would have been anthropomorphic!) But I did believe that everything in nature had a “meaning,” like a word in the language of Nature; and that this language that we see through our eyes, hear through our ears, smell through our nose, touch with our fingers, and taste with our tongues, was also the language that was in my head when I closed my eyes and ears, and “imagined” things.
This was a language “without words,” and this, I thought, was the one language of all the world, the language of thought itself, in which all knowledge could be expressed. I was forced to this language for my own understanding, moving from a country where one language was spoken to a country where another language was spoken.
So I looked at a tree and understood it. I heard a sound and knew what made it without looking to see. I smelled odors in the woods, and knew what they came from. And then I found that if I touched something with my fingers, I could tell whether anyone else had touched it before me.
How did I know? It was a “feeling.” And then I found that if I let that feeling make me “imagine” things without thinking, I could describe who had touched, it, and other things connected with it in the past. As time passed, someone told me, “What, that’s psychometry. You were able to psychometrize things.”
I answered, “But that’s silly. It isn’t anything but what I feel with my fingers. And then I try to imagine what the feeling means.”
And then they would say, “But you described the whole scene exactly, where this object came from. You must see it in order to do that.”
But I didn’t see it. I saw nothing but my own imagination; nothing but bits and fragments of my own past memories. But what put them together correctly to express the meaning of a “feeling”?
What puts the letters of the alphabet together to form words? What puts words together to form sentences of understanding?
No one could answer me. Nor could I. All I knew was that if I stroked a thing with my fingers until I felt that it was a part of me, like my foot, I could “feel” it, just like my foot.
There is only one way my foot can talk to me, and that is by a feeling. It may be pleasant or unpleasant, hot or cold; comfortable, tired or painful. My own memory tells me why, and what it means. I can’t see my foot; it’s in my shoe. I can’t see my foot even if it’s bare. All I can see is the dead skin outside. That’s all I can see of anything. All we ever see is the dead skin of things. We never see what anything really is. We can only “feel” it.
If people were going to insist on calling that “seeing,” very well then. I could “see” better with the ends of my fingers and with my eyes closed. Also I could “hear” better that way.
To prove it, and to amuse my friends, I would hold my hand high, fingertips in the direction of a distant railway engine five miles away that none of my friends could hear or see. I would say, “It’s whistling, only you can’t hear it now.” Then, “It’s coming closer, closernow it’s going to whistle: one, two, three” and whooo came the shriek of the engine just after my third count.
“But how did you know?”
“I saw the engineer reach up to pull the whistle.”
“But how did you see it? We couldn’t even see the train yet.”
“With my fingers.”
“But you can’t see with your fingers!”
“Of course not. But that’s what you insist on calling it.” “But you must see it in your mind, then. It’s second sight. It’s clairvoyance.”
“Those are just words. And what they mean to you isn’t true. I don’t see that train and that engineer at all. I’m just imagining it. What I see in my mind is a train I remember looking at one time from close up. The engineer in my mind is one who waved at me one time. That may be him, but I don’t think so, and I don’t know. It’s the engineer in my memory and not the engineer in the train that starts reaching for the handle to pull the whistle. When he starts reaching, I start counting. That’s all there is to it.”
“But what makes the engineer in your imagination start reaching at the right time?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I don’t understand it at all. You’re a strange one, and no fooling.”
I didn’t like this. I would say, “You could do it too, but you don’t try.”
One time I said, “I’ll show you. Let me put your coat over your head. Hold up your hand. A cloud is going to pass over the sun. You tell me the minute it does. Then after a few minutes tell me when the sun breaks through again.”
When this was done successfully, I asked, “How did you know?”
“Because I could feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. When it was cool I knew the cloud had covered the sun. When it was warm again I knew the cloud had passed.”
“Well what’s strange about that? It was a feeling in your hand and you knew what it meant.”
“But that’s different.”
“No, it isn’t different. Not in the way you mean. Of course it’s different, but it’s the same thing.”
“What a way to talk! It’s the same thing only different! That’s about as clear as mud, Joey.”
So I stopped trying to explain things for a while. I didn’t know enough about them myself.
In school, things didn’t go so well. Not that it was hard for me, or that I got poor marks. But they didn’t teach the things I wanted to know about, and they didn’t talk the language I understood best.
What I wanted I couldn’t express or explain at that time. My soul cried out dumbly what others before me and after me found words to say: “Give me the things, not words about things. Give me the thoughts, not words about thoughts.”
So I could not bring myself to study then; and in a whole lifetime of research I have never been able to study since; to study things and nature, yes; but not words and books.
Thirty years later I dreamed a dream of being a schoolboy again, kneeling on a dusty corner asleep, while the other pupils worked their heads off studying the essential oils. When recess came, I went out and had a fine time, but the rest were too tired.
This was symbolic of my whole life. I have seen more lives blasted and stunted by brain-cramming than by utter ignorance. Hence I have always preached against tiring out the colt in practice before the hour set for the race.
Man’s worst enemy is his memory, he has misused it. It was never meant to be a trunk into which to pack a lot of words and opinions. It was meant to record experience as a sample-case, an alphabet of nature’s language, like stringing a harp or piano, one string of each tone. Then any melody in the world of music can be played on it. And even from a distance the vibration of another tone will produce a vibration in my instrument, if I possess a string of like pitch to respond to it. I do not need to see, hear, smell, taste or touch it. The string in my piano is going to vibrate if someone strikes the same string on another piano at a distance.
But the string of my piano is not going to vibrate if I use the piano as a trunk and pack it full of words. The words are going to bang around on the strings so I cannot hear anything else.
As long as I didn’t learn from books; as long as I kept my memory from recording anything but direct experience, experiment and observation; and as long as I could seal off a part of my brain for a vocabulary, but refrain from using it in my thinking, then my thinking was not confined to my head. I could think with my whole body, with every nerve and organ: then I would know the truth, for they would not lie to me as men did, and as books did, using words.
I wanted the truth to select its own words, and not for men to try to shape ideas of truth in my brain with their words. This would not be true, and it was impossible ever for it to be true; for that is not what truth is.
Every argument that I ever heard was caused by someone trying to shape the truth by words, instead of allowing the words to be shaped by truth.
Fervently and deeply I wanted the truth, and I could see that none of the teachers knew the truth; none of the books told the truth. It was nothing but words, and words about words. Brick by brick, word by word, I saw the wall being built around us children to seal us for life into one room of our brain, with only two windows, our eyes, safely guarded with prison bars of words stronger than steel that also kept out most of the light; with every other gate of the mind carefully sealed by a word, so that no feeling could be arrived at, save through a word first, like putting gloves on our hands, shoes on our feet, spectacles on our eyes, muffs on our ears, and a woolen padding on every nerve end so we would be cut off from the quivering, life-giving pulsations of direct contact with the truth.
So I revolted; tore down the wall of words; threw off my shoes, both physically and mentally, and walked barefoot even where the stones were sharp and painful.
I went on alone in rain and thunderstorms, praying to God to let me feel the truth that no one could tell me in words. I promised that if He could make me “feel” the right things to do, I would always obey those feelings, instead of what other people told me to do when one person said one thing, and another said another.
When I got out alone like this, a strange feeling would sometimes come over me. When it did, then as far as I could see, everything, instead of being outside my head, seemed to be inside my head.
Looking out over a marsh where the frogs were croaking, I would hear them as if they were inside my head. They seemed to be a part of me, and I would amuse myself by pointing in a certain direction, saying, “One, two, threenow!”and a big bullfrog would croak from where I pointed.
So far as the evidence of personal experience is concerned, it does not answer the question whether the seeming ability to “cause” a frog to croak at will was a real one, or whether I predicted the croak.
This is merely illustrative. The problem comes up repeatedly in my records, as this type of phenomena is now an established fact with a sufficient number of reliable witnesses, so that the solution to this problem is one of the most fundamental considerations in the fields of science, philosophy, and religion. To what extent does the mind “make” things happen, and to what extent does the mind foresee what is going to happen? Does the mind create thought, or is it acted upon by thought?
Has man deceived himself by extending his conception of biological time beyond the sphere of its function in nature? Does cause precede or follow effect? Have we perhaps gotten the cart before the horse in thinking that the cause comes first because of our manner of recording biological time in a reflective function of memory, where things are naturally reversed as in a mirror or any other phenomenon of reflection? How is it, for example, that in dreams the sound that caused a dream wakes you up, and that the dream precedes the sound that has “caused” it?
Then again, here is an acorn. Overhead I see the oak tree from which it fell. I know that if I plant it, it will grow into another oak tree; and if I gather all the acorns from that, I can prove that within my hand at this moment I hold the means to produce a whole forest of oak trees.
The past is “outside,” over my head; the acorn has left if forever. Yet in the same moment I imagine the future forest of oak trees; and I know that at this very minute, though the chemical constituents of that oak tree of the future are in the air I breathe, and in the soil beneath my feet, I know that the true cause of that future forest lies in the palm of my hand, inside the seed (in the future of that growth), and not in the tree overhead, (its past), from which it has departed forever.
The cause of a thing is in action or a function, and not a position or sequence in space or in biological time. The old oak tree produced the acorn in my hand, but now the active cause of the future oak tree is in that acorn as its own future, which becomes manifest by selective absorption in growth manifest by selective absorption in growth. The old oak tree is cut off from any possible function as a cause of growth in the new tree. The power of creation is the future biologically. The past is the memory of the body, the future is the memory of the seed. My dream precedes the sound that causes it, just as my backward is forward in the mirror, for a dream is a reflex of memory.
And likewise when by shock of emergency or will of intent and earnest desire we suspend our logic and reason, and revolt from our walls of words, then only our raw nerves are exposed to nature; we think with our spine, our hands, our feet, our skin. What is outside of us is now part of us, inside. We are a waking dream; we are conscious on the other side of the fence; our actions precede what causes them.
I say, “One, two, three”and the train whistles. I say, “One, two, three”and a frog croaks. And one time, before eleven witnesses who are all still living as I write this (this was later in life), I said, in the midst of a storm. “Look at that tree, if you want to see something. Suppose I told you that I could make the lightning strike that tree; would you believe me? Of course not. But watch it. One, two, three”
And no one was more astonished than I when a bolt of lightning split the tree before our eyes; for I was in a “waking dream” at the time, having abandoned myself to the spirit and enjoyment of the storm. The lightning bolt broke my state of contemplation, or whatever you may choose to call it; hence I was astonished at the fulfillment of what I had been only half conscious of saying.
This may sound incredible, but I assure you that it is a fact of experience before witnesses, and only one of several thousand cases embodying the same principle. None of my witnesses is of a type to grant me power to cause a particular tree to be split by lightning at the third count of my finger. There are, therefore, only a few other possible conclusions:
1. That as in a dream, my speech preceded the sound or event that caused it; in which case, our conception of and relation to “time” needs deeper investigation and perhaps drastic revision.
2. That neither my speech nor the event was the cause of the other, both being the effect of a common cause; viz. the power that caused the event also called my attention to it, and through me the attention of others before it happened.
Either 1 or 2 with variations could be embodied in a theory of prophecy or prevision. We could state another possibility:
3. That the cause of my speech was not the power that caused the event, but rather a power in myself, or acting upon myself, which could foresee the event without any causal connection whatever.
Still further, 2 might be clarified by limiting the “power” to a purely material nature. For example, we say that “instinct” causes muskrats to “hole in” just before a storm; but reflex conditioned by a change or degree of atmospheric pressure associated with a consequence would account for it.
Moreover, I have turned one of my laboratories into a large electrical condenser, with an electronic ohmmeter connected between a metallic roof and the ground. The radiation resistance of this portion of space started building up one rainy day; and as the needle mounted higher and higher, till it could record no more, at one hundred million ohms, I knew without any “mental phenomena” that lightning was going to strike in the vicinity. It struck within two minutes after the capacity of the meter had been reached. Who is to say that the human nervous organization is not as sensitive as one built by man’s hands?
Still, that would not account for picking the right tree. Nor did the meter tell me what my nerves now did after the crash, when I asked, “Did anyone get the horses in before it started to rain?”
My assistant said, “I don’t know. Why? Shall I go and find out?”
I said, “The bolt was so close it made me feel as if I were a horse. I imagined a horse leaping into the air and falling down dead.”
My assistant went back to the barn and found that the horses were not in, as the rain had come on so suddenly. One of the other men was standing in the barn looking out at the downpour that followed the crash.
He said, “Yes, I know the horses should have been brought in, but I was just starting back to the pasture for them when it started. I’m just waiting for it to let up a little”
So both went back to look for the horses, and found two of them dead. One of them had leaped a six-foot fence and was several feet away without any tracks leading there.
In this case and others like it, I have had delicate instruments in my laboratory, in a temperature-controlled room, which correlated in their functions with outdoor temperature and weather changes, but slightly in advance of the outdoor effects. It became evident that the instruments were being acted upon at once by forces that a little later, sometimes five to twenty minutes, brought about the outdoor changes; thus enabling us to predict them by a small margin. Changes in atmospheric and electrical conditions, for example, preceded local meteorological effects, as also atmospheric tidal effects on temperature changes.
Thus it seems reasonable to believe that the human nervous system might be able to detect conditions on the same basis. But this will not account for all the phenomena observed. The imminence of a lightning bolt might be felt, but what explains pointing to the tree it will strike, and timing the flash to the second? What explains the fact that when a real horse leaped into the air and dropped dead, a memory of a horse in my imagination did likewise?
And if what causes a frog to croak can act more quickly upon my nervous system when “attuned” to it, giving me time to count three before the frog reacts, how does this work with the engineer tooting his whistle, or a man doing what I say he is going to do without his knowledge of the fact, so that the power of direct suggestion is eliminated? Did I make him do it; did I foresee that he was going to do it; or were we both acted upon by some unknown third factor that caused me to predict the act, and the other man to fulfill it?
All that is established experimentally (and this I have done thousands of times in the course of my research) is a relation of sequence with respect to the biological time of me and my witnesses. (1) I state what is going to happen. (2) It happens. Is 1 the cause of 2? Is 2 the cause of 1? Are both 1 and 2 the effect of a common cause? Is the relation entirely fortuitous, i.e., just a matter of “chance” or “coincidence”? Or is there some other explanation?
For example, is it possible that our conception of causality is in error, and that prevision does not imply predestination; that prophecy and “free will” are perfectly compatible if not identical, in the sense that free will requires dimension in biological time?
If free will on the part of Deity or man requires the setting in motion of processes that require or constitute time, the determination and the fulfillment of free will will be separated by a time interval that may vary from an instant in which you ask your neighbor at the table to pass the butter, up to a lifetime that may be cut short if it is your “free will” to end it, or to violate the laws of health in slow suicide of neglect.
In any case the aim of the bullet can be altered up to the moment the trigger is pulled; but once pulled, the bullet is on its way to a target that was not predestined until the release of nature’s forces beyond man’s control.
Since in every case free will does involve a time interval, however short or long, between its determination and its fulfillment, it is perfectly possible that prophecy is based on immediate knowledge or foreknowledge of the execution of free will in a determination that thus permits the manifestation of prophecy in perfect harmony with free will. Yet this has been considered in philosophic and theological difficulty of insurmountable nature, whereas it is in nature and human experience no difficulty at all.
The only difference between scientific and intuitive prediction is that in science the execution of an act of free will is known by observation or intention, and that in the case of intuition it is “sensed” or “felt” in a way no more “occult” or mysterious than the function of an insect’s antennae, but in man by the coordinated activity and sensitivity of his entire nervous organization. And whereas science is based on reflective analysis and comparison of sensory perceptions and memories of past sensory perceptions, intuition is based on the automatic and synthetic coordination of man’s entire physiological organization, wherein by selective stimulation of reflex arcs (called “memory”) a series of “feelings” is transformed into an activity of imagination that constitutes understanding and provides a basis for responsive activity of the motor or sympathetic nervous system.
If thoughts may be changed, environments may be changed. If environments may be changed, destiny may be changed, for there is a constant adaptation to environments. So “destiny” may be altered by one who knows the laws by which he can do so intelligently. This knowledge constitutes “free will” and involves “moral responsibility.” Not everyone acquires or exercises it, hence the present condition of the world today.
Most of us do what we do today because of the momentum of yesterday, or by reaction to stimuli, without exercising the ability to resist or suppress that reaction. Thus we are governed by past and present (i.e., memory and sensory reaction), which perpetuates vicious circles, retards progress, and prolongs undesirable conditions; whereas the exercise of “free will” consists of and entirely depends upon a consideration of and preparation for “tomorrow.”
The present moment is too late to exercise this prerogative with any expectation of altering the present moment. We can alter our future in cooperation with nature’s laws, by considering between two possible courses of action, and choosing not merely the course of action leading to the “most desirable” result, but the criterion by which we shall evaluate that “desirability.”
The mistake many make is in considering the “will” and “desire” as simple things. They are not simple but complex. It is possible to change the will by “willing to will,” and to change a desire by “desiring to desire” (i.e., by changing one’s criterion).
Man has two sources of desire and will that are founded in two distinct physiological systems of conditioned reflexes. One of these he shares in common with all animals; the other is distinctly the endowment and distinguishing characteristics of man. Neither of these two systems is “free” insofar as the reflexes have already been formed and conditioned. The freedom that is denied to animals and enjoyed by man is the power and the necessity by reflection to create and modify the growth and development of further reflex arcs (i.e., to make or modify tendencies, habits or hopes).
If we call this reflective and representative ability “intellect,” then this is the seat and source and modus operandi of individuality and free will. For the intellect may lend its aid as a modifier to either one of man’s two sources of will; or man’s two sources of will may engage in conflict for the possession of the intellect. The one is the will of experience, habit, instinct; the other of the selective development of latent possibilities in the seed. One is the voice of the past; the other of the future. Free will is the gift of prophecy; and the gift of prophecy is free will.
The moment you lose hope and faith, your destiny is established regardless of your will, like a bullet shot from a rifle that cannot be turned from its course. As long as your optimistic hand holds opportunity, you govern “fate”; but if you drop it through doubt, carelessness or pessimism, you are in the hand of fate’s “destiny,” not your own will.
Thus religion, as the guarantor of hope and the guardian of faith, is our only organized insurance of freedom and free will. A wholly dogmatic and authoritarian religion, however, is a religion in mane only, a speculative system of beliefs, not an operative and phenomenal function of faith.
Free will is the power. What man believes to be his “will” is but a dam for the capture and use of this power. All is right until he uses his will power the wrong way.
This is the power of the individual, of governing the polarity of his desires by commanding the animal propensities or the spiritual sentiments. Thus he determines which shall predominate, according to whether he allows himself to respond to instinct (past), or to be influenced by intuition or inspiration (future).
Man’s only escape from this fundamental conflict of choice has been a disastrous one for him (i.e., to reject both instinct and intuition), thus confining himself to the independent operations of the intellect (i.e., to a world of reflective and verbal representations).
Within this sphere of purely intellectual activity, the truth is entirely irrelevant with respect to the physiological and psychological consequences of the reflective and representative activities of the brain and nervous system. For the multifarious combinations of memory sensations create states of mind and motivate action without regard to their “truth” or “falsity” with respect to any criteria whatever.
Until we embody the physiological laws of thought in a logic capable of correlating language with life, more philosophic speculation is barren and without any probability of correspondence with truth.
Our only practical physiological means of insuring the correspondence of our imaginative activity with external conditions is by the use of special sensory organs in the acquisition of experience, the exercise of immediate observation, and the invention of apparatus in experiments. This is science.
Our only practical means of insuring the correspondence of our imaginative activity with external or internal conditions beyond the capacity and ability of our sensory organs to acquire experience, to exercise immediate observation, or to invent and apply activity of the entire nervous system as “antennae” in the acquisition of knowledge by “feelings,” which are to be understood only by the selective stimulation of memory elements in the activity of imagination from which all independent operations of the intellect have been rigidly excluded.
This is the domain of religion, not as a system of speculative belief, but as an operative function of intuition and faith that involves and includes the inspiration of all the so-called spiritual gifts, including prophecy and all types of mental phenomena to which have been falsely attributed occult or psychic connotations.
The exercise of the latter to the exclusion of the former produces but half-men and half-truths: i.e., mystics and mysticism. The exercise only of the former produces but half-men and half-truths: i.e., skeptics and skepticism.
The materialism of science and the spiritualism of religion are each in themselves incapable of embracing the whole man or the whole truth. It is only the two together, functioning in one man, not in separate men, that produces the capacity of mankind to a universal consciousness, coordination and understanding.
It was shortly after the time in my boyhood when I revolted against the schoolroom and turned to nature instead for my lessons. I would play truant and go off alone in a storm, talking back at the thunder as if it were God speaking.
I would say, “If I call upon you, and still fail to find the truth and the true religion, it will not be my fault, because we have been told, `Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.'”
I would say to myself, “If there is such a thing as a Holy Spirit, let me feel it. I don’t want anyone to tell me about it any more. All I ask is let me feel it myself, and then I will know.”
I said this, not doubting, not asking for “proof,” but as a hungry child demanding food, not words about food and pictures of good things to eat.
When I thought this way, a tingle would start in my spine that chilled me from head to foot, and then a feeling would go out to the end of every nerve in my body as if my heart were pumping warm wine instead of blood. I would feel a glow all over.
I would say, “Thank you, God!” And then the tears would come to my eyes because I was happy. I never told anyone about this. People wondered why I was always happy, and always whistling and singing; and this was why.
That was in the spring, and when summer came I was sent to a farm to work for a man who was kind to me.
I tended the cows every day, taking them a long way out on a road where I staked them to graze. This was the school for me. I learned more doing this than I had learned all year in school.
When it was time to go back to school again I became so nervous and restless that I was allowed to leave school and work in a spring shop for a dollar and twenty-five cents per week, to help my parents.
Thus I left school at the age of thirteen, and have never been inside of one since, except later in life as moderator and director of local school boards.
As for religion, I was absent from churches as well as schoolrooms, and for the same reason: I had found outside in nature, and within myself, what they did not or could not give me.
I have in the course of my life investigated every religion known to man on earth, past or present. I have enjoyed close friendships with leaders and laymen in all faiths; with priests, rabbis, and ministers of many denominations; and I must say that when I dug beneath the words and the various intellectual representations of doctrines and concepts, I found the same fundamental, universal faith by which man sustains a relation to his Creator and the spirit of truth in a function of neutral activity or consciousness other than “intellect.”
And when as a scientist I convinced myself of the irrelevance of truth with respect to the physiological and psychological consequences of the operations of the intellect, a conclusion immediately follows that dispenses with all argument. It does not make any difference whether or not the doctrines, the concepts, and the verbal representations are true, so long as the physiological and psychological consequences are favorable to man’s spiritual progress: i.e., if they lead the various types of intellect (to which the various doctrines are helpful) to the establishment of a relation with truth in a function of faith that is more fundamental than belief: i.e., an operative, not a speculative relation with the creative reality of God, or truth.
I have therefore devoted my life to the experimental investigation and study of the scientific foundations of the spiritual verities that are of necessity and by virtue of the essential unity of mankind in common with all religions as the essence of a universal Christianity.
Because I have found these spiritual verities to be operative and not speculative; and because in my own experience I have found that they operate in mankind through a physiological function of faith and not an intellectual function of speculative belief, I urge the support of all religions with emphasis on the faith they have in common, rather than the doctrinal beliefs by which they differ, and which a study of the history of religion and the history of mankind will reveal to have been the necessary expressions of intellectual variations to insure the perpetuation of the more essential elements of man’s physiological relation with truth through the nonintellectual operations of a living, universal faith.
At the age of fourteen I went to Chicago with my father. My mother and sister followed later. This was during the World’s Fair, and my father was employed in connection with one of the exhibits. Later, my parent had a bakery and a milk depot in the city. I got up early every morning when it was still dark to deliver milk.
By this time my father was a citizen of the United States, and was employed at the government appraisal store.
Not going to school, I always had some time for myself outside of work. I used it experimenting; and my mechanical, electrical, and chemical “inventions” were a source of great bother and worry to my mother, who was afraid of fires and explosions.
From time to time I secured work in various trades, in search of different kinds of experience. When I was fifteen I worked for a company that made window screens. Here I invented and constructed a machine for stapling the screening onto the frames.
I used to dream of having a wonderful shop, fitted out with every tool imaginable, so I could make things. I wanted also a chemical and electrical research laboratory and workshop. All of these daydreams materialized, though some of them many years later.
During this time I began to have experiences with regard to which space here permits the inclusion of only a few examples.
One time while working for the Hall Safe & Lock Company, I was sent out to dismantle the lock of a safe that had been blown open by safecrackers. I placed a drift in position and raised my hammer to strike it.
Now came the first experience in my life in which something happened in my arm that I could not account for as an act of will or reflex to my own thoughts. With hammer in mid-air, something held my hand sot that I could not hit the drift. The feeling was not as if some outside force held my arm, but something inside the muscles. They refused to make the motion I had instructed them to do by the impulse of my brain and the reflex of habit. So I examined the lock to see if perhaps I was hitting it in the wrong place to accomplish what I had to do.
Satisfied that I was hitting it in the right place, I raised my hammer again but could not bring myself to strike the drift. Then down my arm came the “feeling” that there was something there I shouldn’t hit. So I pulled the drift out again; and behind it I found a dynamite cartridge that had been placed there by the safecrackers, and that had not yet been exploded.
This was the first of many similar experiences. Again and again throughout my life, I would have lost fingers, hands, arms, legs, and life itself were it not for an independent action of my muscles in making a movement I did not direct, or in refusing to make a movement that I did direct.
What was it, within myself or in the universe, that had the power to move my muscles without my own will, or to prevent them from carrying out what I had every reason to believe to be my will? I did not know. All I could swear to was that it happened not once or twice but again and again; and at the age of seventy it still happensbut always as a last extremity. In later years, I learned to look for a feeling and to obey it in time to direct my own course of prevention. But failing this, “something else” took over; and as a result of it, in a long life of activity, of travel, of driving various kinds of vehicles, operating all kinds of machinery, I have never had a serious accident, but innumerable narrow escapes, all owing to some kind of purposive or automatic reflex of self-preservation.
Problem: What is it? I have friends, bless them, who seem to think that such questions are answered by muttering a name.
I demonstrate to them the fact that I can attract and repel a piece of steel “at a distance” by means of another piece of steel concealed in my hand.
I say, “There you behold an invisible force. You can’t see it , smell it, taste it, hear it, or touch it. Yet I can cause that piece of steel to roll away from me or roll toward me at will. What is it?”
Secure behind their wall of words, such people say, “Why, any school boy knows what that is! It’s magnetism.”
“Do you know what magnetism is?”
“It’s what you’re using to make that piece of steel move.”
“But do you know what it is.”
“Well, no. Does anybody?”
“That’s what I’m trying to find out. Very few admit they don’t know until I drive them to it. They solve all he problems of the universe by means of magic names.”
As long as things have names people are satisfied. As long as they can mutter a sound or draw signs on a blackboard, or stir the sign and the sound up out of their memory, that is all that is necessary. Look around the world and hear the torrent of mutterings like a perpetual hailstorm. See the rivers of ink flowing onto tons and tons of paper. Man has built ships for himself out of paper, and sails out into the universe on a river of ink blown by the breath of empty words. Then when the ship of his illusions collapses, eh finds himself in total ignorance. For now, without words he knows nothing; but had he not deceived himself, he might now, without words, have known all.
Some of my friends do not like this line of thought. “You can’t do without words,” they argue, “You yourself speak and write every day of your life. You have written a newspaper column for years, using perhaps four or five million words. You can’t convey your thoughts without naming words.”
To this I answer, “But I don’t think in words, and I don’t think with the part of my brain that remembers words. I’m trying to break down the wall of words that holds you prisoner, and unbar the gates of your mind that words have sealed shut. I’m trying to show you that your fingers, your muscles, your spine, and every organ and cell in your body knows more that you do; and that here is nothing more ignorant in the human anatomy than an educated brain that has barred every gate of the mind except that associated with verbal reflex.
“A man with such a brain is nothing more than a piece of machinery; his voice but a phonograph record. It is beyond his comprehension (because he has no comprehension; only fixed ideas, concepts anchored to words): he cannot believe because he cannot personally experience what it means to stretch out a quivering antenna of nerves that pick up feelings and transform them from electric currents, which stir up visual and verbal memories and reactions, into the echoes of a past, a living, or a future voice or scene.”
It is not the knowledge of the brain that holds the hand from hitting a dynamite cartridge that can’t be seen, or that causes one to hesitate and miss the plane or train that is going to crash. What is it? Are we going to “fix” it with a name?”
A name is nothing without a meaning; a meaning is impossible without understanding; and an understanding is impossible merely on the basis of a chain-reaction on our verbal memory. An understanding is possible only on the basis of neural activity in direct response to the object or subject of that understanding; not merely a twitch in a brain cell that awakens the memory of a few words, but the coordination of the entire physiological and neurological organization.
How glibly the vocabularies of philosophies and ideologies, of sciences and theologies flow from the tongue! And how many know anything? How many really understand anything? Very few can define the words they use; and when they do, the words are dead.
We speak of hunches, intuition, presentiments, precognition, extrasensory perception, inspiration, psychometry, spiritualism, clairvoyance, telepathy, divination, superstition, faith, the Holy Spirit, God. All these words are used to talk “about” something. None of the words, as defined and understood by anyone I have ever talked with, adequately represent what they are talking about, because the words have not been coined by men who know or understand adequately what they are trying to name.
Public conception of the terms has been deformed by the operation of “psychic racketeers” who have capitalized on the crudity and the hunger of people for truth, by deceiving them with tricks. I have investigated these things and I know all these tricks. One of the purposes of this commentary is to attempt to rescue the truth, and to restore understanding and faith in man’s God-given spiritual gifts, so that “each may prophesy, that each may be comforted” for himself without being deceived by charlatans and false prophets; and without being dependent upon the self-assumed authority of others for what he may seek and find and feel and know himself.
One day when I was walking down the street I felt very blue and discouraged without knowing why. This was unusual for me, because I was ordinarily contented and cheerful, if not happy, in those days. This was a new feeling and I could see no reason for it. I did not know of anything that would make me blue. I felt that way all day, and I could not identify or interpret the feeling. My imagination was no help to me now.
That night my father asked me what ailed me. I said I did not know. He insisted that if I was unhappy there must be a reason for it, and he wanted to know what it was.
The moment he asked the question the answer was there. It was something about my father that made me feel unhappy. Now my imagination had something to work on, but I didn’t want to tell him about it, because now in his presence I felt and imagined that he was going to die, and that was what made me feel so upset and unhappy.
However, he forced me to tell him that I was afraid he was going to die suddenly, within two weeks. And then he punished me for dabbling with such nonsense, and said he thought I had gotten over that sort of thing long ago.
For the moment my father convinced me that I was wrong, because I hoped I was wrong. So for the next few days I tried to put it out of my mind. At least I never spoke of it. But early in the second week my father came down suddenly with a fever that developed into typhoid pneumonia. At the end of two weeks he was gone.
Overnight my boyhood was over. I was now the only man of the family. I went to work to help support my mother and sister.
Shortly after my father’s death my mother met friends who attended “spiritualist” meetings. She accompanied them one time, and told us at home of what she had heard and seen. I could not believe her, and was curious to find out how much of it was true.
So I went to see this medium of whom my mother and her friends were speaking so enthusiastically. I was sorely disappointed. Before the seance was over I had detected and knew how all of the tricks were done by which the public was being deceived.
Here I do not wish to be misunderstood. The fact that I found one medium fraudulent was not grounds enough o form a judgment that all mediums were fraudulent. But the fact that the first medium I ever met was fraudulent is sufficient to explain why I avoided all seances on general principles until I made up my mind to investigate and expose the tricks for the sake of the truth that did exist, and that I felt needed no “stage trimmings.”
Later on I met a number of very sincere mediums whom I judged to be honest but to some extent self-deceived. Also I met a few who confessed their tricks, and justified them by saying, “We use a trick to make people believe a truth, because the people cannot understand and will not believe the truth without the trick.”
I cannot here include details of my later investigations along these lines, but I must say that while my own personal experience convinced me absolutely of the truth of immortality, the reality of survival, the fact that death does not end all, in the reality of a type of communication based on “feeling” such as might take place also between two living persons who are attuned by bonds of love and affection, I have yet to be convinced of any form of “materialism,” trumpet blowing, slate-writing, spirit-photography, and so on. And at the time I am speaking of it, in the city of Chicago, this is just about all that spiritism consisted of; and in every instance where I was a witness I privately exposed the trick and revealed how it was done. And I can assure you it was not done by a “spirit”
Yet at the same time I frequently “felt” the presence of my father; the feeling revived a memory, and I could imagine him walking along beside me. I could “talk” with him by saying something and “imagining” what he might say in return.
If I had been willing to deceive myself as some mediums were, I could have said, “I see my father, and he tells me so and so.” But I did not see my father. What I “saw” was a memory of my father. He did not speak to me at all. The words were out of my own verbal memory, and I put them into the mouth of the memory of my father in my imagination. Then how could I explain it when the memory of my father in my imagination told me things I did not myself know, and that only my mother knew/?
It all comes back to the “feeling” again. So far as I could see, the only link between the living and the dead, the seen and the unseen, was a “feeling,” just as the only link between two telegraph operators is the current in the wires. The click that the receiver hears is not the click that the sender hears. It is a different” click.” You do not hear the voice of your friend over the telephone; what you hear is a vibration in your receiver that sounds like your friend’s voice.
Perhaps there do exist people who think that the voices they hear in their radio are the voices of the broadcasters a thousand miles away; but of course that is not true. What we hear is the vibration of a diaphragm in the Magnavox and not the vibration of the larynx of the person who is speaking.
And perhaps people who watch the images on a television screen are really under the illusion that they are seeing the faces, forms, and movements of the players in the broadcasting studio; if so they are deceiving themselves like the mediums who think they “see” spirits and “hear” voices.
You see nothing on a television screen but the variations of intensity of a spot of light, which is moving with such great rapidity that it creates the illusion of sustained vision; and the distribution of light intensity throughout the field, being determined by the reflection of light from the players and scene in the studio, deceives your optic nerves into believing you “see” the players. But how is this done from a distance, “without any wires” and through the air”?
Answer that and you will have an adequate explanation of all so-called mental phenomena; with the sympathetic nervous system as antennae, the imagination as amplifier and television screen; and what you see in your mind’s eye of imagination is nothing but the flickering composite of one’s own memory element.
Whether or not this “means” anything more than your memory depends entirely on whether you can turn the switch in your nervous system that reverses the current, so that the nervous system is acting on the memory and not the memory on the nervous system.
If the nervous system is acting on the memory, then your “feeling” manifests in imagination by selective stimulation of memory elements to form an “image” or a succession of remembered sounds. Then just as a seed manifests what it contains by selective absorption of chemical elements for the soil and air, so does a thought or “truth” or a “spirit,” or whatever you prefer to call it, manifest in a “feeling” that translates itself by selective stimulation of memory elements or motor elements, into imagination or action.
At least this was my early understanding of the matter. At no time have I ever had evidence that a “thought” or “spirit” could move anything other than a human organism and nervous system. At no time have I ever had evidence that either a thought or a spirit could be “seen” or photographed. At no time have I ever “heard” a thought or a spirit. All I can state from personal experience is that whenever a feeling originates in my nervous system without internal cause, whenever I succeed at the same time in eliminating all other influence, suspending all other sensory reactions; i.e., when I stop thinking independently and allow my thought to be “shaped” by the feeling, then what takes place in my imagination (though it remain only imagination, composited of my own memories) nevertheless corresponds with some external reality or event, past, present or future, without any limitation in space or time save the decided and very troublesome and insurmountable limitation of what my memory contains to contribute to the visualized representation that is the foundation of my understanding.
If this view disappoints any follower of fraudulent spiritism, let him then take comfort in the conclusion that though a “spirit message” may not be a direct contact of a loved one, neither is the voice over the radio. But you recognize the voice and understand its intimacy. Why not the thought of a comforting mother in the “beyond”?
Of course it’s nothing but your “imagination.” But your imagination will tell you the truth if you seek with a prayer (tuning in), and if you will stop thinking with your brain and offer up every nerve from the top of your head to the tips of your fingers and toes, for inspiration. What is inspiration? First it’s a “feeling,” and then the feeling paints a picture, sings a song, writes a book, or solves a problem that changes the course of history.
One medium said to me, “I realize all that, but if I tell my people that I only imagine what their deceased loved ones are saying, will they believe me? No, I have to work a trick, and pretend that the spirit writes it on a slate directly. I can’t admit that my finger does the writing.”
But to this view I could not agree. The search for truth is far more thrilling, more comforting and more profitable here and forever than any imagined thrill or advantage to be gained by deception or self-deception.
Nor could I feel that this was something to “dabble” with, like a plaything. My friends would talk about books on the subject, and tell me that I ought to read this one or that one. But every time I was tempted to do so, a “feeling” would stop me. Just as I was stopped from hitting the drift with my hammer when there was a dynamite cartridge behind it and I didn’t know it.
The only book I was able to open without this feeling was the Bible, and there I found the whole subject covered in the 12th chapter of the first epistle of the Corinthians, “Concerning spiritual gifts”‘ and the fourth chapter of John: “Beloved, believe not every spirit but try them whether they are of God, for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”
So when my mother and her friends became interested in “table-tipping” and kindred phenomena, I didn’t want any part of it. Later, I investigated various forms of “automatic writing” and the phenomena of hypnosis and self-hypnosis to an extent that does not permit inclusion in this record; and for reasons given in the connection I did not feel it advisable to experiment along those lines.
All hypnosis is fundamentally self-hypnosis. No man has the power to hypnotize another against his will, if one exerts that will. All that a “hypnotist” is able to do is to contrive by psychological tricks to secure the willingness and cooperation of the subject. The “power” is in the subject, not in the operator; and the success of the operator depends largely upon securing the confidence complete trust, or fear of the subject.
Ninety per cent of the people in the world today have spent the largest portion of their lives in various stages of self-hypnosis. The production of these states of mind in the people has been the objective of organized efforts on an incredible scale throughout the world. I have witnessed two World Wars that were directly due to states of self-hypnosis induced in masses of people by the organized efforts and propaganda of small groups of men. We have lived to witness the greatest psychological crime of all history. War would be impossible if we could break the spell of self-hypnosis that holds the people of the world in subjection to false ideas, ideologies, personalities and words, in a state of hypnosis produced by psychological tricks. We must expose these psychological tricks. But that is another story.
So many experiences I had when a young man made me realize that the ready response in my make-up was due to my harp of experience, such as it was; and that whatever confusion and error came into the picture was due to what I lacked in this respect. So I made deliberate efforts to enlarge and perfect this instrument of understanding. Each tool or instrument mastered added so many more strings, enabling me to give an opinion based upon absolute knowledge. And as I continued to add to this supply of strings, I found a readier response within myself when seeking knowledge by intuition, or endeavoring to interpret knowledge acquired only through the transference of “feelings” from others, or from sources unknown.
I would meet a stranger, for example, and as an experiment attempt to describe his father, who would be totally unknown to me; or some other person he might be thinking of. The correct description, of course, is recorded in his mind; and if I have registered one thousand faces in my own memory, there will be one among these that will now be recalled from my memory by the ” feeling” I get from the stranger. This provides me with an imaginative description as nearly as possible like the one in his mind, but which I can sense only in terms of facial characteristics recorded in my own memory in connection with faces I have seen.
These things were thus all clear to me early in life, and I could demonstrate them. But there was one thing that long remained a question mark in my mind, and that was the anatomy of prophetic intuition. For in my own experience the difference between past and future was that I appeared to get the information of the past as an inductive activity of my mind, while the case of prophetic intuition it seemed as if I were in the future coming back (deductive), and with it a sort of reverential awe, a kind of ecstasy as if just returning from a grand concert, or a beautiful garden filled with music, color, and perfume, and peculiar feeling akin to what I would imagine is caused by opium or morphine, as nearly as I could understand it. Once felt, it is always craved. But whereas drugs destroy in reaction, this seemed to strengthen, giving greater endurance, greater power, greater precision and command to all activity, both of body and mind. This is the “Feeling” (with a capital F).
There is a less pronounced sensation involved in so-called thought transference. I say “so-called” since in reality no thought, as we ordinarily consider thought, is transferred at all. Any thought that I experience originates in my own anatomy and not that of anyone else. I can, however, be caused to think a thought similar to the one that someone else has thought, is thinking, or will think; and in the same manner whole masses of people can be caused to think similar or parallel thoughts.
There is only one way I know of to describe it to another who has not felt it; the feeling that distinguishes a thought thus induced (i.e., thought induction rather than thought transference), and that is to take him in a car along a street he has never seen before. I cause him to lose his sense of direction, and then ask him to check up on his sense of orientation. I ask him to make himself believe that he is going north, say, toward his home. Then I ask him to change the direction mentally, and imagine himself going south. He feels himself denying a supposed fact, and acquires the new viewpoint only after he has wiped his mental slate clean by an effort to eliminate his previous thought or belief In so doing he experiences a mental “sensation” that is akin to that experienced when a thought is induced by the transfer of a feeling, (not of a “thought”).
The acceptance and recognition of mental activity thus not self-originated requires the voluntary or involuntary elimination of previous or present self-originated mental activity. In other terms, you must stop thinking in order to allow thought to be “induced” from external influences. But whether your mental activity is the result of current direct from your own batteries, or current induced by the activity of your sympathetic nervous system in response to external influences, it is nevertheless still your own memory elements that are stimulated to constitute your “thought.” Therefore the term thought transference is a misleading one, involving a conception that is not in accordance with human experience and experiment.
As a young man I began to visit all the various denominations of churches in the city, and to investigate all forms of religious belief and worship.
There were many questions that I wished to ask, but hesitated to state because I did not want to appear unduly inquisitive. I soon discovered, however, that if I asked these questions “mentally” (i.e., in my own mind without putting them in words), I would receive the answer in one way or another, during a conversation or discourse of the ministers or speakers.
I experimented with this for a while, without anyone knowing what I was doing. I received such strange and direct answers to my mental questions that I was led to experiment in having others ask silent questions of me.
The procedure was to start a conversation with the understanding that my questioner was only to think his questions; to talk about anything he pleased, but never to state the question he wished answered. Afterward we would compare notes; and I discovered that it was often easier to answer these unspoken questions than it was to answer questions put directly into words. Moreover, my answers to nine out of every ten questions were correct. What was functioning here?
In the first place, not knowing the question, my part of the conversation was spontaneous and without constraint or concentration of effort, as was the case when faced with a direct question that I was expected to answer in the same direct manner.
In the second place, at no time did I make an effort to discover what the question was, either by questions on my part or an effort to “sense” it or “read the mind” of my questioner. I refrained from this for the simple reason that when I tried it I was obliged to “think about it,” and my best chance of success was not to think about it at all.
Consequently I never knew when or if I had answered the question until it came time to compare notes on the result. I would say or talk about whatever popped up in my mind during the conversation. More often than not it was something entirely foreign to the conversation; and consequently more often than not I really didn’t know what I was talking about at all.
This was the origin of a deliberate effort on my part to apply the principle of “effortless thought without thinking” on an experimental basis.
The result of these early experiments, however, gradually got me deeper and deeper into a situation from which I was later able to extricate myself only by the drastic means of leaving the city and seeking seclusion. Word got around all too quickly that all a person had to do to get the answers to all his problems and troubles was to have a little talk with me.
At first I was glad enough to have people come to me, without my having to go to them, to carry on my experiment. It gave me a chance to learn a lot about human nature, human thinking, and the troubles and problems of the people at large. Moreover, it gave me a chance to practice and further develop the rather unusual art of “talking without thinking.” Now, instead of being obliged to depend entirely on “images,” I began to gain a greater facility in drawing on “words” in response to my “feelings.”
But the less fortunate side of this experience, so far as I was concerned, was that as many as one hundred people per day, often more than that, would come to the place where I lived. This began to consume all my strength and time, so that it was difficult to earn a livelihood; and I would not “commercialize” what I felt should be held “without money and without price.” Further, many of the people who came to me were poor and in need, with real trouble and problems of life beyond their capacity to solve them for themselves.
Also, the main requirement for my success in helping them was a sensitive, sympathetic attitude on my part, to which I submitted to such extent and their troubles were my troubles. I became bound to them. I could not refuse them what comfort I could give. And I shall never attempt to describe what I suffered as a consequence of this; sweating with them, shedding tears with and for them; keeping my nerves almost raw so that I would not fail them; praying for help, if help could be had from any “higher power,” so I could meet these demands.
From a casual experiment I was plunged over my head into he midst of human woes, with people by the hundreds looking to met to relieve them from those woes in a world where war had taken toll again and where charlatans had risen by the score, of all types, to deceive them.
And still further, advantage was taken of me at every turn. Many came to me out of curiosity alone. I had not then developed resistance to this, and did not like to offend. So when businessmen came to me with their trouble, I was often drawn into considerations with regard to which I was not prepared by experience to understand the real issues involved.
For example, as the time drew near for another presidential election in 1900, William McKinley was nominated for re-election on the Republican ticket, with Theodore Roosevelt, then governor of New York, as vice president. William Jennings Bryan was nominated for president on the Democratic ticket, and there were a number of other minor parties, each with a candidate for president.
For a reason I did not at first understand, the outcome of this election was considered to be “crucial” by many businessmen, officials of various corporations, and one in particular (within the circle of my “friends and their friends”), J.W.A., who was a member of the board of Trade In Chicago.
The subject came up continually in conversations as the elections drew near and for the first time in my experience I found myself being drawn outside of purely personal considerations into the whirlpool of national politics and affairs.
For the first time, too, I found myself wondering about these things. For this would be my first experience in voting as a citizen of the United States. At the time of McKinley’s first elation in 1896 I had been only nineteen years old, and it was only in 1898 that I attained my majority of derivative citizenship due to the naturalization of my father before his death, when I was a minor.
So now I took the matter of voting seriously, and wanted to know whom to vote for, and why. But the issues of the election were confusing. From all I knew previous to that time, they should have depended largely on questions of principle and policy in dealing with the colonial possessions that were taken from Spain in the Spanish-American War. There were questions of believing in war or not believing in war, of the liberties and treatment of peoples, of the principles of democracy, the spirit of the Constitution of the United States and American ideals in general.
But now there was talk of a monetary question again. That had been an issue in the 1896 election. The Democratic party had sought to introduce a silver standard and the Republican party, taking a stand for the gold standard, had won out. The result of this election in subsequent legislation should have settled the matter, and everyone thought it was settled. Even the Democratic party was willing to regard it as settled and concede their cause as “lost.” But Mr. Bryan, as the Democratic nominee, insisted on raising the issue again. As a result of this there was an unexpected confusion in the minds of those who took their responsibilities of citizenship seriously.
Many who favored Mr. Bryan’s views against militarism and existing colonial policies, and who were also in favor of his concept of a Christian Americanism, could not, for practical and economic reasons affecting their private interests, favor his proposal for a silver monetary standard.
Many who felt it necessary to support the Republican view in regard to the gold standard did not approve of what they called “the greedy commercialism” that dictated the Philippine policy of the Republican administration.
The result was that there were many in both parties who could not wholly approve of either candidate. As a consequence of this there was great apprehension in the commercial and industrial world with regard to the probable outcome of the election. And into this confusion of issues and uneasiness of spirit I was drawn through the instrumentality of friends and those who sought to take advantage of my mental experiments.
What immunity I might have had through my own concern as to how I should vote in this, my first election; though I had nothing personally at stake, no matter what the outcome might be. In the first place, I was aware that this time, because of the confusion of issues, many would not vote at all. I considered doing the same myself; but then I reflected that it would not be a good way to start my career as a citizen. I asked myself the question, “Is the majority always right? Do the people make the best choice?”
Suddenly I discovered that I wanted to know who was going to be elected. I had never asked myself such a question before, as a mental experiment. But now I did, I “blanked” my mind and turned my imagination loose to catch the answer from my “feeling.” The result was a mental flash of a newspaper headline bearing the name of McKinley and containing a figure somewhat in excess of half a million majority. So I felt that while I was in no position to judge the issues on the little knowledge I then possessed, I would assume that the majority were right, and vote for McKinley.
If that had been all, this book would probably never have been written, and the whole future course of my life and thoughts would have been changed. But it was not all. In the course of my conversation with a number of businessmen, including the above-mentioned J.W.A., when they asked me questions concerning the coming election, I forthwith answered now what I had never been able to “feel” in their presence, that I thought McKinley would be elected by about half a million majority.
I do not recall any special reaction to these conversations except in the case of J.W.A. Upon that occasion, however, I experienced a phenomenon that was new in my life. After predicting to him the outcome of the forthcoming election, I became suddenly confused, and felt a sense of panic and shock followed by such a feeling of depletion, shame, and dejection that I thought I was going to be ill. I could not comprehend it. It was as if a light in my heart and mind had suddenly been extinguished, leaving me in darkness. The feeling” I had come to regard as an ever-present function, as much “mine” as my sense of sight or hearing, left me. From that moment I was unable to “feel” or sense anything. I could only reason things out. My intuition had died a sudden death. Why?
I cannot hope to describe the feeling of desolation that came over me. People came to me with their troubles, and I could only sympathize with them by common sense and reason. I walked the streets so people would not find me home. I went out alone at night under the stars to shed tears where none could see me, and to pray and sweat it out alone to find the answer. Why? Why?
The election came and went. McKinley won by a little over 800,000 majority. I bought a copy of the paper with the headlines I had “seen” in answer to my mental query that had somehow betrayed me. Then I found that Mr. J.W.A., as a member of the Board of Trade, had cashed in on my prediction to an extent that netted him a profit of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more.
What was the answer? As days went into weeks, weeks into months, I was to ask myself that question a thousand time, until I had written the answer so deeply that it was never to be forgotten.
There was only one answer, and I couldn’t’ squirm out of it, no matter how I tried to reason it out. My eyes and ears were mine to use or misuse at will. But the “feeling” was a gift that I was not free to misuse without suffering the penalty of losing it. Perhaps there was some natural law I did not understand, and which I had unknowingly violated. Perhaps it was an operation of a “spirit of truth” or intelligence, such as the Bible described.
In any case, whatever I had believed as a child, whatever I might now assume from a rational standpoint, coincident with “coming of age” as an adult citizen of these United States, I was painfully faced with the fact that my nervous system had sustained a relationship with some unknown “source” of inspirational energy that operated only on conditions; that I was still largely ignorant of those conditions; that as a child I had not been expected to know those conditions; but that now as an adult I was responsible for the violation of those conditions, even through the instrumentality of others. Ignorance of the law appeared to be no excuse.
The whole affair appeared to originate in my conversation with J.W.A. Whatever the fault, I was to blame, not he. I did not receive one penny from him as a result of his profits from my prediction, yet I was paying the price for it. And he never knew nor could he have understood the price I paid.
Other men had profited in one way or another from the by-products of my mental experiments, but not to this extent. Then why, in principle, make an issue of this case? Was it because I had given away without discrimination what had been given me in private as an answer to my own question, asked for a very different reason?
In any case, here I was with only logic and reason left to me, forced to conclusions against which my logic and reason revolted. What I had regarded as a physiological operation of my nervous system, which involved “feelings” as tangible as those of heat and cold and electrical currents, had proved to depend only in a secondary sense on the physiological and nervous mechanism I possessed. Primarily it depended upon the operation or co-operation of something “other than myself,” and I was undergoing a reluctant proof of this fact by having the primary “current” shut off. My prayers and tears and torture were of no avail. I had to think my own thoughts; the thrill of having them induced by inspiration was mine no more.
It was then that I knew what made charlatans and fraudulent spiritists, even granting that they had possessed some kind of gift. For if and when they lost it for any reason at all, they were obliged to go on by “pretending.” Because they commercialized it, their livelihood depended on it; and when it failed them they substituted tricks.
It became evident to me that there was some kind of spiritual ethics that was not very well understood. So I made up my mind that I would prepare myself with a better foundation for making use of intuition, if I should ever succeed in regaining what I had lost. And this included insuring my own future freedom and independence, with a means of livelihood that would not be incompatible with a continuation of my research, though not dependent on it from a psychological angle.
To this end I went to work at any job I could find; spent all the money I could spare on instruments and apparatus, and all my spare time familiarizing my self by experiment rather than textbooks with the principles of electricity, chemistry, and microscopy. I bought the finest microscope that I could obtain at that time; and because it was a better one than any of my doctor friends possessed, I worked with them evenings in return for specimen. Thus I started my studies of biology and physiology, having made up my mind that if the gates of my mind were going to stay closed, I would take up medicine and become a doctor.
But I did not fix my mind too strongly on this thought, because I still had the vision of workshops and a research laboratory, where, if my intuition did not fail me altogether, I would delve into the mysteries of nature that constituted the still unsolved problems of science and support his dream of pure research by an occasional invention of a practical kind.
Thus ended the first twenty-three years of my life, with the loss of the “feeling” that had led me through all, from childhood.
Exactly one year to the day from the time my “feeling” left me, it returned again; just as if an electrical switch, long disconnected, was again turned on.
What this exactitude of period might mean I did not then know. It was as if I had been sentenced to one year in “jail,” a jail with only two windows, my eyes; and all the other gates of my mind barred shut. For though I could hear, what I heard meant little. And though I could still smell the odor of flowers in spring, the experience stirred no response. The flavor of food gave me no pleasure; my appetite was gone. Things that I touched were cold or warm, rough or smooth, but I could not feel them a part of me, to interpret their hidden meanings as I had done since childhood. My imagination and emotions, which had previously been ever active, sensitive to respond, were during this year entirely dormant.
For the first time I felt the deficiency of my education; for now what had been the source of my understanding was no longer active. I felt that I knew nothing whatever about anything at all. So I set out to learn what I could while working for a living along with thousands of others who were serving “sentences” longer and harder than mine, in the endless treadmill of the civilization of a large city.
The story of that year would be superfluous to this record. Suffice to say that in that time I was reduced to the humility of realizing that “in myself I am nothing,” and that other men in themselves were nothing; that without inspiration all men were nothing but electrochemical, biophysical mechanisms.
Then what was inspiration: What was the “current,” and from whence, that brought life to dormant nerves, vision and understanding to the mind? I could see that men did not realize. The blind followed the blind, and none of them knew.
What made men great musicians, great artists, poets, surgeons, scientists, leaders, prophets? Was it the men themselves? What and whence the energy, the enthusiasm, the ambition, the hope, and faith the vision that took the clay of the earth, the body of an animal, and raised up out of the mob a great and lonely man?
And why did men flourish for a season, rise up inspired and speak their piece to thrill a nation, only to sink back to the level of a beast again, with a glaze over their eyes, a palsied hand, a pathetic ghost of a once-great man?
Only now did I know the answer, in the only way that one can ever know the answer to anything, by a personal experience. My little light hadn’t lit up a very large area; it was the light of a boy, not a leader. I was not a great musician, artist, or anything else. Compar- aratively few people even knew I existed. But my light had gone out. And I could see in the lives of other men that they too had flashed a greater light than mine but it had gone out.
We were the wires and the bulb, the machine and the motor; but without the “current” we were nothing but that. It required a man plus “something else.” Without the man, the “something else” could not manifest. Without the man the “something else would be without hands, without voice, without strings to play a melody. But conversely, without that “something else” men are but the clay of the earth, and go the way of all flesh as a herd of educated human animals. And I could see that if man did not sustain a proper relation with that “something else,” it left him as quickly as the snapping off of a switch or the burning out of a light.
Further I could see that it was this “something else” that had been responsible for all scientific progress; and still the scientists could only dissect the mechanism, trace the circuits of the nerves, and experiment with the functions and disorders of the organs; but science had not yet detected the function in its own progress of that “something else” that caused even the hearts of scientists to burn with the thrill of great discoveries, which they ignorantly presumed themselves to be making because they rightly assumed that their thoughts and conclusions consisted of happy correlations of their own observations, experiments, and sensory experience; but they wrongly ignored the function of the very energy that animated them in the fusion of their memories as an activity of understanding, failing to realize that without this inspiration they could not have been led to make the discovery: that it was not “accidental,” as they thought; and that were it not for the “something else,” they would have gone the way of all the uninspired on the endless treadmill of the world’s repetition of routine.
And still further I could see that religion had developed a vocabulary with which to do a lot of talking and preaching about this “something else,” which had shown what it could do with men now dead for centuries, but seemed careful not to imply too strongly or to encourage the expectations that even granting the omnipotence of that “something else” it can do the same things today.
If the sun had gone out, whence the heat and life of earth and man at this moment? But with my own light out, I could understand the past tense of religions from which the light had fled: living on memories, doctrines and speculative beliefs. What else was left? What indeed could we do but cling as best we might to a lost faith that, having ceased to be operative physiologically, had become a legend, where people worshiped at an empty grave that was but a reflection of their own lives, from which the living, vibrant “something else” had fled, leaving but an echo and a “word”?
So I who had stayed outside of the churches that could not feed me with a living God, to fill every nerve with life and understanding; I who had said, “Fill me with the spirit if there is such a thing; don’t talk to me about it”now I could understand. My heart ached for us all. I, too, now lived on a memory that began to fade like an echo without a voice to sustain it.
I say all this in the hope of conveying some understanding of what it meant to be released again from the prison of my own skull; the gates of my mind flung open once more, dormant nerves alive again, so that the whole universe from which I had seemed to be a separate thing now seemed to be inside, instead of outside my head. The moon, the sun, and the stars, the trees and the people, I saw in that moment seemed to be as much a part of me as my own hands and feet.
I shook hands with a friend, and suddenly felt a pain in the lower right side of my abdomen. Not having seen him for some time I asked him how he was, and he told me he had ruptured himself lifting a heavy packing case.
I was introduced to a man and a woman, total strangers to me. When I looked at the head of the man I imagined for an instant that it resembled a long, high bridge. When I looked at the woman, for a moment her face seemed to me to be that of an old man holding a violin under his chin. When I laughingly told them about it, the man said, “That is strange I am working on the specifications for a new ridge over the Mississippi River. I am an engineer.”
The woman said, “Why, whatever made you say that? I never heard of such a thing! I have been thinking of just such a man. I met him at a musical in Paris, and he promised to give me lessons when I returned. I am planning to go there now.”
A man was brought to see me by a friend who said, “Joseph, this man has heard of your mental experiments and would like to talk with you about them.”
When I shook hands with him, a feeling of cold crept up my arm like a cold draft that went all through me and chilled me from head to foot. I was hard put to it to complete the handshake courteously, without betraying my revulsion to the feeling.
During the meaningless formalities of opening a conversation, I kept asking myself, “Now what does that mean? What does that feeling mean?” But my mind went blank, and produced no answer. That was the answer, and I didn’t know it at first.
The man said, “I thought perhaps you could tell me something of what I ought to do. I have become confused in my mind, and the doctors can’t help me with it. They don’t find anything wrong with me physically.”
I said, “Well, I can tell you what you are going to have to do, if you don’t let up a little, and take better care of yourself. Your are going to have to take a long rest.”
“Do you think I should quit working for a while?”
“Try it for a week,” I said, “And then let’s talk about it again. Take a week off at once, and just rest. Then come to see me.”
But I never saw him again. My friend told me that he dropped dead at his work, having arranged to finish the week out before taking a vacation.
Thus began a long period of adjustment between myself as a physiological mechanism, of which I now had a better knowledge, and the rest of the universe in connection with which there was “something else” that appeared to be establishing a relation with my imagination and memory through the involuntary nervous system.
It was not all clear sailing, and I proceeded with a caution I had not exerted before, as I was determined both to test out its limitations, or perhaps I had better say my limitations, and still avoid losing it again.
There appeared to be a “code” or language of “feeling” combined with mental imagery by which I could learn to extend the range of my interpretation of conditions. For example, the cold draft up the arm, and the inability to imagine anything when death was near, and there was nothing that could be said or done.
Then, too, there were lessons to be learned regarding the conditions necessary to sustain a cooperative relation between the voluntary and the involuntary nervous systems. Perhaps it was well not to spend time theorizing about it, but rather merely to state a few of the facts.
Some of my friends thought I had suddenly developed a “conscience,” but I had given that considerable thought, and I knew it was not what they meant by the word. Conscience to most of them was merely a matter of childhood training as to what was right or wrong; and later in life, a social conscience based on public opinion and fear of criticism, “what people would think,” and so on.
On the other hand, there is a private conscience of moral arbitration that governs conduct even in solitude on the basis of self-respect, ideals, and aspirations. With this type of conscience I was acquainted from childhood. No, what I was now experiencing was a period of systematic training (call it self-training, if you wish), in which my voluntary nervous system was obliged to place itself in submission to the involuntary nervous system for self-preservative reasons.
The bargain that intuition seems to drive is that it will serve you if you serve it. You must obey your intuition to cultivate it, to develop it, and to retain the use of it. This is a voluntary act. In colloquial language, you have a hunch, and the hunch is an involuntary experience. Whether or not you obey it is up to you. If it is a real hunch, or intuition, you will inevitably regret it if you do not. These experiences will increase in frequency if you obey them; and if you don’t they will cease altogether. This is evident from case histories.
But to complete the transaction one must go further than that. One must recondition the entire system of reflexes that constitute habit, so that neither habit nor sensory stimuli nor the influence or suggestions of environments, thoughts, desires, or purposes of other people can interfere with the function or execution of your intuition of your relation between your inner self and that universal “something else.” That must come before all else”or else,” in the final transaction.
If this had not been the case to some extent with myself previously, I would have hit the drift with my hammer at the time when it would have exploded the dynamite cartridge I didn’t know was there. In that and many other cases where I was not alert to exercise any caution of intuition, I would not be here to write this record if my involuntary nervous system had not been responsive to “something else” besides my own will, knowledge, experience, or senses. My arm refused to obey. On other occasions it had done just the reverse, by making a sudden movement, to my own astonishment, to prevent an accident that I had failed to prevent by a voluntary intuitive alertness.
So now this proclivity appeared to be undergoing a period of calisthenics in a series of minor issues. I would start to smoke, and experience a feeling not to do so. If I heeded it, well and good. If not, my hand would drop or throw the match away before I could light up. I have never felt required to stop smoking, but I was definitely stopped from inhaling the smoke, limited in amount, and prevented upon occasion.
I have never been a drinker, and all my life have believed and practiced moderation in all things. Therefore an occasional drink was always in order. But now I had the occasional experience (apparently as a sort of involuntary “exercise”) of having a glass in my hand but being unable to drink it.
One day I was asked to join a group on an excursion into the country, and the prospect pleased me. A day in the country away from the city was something that I would enjoy. I said, “Yes, I would be glad to go” already framed and on the way to my vocal cords, but it came out, “No, I’m sorry. I can’t go.”
That stumped me. There was no logical reason. I wanted to go. I couldn’t answer and did not feel like making false excuses to the one who was urging me, so I merely smiled and shook my head. This met with an argument. Why did I “spoil the party,” and so on. They thought me stubborn. I said I would be glad to go, that I really wanted to go, but not just then. If they would wait until the day after tomorrow, I would go; but not the next day.
So the whole trip was postponed in order to have me go with them. Next day the train we would have taken was derailed in a gulley; three were killed and many injured.
This was my wages, and countless other occasions like it, for “playing the game” that developed and conditioned involuntary reflex actions to the promptings of an intuitive feeling. If I had not allowed myself to respond to the reactions that threw a match away before I could light a smoke, and stopped my hand before it could raise a drink to my mouth, I would have been without that hand and perhaps my eyes from an explosion, and I would have said what I tried to say, “Yes, I would be glad to go,” and we would all have been on the train that was wrecked.
And still, it is interesting to note that in “playing the game” above mentioned, I have in the long run never been disproved of anything, but have been merely reduced to moderation in all things. First, however, I had to demonstrate a willingness to give up anything and everything, to do things I did not want to do, and to refrain from things I did want to doall to the end of clearing the road for the greater freedom.
Friends have thought that I was obeying an “impulse.” No, it is not that . It is an intuitive determination to follow an inspired thought. The thought is my own, an activity of my own mind and nervous system, but an activity that would not take place unless it was induced by a feeling that constitutes inspiration, and that emanates from “something else,” not my own.
I have utterly failed from the viewpoint of science and psychology to be able to account for the results of experiments in field or laboratory without that “something else.” I find by investigation that men who can do so on a purely mechanistic basis are themselves merely talking machines confined to the electrical recordings of their verbal memory. My radio is mechanistic also, but it has to have a “broadcasting station”; and that is the “something else.”
I confess there are no “call letters” to the human radio “station.” I do not know what or who or where the “vibrations” or radiant energy comes from that is transformed into an activity of the imagination by means of selective stimulation of memory elements, but I do know that, so far as I am concerned, together with my associates through many years of research, on the basis of experience, observation, and experiment, on an operational, not a theoretical scientific, basis, we have established the fact for ourselves that man’s survival and progress on a level superior to that of an intelligent animal depends entirely upon his rising above the level of a talking machine and establishing a relation as a “receiver” to “something else.”
Name it what you please, it will still be the source of all inspiration, all great art, music, literature, culture, and scientific discoveries. And it will still be what has produced the world’s scriptures and spiritual concepts. All the evidence we can educe today tends to establish the fact that one Jesus of Nazareth and His apostles knew what they were talking about; and that the mental activity of those who think otherwise is confined to the reflective operations of the sensory and verbal memory. This is indeed a self-sufficient “mechanism,” and that only, but without any dependable relation with truth or the rest of the universe, unless it is responsive to the “something else” that has the power to shape out of the sensory and verbal memory an activity of the imagination that corresponds with or portrays not only past and present, near and distant, but also future facts.
This is something that each individual may test out for himself. It is possible for any and every human being to “prophesy,” if he will fulfill the conditions. The survival of our Christian civilization depends on it. It cannot survive on the basis of doctrinal beliefs or a legendary, speculative faith. It must be an operative faith, rooted in a physiological inspiration of prophetic intuition that will restore to mankind his heritage of spiritual gifts.
This is the inner nature of the present historic crisis, and I foresaw this crisis and described it more than fifty years ago. The survival of our Christian-American civilization and democratic way of life depends on it. Christianity will survive, but not the speculative churches, and not our democratic way of life unless history is supplemented by prophecy; and unless a doctrinal God is supplanted by prophecy; and unless a doctrinal God is supplanted by a living God and a phenomenal “something else” that can enter our lives through our nervous system on a basis at least equal to that of the radio broadcasting that now perpetually enters our ears.
I have for half a century since the early period that serves the purpose of this commentary lived my life to discover, to prove, and to exemplify this truth, and the conditions that make such a relation possible. But that is still another story. And it includes the finding of Mary Lillian, the building of my home and laboratories in the Valley of the Pines, the birth of my sons, and the records of my search and research for the truths we understand and live by.
I felt that the time had come to sink roots and grow the tree that might provide shade and shelter and fruit for those who sought what I had found.
My unspoken prayer was “Show me the way, and I will follow it.”
Then, as in a dream, I saw a road stretch out before me. It entered a city but did not end there. It led to the shore of a large body of water. Over the water I saw a tiny finger of light, like the beacon of a lighthouse coming from the opposite shore.
In my imagination it seemed that all I need do was to look and think in order to acquire the power of locomotion in the direction of my gaze. So I imagined myself flying, as a sea gull, out over the water, drawn onward by that beacon of light.
As I neared the other shore, in this evening flight of imagination, I saw a little stream that the light illuminated. From a small inland lake this stream ran parallel with the shore through a pond into a shallow valley between a hillside of timber on the left, and more gently sloping hills of pastureland on the right.
I made a diagram of this visionary valley in my notebook, and wrote beneath it, “This is my valley. I am now going home.”
Then I set out in search of it. I did not doubt for a moment that it existed. But I did not immediately find it. I went to California to meet friends who were to return east with me. We climbed to the top of one of the Hollywood hills, where we put up a large wooden cross as a landmark.
I looked down and said to my companions, “Someday I am coming back here again, and even now I can see how it will look then. All that we see from here will be filled with streets and building, homes, streetcars. And at night it will be ablaze with lights like the reflection of stars in a mirror. We could stay here and become a part of all that progress. We could own land here and become wealthy. But at what price? Are we to be as other men? Or shall we do what other men have never thought of doing, and discover things they little dream exist?”
I knew then that this was not the hillside of my vision. I knew that the valley of my dream must remain undesecrated by the world for another half a century.
It was Valentine’s Day, and I had promised to spend the evening with Mother at the home of my sister Bertha and her family. They had built an apartment building and lived in one of the apartments, on the second floor. A few friends were expected to join us.
As I stood outside before going in, I saw someone in the lower apartment. I caught just a glimpse of a pair of large, dark, calm eyes beneath a clear, white brow. It was the face of a girl prematurely poised, like the portrait of a virgin newly emerged from the chrysalis of a childhood that lingered still like haunting, half-forgotten memories.
I thought: Where have I seen her before? But no answer was forthcoming, save that I had never seen her before. No such person had been in the neighborhood before I had gone west.
I shrugged to myself and dismissed the thought. But it was not to be dismissed so easily. Those dark eyes haunted me. Moreover, they seemed to challenge me, and I could not define why.
I thought: How deceiving their calmness, like the surface of two deep pools in the starlight. What fire, what pride, what depths of hurt or loyalty were hidden there?
A little later, when I was upstairs, I asked my mother, “Who lives below here?”
She said, “A young friend of mine and her mother. She visits with me often, and we sew together. I have been telling her about you, Joseph. I want you to meet her and talk with her. She is such a fine, sweet girl, much too young to be working all day every day helping to support her mother, and working at home besides. She does not have the social life that she has been accustomed to, and that she should be having right now. Perhaps you can help her and advise what she ought to do. She would not ask it. She is too proud for that. But you will do this for me?”
“How old is she, Mother?”
“She is sixteen or seventeen, but you would think she was older by her actions. She has the poise of twenty, and a quiet determination that exceeds mine. I often wonder at the nimbleness of her fingers and the things she is able to do so quickly and quietly that you hardly know she has done them.”
“You have not yet told me her name, Mother.”
“Haven’t I, Joseph? Well, it is Lillian. I shall ask Bertha to invite her up here this very evening, if she will come, and you will see for yourself what I mean.”
So for Mother’s sakeand for absolutely no other reasonI found myself facing a slim, dark-haired little lady whose proud but graceful carriage and long, black eyelashes might have stepped out of the family portrait of a southern cavalier planter and his children before the Civil War.
From her black eyes, so clam, so poised, so indifferent at first, there now sparkled a flash of mingled amusement and defiance.
I exclaimed, “But your name should have been Mary!”
“Well,” she admitted, “my full name is Mary Lillian.”
“Then what are you doing this far north?” I asked her. “You are a southern girl, or I’ll never make another guess about anything.”
“Yes, that is true. I was born and reared in Kentucky, but now I live in Chicago. I don’t see what my name has to do with that. There are lots of Marys in the North.”
I laughed. “Of course that’s true. But I felt you were a southern girl at the same time I knew from your eyes that your name should be Mary. If one was right, I knew the other was rightand something else besides. You didn’t want to talk with me, did you?”
At this she smiled, and said, “Well, I didn’t believe all they told me.”
I said, “I hope you didn’t!”
She added, smiling quizzically, “Because if it were all truewell, it just couldn’t be true, that’s all. No one could know things like they say you do. And if they did, I would not want to know them. Imagine how I would feel right now if I thought you could know all my past, and what I am thinking, and what is going to become of me!”
I said, “If I tell you the truth about all that, will you keep it a secret?”
Surprised and suddenly serious, she said, “Certainly. I will not mention anything you tell me, but I do not ask you to tell me anything.”
“Well, the truth is that I don’t know any of the things people think I do, If I told you all about your past, I would not know what I was talking about. I might sense your thoughts, but I don’t try and I don’t pry. If it is given to me to see a vision for your future, it is not I, for I have no such vision of myself. I am only a little messenger boy delivering a wireless telegram. I don’t even open it to read it, and try to remember it and understand it myself. Can you understand that?”
“I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. I’ll try.”
“Then maybe I can help by showing you what I mean. I don’t know anything of your past, but it is given me to realize by intuition that from the day of your birth up to now there has not been one single thing you have ever done or thought that you need be ashamed of. I see tears, because you have lost things in life that were dear to you. Through no fault of your own you have been deprived of much that should have been yours, in home environment and advantages. Your loyalty has robbed you of girlhood days and personal advancement. As I told you, I don’t know what I am talking about, but you do. Don’t you?”
She looked at me with wide eyes, her breath suspended. She whispered, “Yes.”
“And to show you that details are possible, though we won’t go into them, what happened to one of your three rings, the one you did not bring with you?”
“Why didn’t you have it repaired?”
“Because it was hardly worth it. The ring wasn’t very valuable.”
“Oh, but it was. You knew those were real emerald, didn’t you?”
“Yes.” She said. “Yes, I knew it, but I don’t see how you did, since I said it wasn’t valuable.”
“Well, there you are,” I smiled at her now. “I didn’t know it. I didn’t have the slightest idea that you even owned a ring, or that the stones were emeralds, until it popped out of my mouth, and I heard myself telling you about it. Do you begin to understand how it is?”
She took a deep breath, and said, “It sounds so simple when you say it, but it will take me longer than this to begin to understand how it is.”
“Well, all that matters right now, Mary Lillian, is that you realize that I do not claim to know these things myself, but when they come to me, if they do, they are true. That is the only reason for mentioning things that you already know. Now I will tell you something I see that you don’t know. I am only doing this so you will stop worrying like you sometimes, do, without anyone knowing about it. You don’t need to worry about anything in your future. About a year from now you will have a home of your own, and everything will be changed.”
“You mean I will be married?”
“Yes, you will be married before that time.”
“Won’t I be in Chicago?”
“No, you will not be living in any city.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “But I won’t live on a farm! I’ve always said that I would never marry a farmer! If I had to live on a farm, I would never marry at all!”
“Well, I agree that you will never be a farmer’s wife, but you will live in the country. It will not be a farm, exactly, but a beauty spot, with woods and a stream, near a lake. You will have flower gardens all about, and if there is any farming it will be only a kitchen garden for your own use, with pasture for cows and horses, so that you will have fresh milk and riding horses. Of course, you will visit the city from time to time, and later in life will travel. The older you get, the more beautiful you will become; and the best part of your life will come last.”
After that Mary Lillian was often present of an evening in a group with her mother, my mother and sister, or a few friends. We grew to know each other, but it was a growth as intangible as that of the roots of a tree. In silence, and without even the touch of our hands, the unseen waves of understanding played between us. When the conversation of others took a turn that amused us, or bored us, or exasperated us, a brief glance at each other, a single flash of eyes, fully conveyed our view to each other. We had expressed ourselves; we had been understood; we were strengthened; we felt relieved.
With the summer ahead, I announced my intentions of going camping in Michigan. I was going to follow the little beacon light of my vision and hunt for my future home. The idea of escaping the city and camping in the woods by the waters of Michigan so appealed to our little circle of friends that when we took the boat from Chicago, on June 6, armed with tents, cots, blankets, and other equipment, we had a crew of six men, three of whom brought along their wives, and there was a woman besides who had agreed to undertake the cooking.
On the south side of White Lake we set up a small permanent camp for the season. Other friends were to come from time to time, and for varying periods, for their vacations.
Mary Lillian and her mother came over to spend the last two weeks in June with us, and there, with the wind rustling in the pines, with the water softly lapping the shore at sunset, with the fragment smoke of wood burning in our campfire, the alchemy of nature completed her binding. Yet nothing was said to reveal it. But when they left I knew the time had come. I was so lonesome that everybody noticed it, and concluded the reason. A pall settled over the whole camp. Finally, the others all talked it over behind my aback, and decided that the best thing to do was to send someone across the lake to bring Mary Lillian back again. But the moment I knew what they were planning, I put an immediate stop to it. I saw a quaint and wistful vision of a little lady stepping out of the pages of history to whisper, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”
So I went back to the city, myself.
When Mary Lillian saw me she did not ask why I had come. I held out my hand and she placed hers within it. I said, “Come,” and she followed me out into the summer evening.
Then she looked up into my eyes, and asked, “When?”
I said, “Now and forever.”
We were married on July 3. Then I brought her back to camp again.
I had placed a diagram and description of the kind of place I was looking for in the hands of real-estate agents. It was not long before one of them, Frank Pryor of Montague, told me, “You know, there is such a place as you describe just north of White Lake on the Old Channel. Your description sounds just like the old Redman estate. The creek runs through it, and there’s a stand of pine timber on one hillside, pastureland on the other, with a house, barn, pigsty, and woodshed. The house is nothing to brag about, but”
“How much land is there?”
I said, “It’s mine. How much is it worth?”
“Hold on a minute,” said Mr. Pryor. “I’m just telling you that there is such a place. But it’s not for sale.”
“Take me out to see it. I want to talk with the owner.”
“But no one lives there. The owner lives in St. Paul.”
“Then wire him an offer of thirty-five hundred dollars cash for it. That is all I can raise just now.”
The offer was accepted. The place was ours. But it was the next March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, before we arrived bag and baggage, horse and wagon, to take possession.
From the crest of the hill overlooking the valley we faced another hillside covered with a stand of nearly virgin pine timber. At the foot of the hill a little creek wound south, to the left, through marshland and groves of cedar trees into a pond or bayou, beyond which could be seen and heard the waves of Lake Michigan pounding onto shore and leaping high with outstretched arms of white spray.
There was no mistaking it. This was it. The Valley of the Pinesand the valley of my vision.
Then one day as spring slipped into summer, Mary Lillian whispered to me, “It won’t be long now. He kicks like a boy. I think we’re going to have a mechanic!”
The night watch began while an electrical storm was gathering its forces. Thunder and lightning had always terrified Mary Lillian, but now there was a different look in her eyes. As the hours crept by, I could almost see the white mantel of motherhood descending upon her.
The whole house shook with reverberations of thunder, which somehow seemed determined to emphasize this night as a special event in our lives.
At ten thirty the storm reached a climax in one terrific bolt of lightning. It struck so near the house that the sound of the concussion that nearly deafened us was simultaneous with the wake of the bright flash that lit up Mary Lillian’s pale face. She caught her breath, and I thought for a moment that she was going to scream, but she did not.
I rose to go to her, but the doctor pushed me aside, because he was busy.
Joseph Junior had entered the world.
When the doctor had gone and she was resting more easily, with the baby in her arms, we looked at each other without saying a word. I reached out my hands and she understood instantly. She laid our son in my arms.
It was only a symbol, but I could not find the words to explain it. So without saying anything. I raised the child toward the ceiling as if offering it to the Most High. I heard only a murmur from Mary Lillian, but I knew that she understood me, for she whispered, “Amen!”
Somehow, as time went on, the world beat a path to our door, until we had to build a large gate across the road leading into the valley, and keep it closed except to those who came by invitation.
We never allowed much publicity, but a friend would bring or tell a friend who told a friend . . . and finally I began to receive letters from all over the country, and other countries, questioning me along the line of mental phenomena and intuition. And I, in turn, began questioning others about their views and experience, until a large correspondence became part of my research, in which I would ask others in all parts of the country to check whether there was any foundation to things that I sensed.
I used to keep track of this correspondence by sticking pins in a globe and on maps, in some seven hundred cities in forty countries. Often in the evenings or late at night, I would look at those pins and let my eye be drawn to one of them in connection with a feeling that someone was thinking of me, or that someone was ill, or dying, or in trouble. If I could sense or figure out who it was, I would write and ask them to confirm it, if that was the case.
Sometimes, too, my eye would be drawn to some other part of the map, where there were no pins, where there was no one I knew, or had ever contacted; yet I would imagine a fire or a storm or a ship sinking, and then express this to witnesses who would watch the news to see whether I was right.
Again and again through the months, the plight of people on sinking ships, of miners trapped and doomed to death in mines, of planes out of control, of individual tragedies forced themselves unsought upon the screen of my mind. It ceased to be a problem of establishing the facts, but rather of gaining and providing a better understanding of them, so that, perhaps, some daywho knows?there might be developed a sort of clearing house for amateur “human radios,” as there now began to appear for wireless and amateur radio “hams.”
Would it ever prove practicable for human sensitivity to be harnessed and directed to do some good in the world, to prevent things that are sensed, or to go to the rescue of men who would die unheard and otherwise without help? Some system of sifting out false thoughts would have to be developed, so that a thousand groundless fancies need not interfere with the evaluation and function of one truly intuitive thought. If we could “pool” our intuitions, one might supplement the other, and in the strength that comes from union a great deal of good might be accomplished. But working alone, the only purpose that has been served by a great many of my own intuitions was the satisfaction of my own research and the enlightenment of a few friends.
For example, during the latter part of March 1912, Charley Abel was helping me put a star clock on a little tower we had built on the hill overlooking the Valley of the Pines. For several evenings we adjusted the clock, checking the hours in connection with the advance of the date.
One evening I began to feel excited, and wondered why. It occurred to me that if we watched closely and did not fall asleep between times, we might see a meteor. I spoke of this to Charley, and we watched for three or four hours, but nothing happened. Charley would doze off, and I would wake him, saying, “Keep awake, Charley. This is something you will never see again.”
To myself I wondered why the feeling of excitement persisted over seeing a meteor. I had seen hundreds of them flash across the sky.
But never before, and never since, have we seen anything like what we saw toward midnight that very evening. From northeast to southwest, a large ball of flame (which I assumed was a meteor) shot diagonally downward toward Lake Michigan. I don’t know how close it was; therefore I don’t know how large it was. We heard no sound of its striking anywhere, but in passing us a crescendo of sound like high-pressure steam so thoroughly startled us that we just could not take it standing up. Both of us sank down on the platform, perhaps instinctively seeking protection behind the flimsy rails that were but toothpicks, had we stopped to think.
Later, while still looking at the stars and talking about it, Charley wanted to know how I knew we were going to see a thing like that.
I answered, “I didn’t.”
He said, “But you told me to watch for it.”
“Yes, but I didn’t know it would be like that. I only felt that something was going to happen.”
`What made you feel that way?”
What we were doing, I guess, working on this clock and watching the stars. We were looking north. Now when I look south, it is different.”
“Yes. It’s warmer, isn’t it? It’s pretty cold up here still. Looking south makes me feel warmer, even thinking about it.”
I said, “You stop too soon. When I look south feeling cold like this, it makes me think of men freezing to death in the Antarctic. But there you are. If we weren’t standing here, I wouldn’t be thinking of it. So what makes one think of anything? Just because we are talking about it now, I can feel the thoughts of a man in a little tent in the Antarctic. He is dying, and he has no fuel or food. He’s trying to write, but can hardly hold the pencil in his hand. He has been badly disappointed, and now he feels entirely hopeless. He has been to the pole, but someone got there ahead of him. There were dog tracks and a tent with letters in it.”
Charley asked, “Is he all alone?”
I said, “I think there were five in all, but now only three are left. They are all wrapped up in some kind of sleeping bags. They don’t much care what happens to them. They feel that they have suffered and sacrificed for nothing.”
Suddenly, I felt horribly depressed, and said, “Oh, it’s too bad! Only one of them is left alive right now. The other two are dead, and he knows it. He could save himself, but he really doesn’t care. He knows it is the end, and does not fear it, but he is heartsick. He keeps on writing, and I feel a pain in my kidneys and bladder when I think of him. He knows that only a few miles away is warmth and safety. He wonders if anyone can know his thoughts, and the reason he wonders is because he senses that someone does.”
All of this made me feel so bad that I could not bear to think of it any longer. I did not then have any idea who the man was, but my heart went out to the man whose last thoughts were of those he loved, and of things he was too much of a gentleman to write about, of disagreement among his men that was aggravated by their disappointment, of a useless struggle. It was all so depressing that a man would not have the resistance that would save him.
This was the beginning of my interest in polar research. We did not yet have a radio, and I was not familiar with the news of world’s explorations. I did not know for several months that all this was really true, and that the name of the man was Captain Scott, or that Amundsen had reached the Pole ahead of him.
But that very night I did tell the rest of my Valley, who bear witness to it, of this experience. I told them that there had been too much needless sacrifice in polar exploration.
I said, “But it will not be allowed to go on. Scientific developments will enable men to fly over the poles in safety, and they will be able to rescue men who call for help by wireless telephones. There will be no need for more lives to be lost in polar research.”
For a while, my secretary Clarence Christian worked for George Mason, Sr., as office manager of the Montague Iron works. Mr. Mason became a very good friend, and I began to feel anxious about his health.
One day I told him that if he did not take a rest within three weeks, he would be forced to go to bed, and perhaps never get out of it again. But he could not see his way clear to abandon his work for a vacation, so he ended up at the hospital in Muskegon.
During this time Clarence carried on his work for Mr. Mason, and stayed at his home. One day, Clarence became so nervous he asked me to stay with him. As I entered the parlor in Mr. Mason’s home, I said, “Clarence, listen to this peculiar music that comes to my mind.”
I sat at the piano and played what I heard in my mind. It was so solemn and sad that it affected both of us. Then suddenly I realized that I was playing a funeral march. I imagined seeing a coffin and the remains of George Mason. My eyes filled with tears, and when Clarence asked me what was the matter, I told him.
A few mornings later I was notified that if I did not come to see Mr. Mason before noon, I would not be able to see him alive. It was impossible for me to get there in the morning, because it was already past train time. I told Clarence, “George Mason shall live till I see him. He cannot die. He shall not die.”
I did not “pray” that he might live. I “willed” him to live until I might see him once more. Perhaps my assurance was based on a feeling that he would. Perhaps he would have lived until afternoon, in any case. But in all probability George Mason himself had something to do with it. For when Clarence and Charley and I arrived at the hospital, at three forty-five that afternoon, he clasped my hand, and said, “I can go, now that you have come.”
My vision and the music that I had played on the piano in Mr. Mason’s living room were materialized at the funeral.
For some time previous to the illness of George Mason, the large iron safe in his office had not been locked fully. The tumblers had not been thrown over. But one night after his death, Mr. Mason’s son accidentally closed and locked the safe. It was then realized that no one but George Mason, Sr., had known the combination. His personal papers pertaining to the estate were in the safe, and it was now necessary that it be opened. As office manager and acting secretary, Clarence made every effort to open the safe, but without success. As a last resort, before breaking the lock, Clarence asked me to try to open it.
This was the kind of spontaneous necessity that I was always watching for as a basis for experiment. If George Mason had asked me, while living, to see if I could open his safe “just for fun,” in order to see whether or not I could do it, I would not have tried it, and would not have expected to succeed if I had, unless I should sandpaper my fingers and try it as an exercise in safecracking, But with Mr. Mason dead, with no one else knowing the combination, and with the pressing need that it be opened, ideal conditions were set up for a real experiment.
I took off my hat and coat and sat at Mr. Mason’s desk, just as he had always done, bending over an open ledger. I asked Clarence to blindfold me so that I would not be distracted by sight or by muscular effort to hold my eyes closed. I asked him to wait long enough for me to fully think myself into George Mason’s personality, then, while I was pretending to be Mr. Mason, suddenly to ask me to open the safe.
This Clarence did; and scarcely knowing what I was doing, I turned to the safe and, to his astonishment and mine, opened it in about ten seconds. But I still did not know the combination, and immediately afterward could not have done it again with my eyes open.
One day in the presence of fifteen people I began to fear that one or more of them would be in danger of drowning if they were not careful. I wanted to warn them, and in so doing found myself saying more that I had expected to say.
I said that there would be five deaths from drowning in White Lake that seasonfirst two, then three. I asked them all please to be careful, so that none of them would be included. But Dr. Montgomery and a woman were drowned. That was two. Then the rest of the season passed without mishap, and I assumed with the rest that I had been wrong about the five.
One evening I took Mary Lillian and the children to Montague to attend a birthday party at the home of Joe Apoll. Joe was the one whom I had warned to be careful not to be under anything heavy supported by a chain hoist, for I had had a “daydream” of him in just such a position, and had “seen” a mental close-up of a link of the chain that would break. He did remember my warning when he actually found himself in just such a position, and stepped back, but the link broke and Joe’s hand was crushed. He phoned me from the doctor’s office and said, “Well, I’ve got it.” And I still have the broken link and an X-ray picture that I took of Joe’s hand.
When we arrived for the birthday party, I was told that Joseph Hazeltine had promised to come there to meet me for the first time, but he had been called out on duty as deputy sheriff at the last moment. I was told later that he had been nervous, and had said that he would “much rather have met Mr. Sadony.”
At midnight or shortly after, I began to feel very nervous and depressed. I went to the graphophone and played “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” which to some of those present seemed a strange thing for me to select at that stage of a birthday party. But as I looked around at the party, it began to take on the aspect in my mind of a funeral. I began to feel bad, but said nothing. I did not know how to interpret my feeling.
About two in the morning we left for home. As we passed along the shore of White Lake, I looked at the rough water and listened to the wind that we ourselves were bucking.
I said to Mary Lillian, “Wouldn’t it be terrible to be out there on a night like this?” The feeling persisted, and I added, “What if two or three men were out there hanging on to a boat? God help them, if they are!”
Mary Lillian shuddered, and said, “But surelywho else would ever go out on a night like this?”
No one, of courseunless he had to. But Joseph Hazeltine “had to”he and two other men who had accompanied him on his duties. He was there instead of at the birthday party meeting me. Was he thinking of me? Was it a coincidence that we were talking about it, and shuddering as we passed the lake in the dark?
But there were the “three,” found the next morning. Five deaths in the lake for the season. Was this another “coincidence”?
However, as I had never met Mr. Hazeltine, the incident did not linger long in memory at the time. So when a week later I was putting up a stovepipe, I could see no connection when a thought came to me so strongly that I stopped putting up the pipe and could not finish until I had written it down: “Fanny, I was not murdered. It was an accident. Be happy. Someone will take my place in four years.”
I looked at the paper and thought, “But what has that to do with me? Why should I write a thing like that?”
Then something within me seemed to urge, “Sign your name to it.” So I signed it “Joe.” Still, it meant nothing to me, and I put it away.
Two months later, Mrs. Apoll visited us with a friend. She introduced her as Mrs. Fanny Hazeltine. Instantly everything connected in my mind. It was her husband, Joe Hazeltine, who had wanted to meet me, and who had been drowned instead. Now I realized that she always felt he might have been murdered. I got out what I had written her two months before, without knowing who “Fanny” was.
Mrs. Hazeltine wept when she read it, and swore that she would never marry again.
I said, `Oh, but you will. And his name will be Joe too!”
Everybody connected with this affair seemed to be named Joe. Another “coincidence,” of course. Because four years later she married again and was very happy. Her husband’s name was Joe.
But was it a coincidence that I felt impelled to write, and to say what I did? Is life and everything in it a “coincidence”?
One day while I was writing a letter I heard (or thought I heard) a distinct knock at my door. After a moment of reflection and no further sound, I concluded that a blue jay or a woodpecker had been pecking at the window, and continued with my letter.
A few moments later the sound was repeated; this time there were three distinct knocks at my door. For confirmation I glanced at my dog. He did not stir, as he surely would have done, had there really been a knock.
Yet I had “heard” a knock. So I concluded that my ear must have reflected the memory of a knock in response to some “thought.” I determined to test this idea. Who might want to communicate with me by “mental radio”? For the first time in a long while I thought of my father, so I turned over the reign of my imagination to his memory, and proceeded to act out my part in all seriousness.
I went to the door, opened it, let in an afternoon sunbeam, and pretended that it was my father. I said, “Well, Dad, I’m glad you have come. Sit down with me for a while. Is there something I can do for you?”
Then I took my pad and pencil and wrote down what I imagined my father was saying: “Joseph, it is three o’clock in the afternoon of August first. I wish you would build Mother a little nest of three rooms overlooking your valley, so that she may be happy there the last sixteen years of her life. Then I will come and take her with me.”
I said, “Okay, Dad, I’ll start today.”
“Thank you, Joseph. I’ll come again.”
Then I snapped myself out of what seemed like a bit of idle imagining, and went back to finish my letter.
When I came to clear my desk and throw my notes and a bit of doodling into the basket, I could not leave the room. I rescued the notes of my imaginary conversation from the waste basket and phoned down for Charley to hitch up the team and be ready to help me, because I was going to haul enough gravel and sand out of Lake Michigan (abut two blocks away) to make concrete blocks for a three-room house as a Christmas present for Mother, who was still living at East Lansing with Cristina and Bert King.
Charley and the rest thought that we couldn’t do it by Christmas, but I was determined to try, and Mary Lillian was determined to help me. She even climbed up on the roof with me, two days before Christmas, and we finished shingling it in a snowstorm.
Mother knew nothing about all this, but next day she came from East Lansing unexpectedly to visit us. We gave our two small sons a gilded key and told them to show grandma her Christmas present.
The inside was ready for her, all lit up, a goose in the oventhere were even books on a shelf for her to read. When she saw it she fainted. And when I had revived her, I asked her why she felt that way about it.
She said, “Oh, Joseph, you should not have done it!”
“But why, Mother? What makes you say that?”
“Because you can hardly afford it yet, Joseph. And I am responsible for it. One afternoon I went to church and prayed. It was like a complaint. I prayed, thinking that if only your father were here, he would build me a little nest of three rooms that I could call my own. That was all I wanted. And now you have done it.”
“When was that, Mother? When did you do that?”
She thought a moment, then said, “It was on August first, your Joseph’s birthday.”
“Was it in the afternoon?”
“Yes. About three o’clock.”
I said, “Well, Mother, maybe Dad is around here, after all.
The intuitive life is not without suffering, but the suffering is that of sensitive nerves exacerbated by discord or tragedy, among other causes. For in order to carry this experiment as far as I did, you must be able to sensitize your nerves and mental clearing house so that the least sound, even that of a pin dropping on a sheet of paper, shocks you as much as an explosion, and nothing less will shock a positive man of intellect who becomes calloused and deaf to all but his objective senses.
I found that at no time was intuition more alive and active than when body and mind were either wholly absorbed and coordinated in creative labor or exhausted with fatigue. In the first case, the intellect of reason and memory were too busy to interfere with intuition, and in the second case, too tired to do so. Therefore I kept pads of paper and pencils everywherein boats, in cars, in ships, by every chair where I was likely to rest, and by the side of my bed.
I made it a rule that intuition came first, before any and all other considerations, and that I would always write it down if it was not something that I could immediately execute. If my hammer was raised in the air to strike a blow, or a forkful of food on the way to my mouth at table when a thought was induced by an intuitive feeling, the nail was not to be hit by the hammer, or the food was not to reach my mouth, before I had procured pad and pencil to record it. I stood guard at he “wireless” receiver of my brain night and day, save when unconscious from sleep or sheer exhaustionand even then could not escape the position I had assumed.
I would wake up out of a deep sleep to find myself reaching for pad and pencil, and on many occasions in the morning found things written there that I had absolutely no recollection of writing. More than five million words accumulated in this way. I did not “think out” one word of it, and was often hard put to it to comprehend what my hand had written. But it was definitely not “automatic writing,” so called. It was intuitive writing. The difference between the two is that between night and day.
I could fill several volumes with experiences stemming from thoughts that came to mind while working, or from the wandering of imagination when relaxed and tired after a day of hard work.
Our home would have burned down if I had not obeyed intuition one day. I sent for three large fire extinguishers at a time when running water was available, and the weather being warm, we had no fires. It was thought to be an unnecessary move just at that time, but I carefully filled them and placed them in accessible positions.
That was at eight o’clock in the evening, after supper. Exactly six hours later, at two o’clock in the morning while I was working in my shop, I looked out the window and saw flames through the window of our bedroom. A lamp had been burning there, as electricity was not at the time available. It was the first time anything like that had happened to us, and it was the first time I had ever made such deliberate and apparently unseasonal preparations for it. I had to let everything else go until I had prepared those fire extinguishers. I canceled plans to go out in the evening and stayed home quietly working in the shop, in sight of the window through which the flames were visible. But until I saw the flames, it never occurred to me to expect them. I did not “foresee” what would happen, but I had unconsciously prepared for it. And as time went on, I discovered that this was one of the most important aspects of the intuitive life.
I could see more clearly than ever before what the trouble was with so many people who might just as easily have avoided tragedy, as I did, not only on this occasion, but on many others. My fire extinguishers made quick shift of the blaze. We all possess a “radio” in our minds but seldom use it. Few ever learn how to use it, and many give up and cease trying when they fail.
You cannot force it. You must coax it to perform, and then accept what comes to you, even if it is nothing. It is not an “organ” that you can use at will, like our eyes. It is like radio antennae with which you may attempt to tune in, to “seek, knock and ask.” Thenwho knows?you may receive a beautiful program that will illuminate and bless the rest of your life. But beware of this: if you tune in to the world of human thoughts, you shall be a slave to other men who dominate by forceful, positive thinking.
If, however, you use your “human radio” to tune in to the Great Broadcaster of Life, you will serve the purpose of life by responding, not to the skeptical intellectual demands of men, but to those who also tuned in to the Central Broadcasting station of Mankind.
This is the foundation of human brotherhoodthe brotherhood that is impossible save between intuitive men, men who know each other before they meet, and who cannot be separated even by death.
Our bodies are but the chemicals of minerals and vegetable constructed by nature to hold, to receive, and to be animated by the soul, which is that part of radiant energy we call God, a law of nature that may be symbolized by a child, chalk in hand, writing its name on a blackboard. The chalk is nature, and what it means is the child. Nature is the chalk, but God moves within; that is the Everlasting Name nature has written in its mystery.
The spirit of man is but an echo of the soulthat repeats but knows not its meaning. The spirit is the graphophone record repeating answers to problems about which it knows nothing, like my psychologist friends with their textbook knowledgea parrot, a book, or even a prayer of mere words in a language you do not understand, though you repeat it daily for a lifetime. But let the soul express one thought, and poets will write of it for centuries.
For the soul expresses itself in whatever medium it finds availablein music, in color, in form, in the flesh of a man, in tears, in emotion, in love, in prayerplaying upon the strings of whatever instrument you are able to furnish. This is inspiration, intuition, prophetic vision. And this is what the psychologists had eliminated from their consideration, because in observing the behavior of the human graphophone, machine, the human radio and television are automatically shut off.
The soul has not got a chance to “put words into your mouth” if you put them there yourself by playing the graphophone records memory, by planning and thinking what you shall do or say.
No, It was definitely impossible to live the intuitive life on the basis of intellectual planning. So I would apply my intuition to a continued search for truth, without hope or expectation of any particular objectives or of financial gain. I would concern myself with economics and industrial problems only to the extent that it was necessary to make the research possible; and thus far things have worked out all right from intuitive beginnings, without worrying about it. I began to see a practical aspect to the faith of the old that “the Lord would provide,” if one obeyed the intuitions by which the Lord might find it necessary to enlist your help in so doing.
The object of my study was the mind of man. This obviously included the whole universe. Not one aspect of science, philosophy, or religion could be excluded from consideration. To establish the truth of the mind of man, I would have to build a new bridge between science and religion, for I saw that all previous attempts to do this had rested on quicksands of purely intellectual speculations. Research in the physical sciences and in the mental sciences must proceed hand in hand on a basis of experience and experiment. One glimpse into the future staggered me. The task was more than I could do. I could only begin it. I dared not look again. I kept my eyes glued to the ground only one short step ahead. Enough that I lived today intuitively in preparation for tomorrow. Enough if I contributed one small but essential block to the structure of a new generation that would tax the skill and specialties of the world’s greatest minds.
As time passed it became evident that many chains of events were unfolding here and there throughout the world, and interweaving little threads of thought that seemed to pull on my mind.
One evening, for example, I felt inclined to sit at the organ in the little chapel we had built, and improvise some music. I had spent the day in the world of intellect making a delicate magnetic instrument that I had designed for geophysical research, and before attempting to answer some of the seven or eight thousand letters that had accumulated, I felt the need to woo my way back into the world of intuition again.
I drifted into a strange melody that I had never played before. There was an oriental sadness in it, and suddenly I felt the presence or thoughts of Srikrishna Chatterjee, as if he were dead or in a coma. I had not heard from him or thought of him in a long while.
I wrote him about this and received answer that he had been at the door of death, but was now better. He informed me, however, that it had been predicted in India that he had not long to live.
In explaining my experience, I wrote him: “About the middle of February, while in my chapel, I seemed to feel your presence, just as if you were in that sphere which hovers between death and life, a living dreamland, the sphere which brings me so many thoughtsas if you were in the next world, but still anchored by a silk thread to this one. I began to fear, for I felt that you had something still to complete.”
As for the prediction that he had but a short time to live, I told him that I disagreed with it. In answer to it, I predicted that he would recover, make a long journey, and visit many people before his time would come.
Three years later he wrote me: “The journey was undertaken by me in October. I was seized with a desire to see my second boy and his two children and wife at Nasirabad, which must be about fifteen hundred miles from this place. I went to Calcutta, and thence proceeded. I visited Arraha, Pushkar, Chitor, Udaipur, Ujjain, and eight other places in the course of my journey.”
The consequence of this journey had repercussions for me that I did not then dream about. Wherever Mr. Chatterjee went, my letter went with him. He presented himself as living testimony that the prediction of his early death (which had been made in India) was erroneous, and that my prediction for his recovery and journey, made three years before, was being fulfilled. Moreover, I had predicted that Indian would attain her freedom in 1948, and that by 1940 seven of her provinces would already have gained emancipation. This prediction was privately made, but it spread more widely than I had anticipated.
One day I was looking at a photograph of Tagore that hangs among others of my friends, in my study. I recalled Frederick Fisher’s description of Tagore as a stolid mountain compared to Gandhi, who was a rushing torrent. And I was thinking of Frederick’s account of a conversation that had taken place in his presence.
Tagore expressed his desire to remove all idols, saying, “If we can do without them, even the lowest can do likewise.”
Gandhi replied, “No, you cannot do this. Idols are the poor man’s crutches. They cannot walk without them until you supply them strong limbs of understanding.”
Now I looked at Tagore’s picture, thinking. “Can you do that, Rabindranath? Can you supply the poor of India with limbs of understanding strong enough to dispense with their crutches of idols?”
I imagined a sad expression coming over Tagore’s face, even in the photograph, as if he was saying, “Joseph, I am only a poet. But I try also to teach with my melodies. I am not too strong, myself.”
Then I saw a little black ribbon pinned to his picture. It was imaginary, of course. When I looked again it was gone. But every time this happened to me, I put a real black ribbon, a tiny one, where I thought I had seen one. For in every case the person in question had not lived more than six months. Five months and two weeks later, Rabindranath Tagore was gone.
What is the source of this “vision,” this “signal”? What tells me that a friend is soon to pass on? More than a score of little black ribbons on photographs of friends bear silent witness without explaining a thing. Among them were Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Marie Corelli, Theodore Roosevelt, and, years later, his wife, Edith, with whom I corresponded until she died; Abdul Baha and Anton Lang, the Conan Doyles and Sir Oliver Lodge, Rudyard Kipling and the explorer Amundsen, General John Pershing, and Lieutenant Governor Evans, Ernest Torrence and Henry B. Walthall, Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Channing Pollock, Jessie Bonstelle, Governor Chase S. Osborn, Benjamin de Casseres, Edwards Davis, and others no less important but too numerous to mention who had left the imprint of their personalities on the Valley of the Pines. When death cast its shadow before it, that too left its imprint, sometimes in advance, and sometimes in the hour.
When 1940 saw the liberation of seven provinces, and 1948 the freedom of all India, I wrote to Gandhi that the book of my vision for India was closed. My predictions of many years before had come to pass. Of the future of India I had nothing more to say, save that she must now make her own future, and he could be of far greater service living than dead. I begged him not to fast again, after India attained her freedom, for if he did so it would lead to his death, even though he was not obliged to fast unto death. I saw the black ribbon, and I saw his death in one way or another, and recorded the fact in confidential communications to a number of witnesses.
Then one day I stood looking out the window in the Valley, for a few moments indecisive, tired, uncertain what to do next, uncertain whether it was worth while to do anything. I thought: This is not me. This is not the way I feel. Some other `program’ has blotted out my own on my `radio.'”
I wondered what it could be. I stood there, groping with my mind, just like insects I have watched groping in all directions with their antennae, searching for some recognizable environment. It seemed dim and far away, so in order to reach it I became more and more sensitive. And in that moment Mary Lillian came quietly into the room, but here was a slight click of the door latch as she opened the door. To me it was like a gunshot, and for a moment I thought I had been shot. I clutched my side and staggered. Mary Lillian ran to me, pale and frightened.
What’s the matter, honey? What is it?”
I said, “It’s nothing. I was thousands of miles away, that’s all. I really thought I was shot.”
She said, “I’m sorry. I frightened you.”
I said, “No, It was not you. That was just a coincidence. Or was it? I don’t know what it is yet. Just forget it.”
Later, Mary Lillian told me, “I think I know what it was now. Were you thinking of Gandhi? I’ve just heard about it over the radio. You went through the same thing in your mind.”
Well, I cannot say that with certainty. I was not consciously thinking of Gandhi at the moment. I was still trying to identify the thoughts that distressed me. The experience brought me to earth with such a bang that I dropped the whole thing from my mind like a bad dream, and went to work in my laboratory.
But it lingered. Nothing exactly like that had happened to me before. Was it just another “coincidence”?
When my family and I were working with Frank R. Adams in our local dramatic club, helping to put on plays, the venture culminated in building The Playhouse in Whitehall. This was made to pay for itself in between times by renting it for other purposes; and eventually Frank installed moving-picture equipment. It became a movie theater, and for a long time my boys managed it for Frank. Usually we all went down in the car early enough to open up the theater and stayed through both shows, as one of the boys had to be on hand till the end.
No one but my family and Meredith, who assisted me in the experiment, knew why I spent night after night in the orchestra pit at the drums, adding the pianist (who was sometimes my son Arthur; in providing sound effects during the days of silent films. And no one knew why I doggedly stayed there through two shows each time.
My procedure and the reasons were simple. I watched the picture through the first performance, studying it carefully to provide the right drumming effects, and carefully noted the repertoire of emotions each play induced in the audience. I was there to see the audience, not the picture; and from my vantage point in the orchestra pit I could see without being seen, though I was making a lot of noise in order to be heard all evening.
My little research project took place during the second run of the picture. Throughout the second performance my eyes were closed. I looked neither at the picture nor at the audience. Meredith sat where he could see both the picture and the audience, and near enough to me so that we could converse in whispers when necessary. I made it a practice to try to see the picture through the eyes of the audience instead of my own, during that second performance. Having provided myself first with a memory of the picture, I then allowed the emotions of the audience, amplified by the number of people present, to recall the various scenes at the proper time.
Thus for hours, week after week, I practiced sensing the emotions of a small “mass” of people (varying from one hundred to five hundred people)emotions that were somewhat unified and coordinated by a common object of interest and concentration. So when the Empress of Ireland sank, for example, I was perhaps better able than another to recognize the combined emotion of a hundred people facing the certainty of death.
But when it is a prevision, what then? I felt the shadow of the Lusitania disaster casting itself long beforehand. I did not sense the name Lusitania, but described it in terms of the shock it would bring to the rest of the world. I predicted it for the first week in May 1915. I felt the emotional reaction of the public several months beforehand.
But how could such a thing possibly be known? People asked me, “How did you know?”
And how many times was I forced to repeat, “I did not know.” Knowledge is of the intellect. Prophecy is not knowledge.
I don’t know why such things came to me, when it did no good to anyone, and did not serve to prevent disaster.
Of far greater service was the night I had an impulse to get out the car and drive to town and back with Mary Lillian and the boys. When I told them to get on their things, they said, “Swell! We’ll take a midnight ride to town and back! But why? Everything is closed in town. Any special reason?”
No. Reason is knowledge. The intellect again. I had not the least knowledge why. But I had to obey “or else” begin to lose the intuition that grows stronger only by exercising itself in the muscles as well as the brain and imagination. One has to carry them out if anywhere within reason these strange inner urges that I had determined to follow to the end.
So we went. And ahead of us on the road was a pile of leaves such as drift up like snow impelled by the late fall winds. I have driven through dozens of windrows of leaves like that. But this time I stopped the car with the headlights on the pile of leaves and asked my boys to kick through it. Beneath the leaves was a log big enough to have wrecked our car, had we not stopped. The boys carried it to the side of the road, and as we stood there trying to decide whether to go on to town or not, since my urge had vanished with the removal of the log, a car speeded through, going sixty mile an hour at least. It plowed through the leaves where the log had been, and the group of teen-agers in it, on their way home from a show, yelled a greeting to us as they passed.
A useful if thankless job on our part. The life of half a dozen youngsters could hang on a “hunch” to drive to town and back, in the middle of the night. But to foresee the sinking of an unknown ship, and to sense the shock of public reaction, was of no help whatever to anyone.
But all such experiences are not fruitless. Often a connection came to light later that was wholly unknown to me at the time. A striking example of this occurred later in connection with one of our worst storms on Lake Michigan.
While listening to the wind, I “imagined” and described to several witnesses the plight of a sailing vessel, a schooner, with masks broken, and sails torn to shreds. The crew abandoned hope and were expecting to go down with the hull when it sank.
In order to see if we could sight anything, six of us went over to the lakeshore. The wind and sand cut our faces, and we could hardly stay on our feet. We saw nothing.
One of our party, Jack, who knew ships, said he did not think there was any such schooner as I had described left in the Great Lakes trade. But even if it were true, what could we do about it? Why my apprehension, which persisted for hours, that took me out into the storm when I might have stayed where it was warm and dry?
Other ships were in danger; one of our own boats went over in White Lake, and my sons had been getting it in before joining us at Lake Michigan. A ship to the south of us sank. A hundred ships could go down in this storm, and I would not know it or feel any more than a general concern. It was this one imagined schooner, like a bird with broken wings that fretted me as if I ought to be able to do something about. It. But what? There
was not a boat within miles that could have survived an attempted rescue, even if I could have proved that the whole matter existed outside my imagination.
But not until Meredith asked me if I thought there was any hope for them did my mind leave the general direction of where I felt the schooner to be, and “scan” the rest of the lake.
Finally, I said, “There is a big freighter `way to the north. It looks like a long black cigar. It is the only ship that could save them, but it is heading out of the storm in another direction. There is only one slim chance for that schooner. If the captain of the ship follows the hunch he ought to be feeling right now, he will change his course. Then he might sight them.”
It seemed pretty hopeless, even granting it were all true. But we all threw our thoughts at the captain of an imaginary freighter like a long black cigar, hoping to strengthen the “hunch” that he ought to feel, if there were really a sailing vessel out there with only hours left to stay afloat.
But how many follow their hunches? What captain in his right mind would turn back into a storm at the command of a feeble little twitch somewhere in his brain or spine or solar plexus? With a wind so loud that his second officer would have to shout to be heard, could he be expected to hear the unspoken prayer of men facing death, or the thoughts of strangers standing on the shore more than a hundred miles away?
But there was a connection, and I did not know it. The captain of the freighter, that long black cigar, was not only a “reality”; he was my old friend Captain Charles Mohr, to whom I had predicted that he would sail a ship before he ever laid hands on one, whom I taught to follow his hunches, predicting that if he did so he would be honored above all other Great Lakes captains, and go down in history and the annals of navigation on the Great Lakes. He had years before agreed with me to follow his hunches as an experiment, and let me know the results.
One of the results was not only one but five lake rescues, saving twenty-seven lives. But this was the climax of his career. For this he was to be honored as the first Great Lakes captain ever to receive the Congressional Medal. Here was the one man afloat on the lake in that storm who not only could experience a “hunch,” but who, by agreement with me, made a practice of obeying it when he did.
Captain Mohr has passed on, but he still lives in the memory of all who knew him as a man who stood alone in the hour of his decision, upon which the lives of seven men depended. He stood alone, not only against the judgment of his men, but against the better judgment of his own intellect. He did respond to the thoughts and needs of other men, not only on one but on many occasions.
I remember the time when a young man told me how he stood, when a boy, on the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Buffalo, watching the then magnificent ship Merida come in, and wishing that someday he could be a captain of a fine ship like that. I told him that he could; that if he sincerely wished it, he was prophesying for himself, and that if he followed his intuition and always obeyed his “hunches” he not only could be the captain of a ship like that, but make a name for himself to be honored with the finest recognition ever to have been received by a Great Lakes navigator.
He became a captain, and his first ship was the Merida. I received a letter from him later:
That afternoon that we had the talk together you said that after I got home there would be a letter for me from Chicago from a heavy thick man by the name of J.John, you thought, and through him I would get a good job sometime in March. But before that I would have two other offers which I would take but wouldn’t keep. Well, it all came to pass within a day or so from the time you had predicted, except that the man’s name is Jeremiah, instead of John. You said I was to sail a big boat successfully, which I did, and that I was to have a little girl born. I’ve got that too.
Offer No. 2, as per your prediction. You said I would have an offer from the East in February, also that it would be from Buffalo. If you remember I said more likely from Cleveland. You said possibly so, but every time you mentioned it you said Buffalo, just as you said it would, and I have accepted it.
When Captain Mohr received the Congressional Medal and his five lake rescues were cited, he sent me a clipping, and wrote, “My reasons for sending this to you is because it is just what you told me would happen over fifteen years ago, and I have not forgotten.”
This is but one instance among many in the experience of one man besides myself. He is but one of several thousand witnesses in the files of my own mental experiments. And there are thousands of others in the world today who have had similar experiences, and who, even at the moment that I write this, and again as you read it, know the truth of such things beyond any possible doubt.
In the face of all the evidence that is available in the world today, the opinion of men who doubt because they have had no such experience deserves the same consideration as the skepticism of the Kentucky mountaineer, who refused to believe that radio was true because he did not possess one.
The experience of others will not convince you like an experience of your own. It is not something you can learn from books. I have hoped to show you the way to find out for yourself, but a better understanding of your own experience is in comparing them with mine.
The intuitive life itself has no problems save those that vanish in solving themselves. For it is not really necessary to understand everything, so long as intuition succeeds in translating itself into successful action. Obedience to the promptings of intuition removes by prevention all problems that disobedience would create.
But he who sets out to live the life of intuition in collaboration with the intellect (a modern necessity) finds himself obliged to correlate and harmonize science, philosophy, and religion. He must harness intuition by “logic, reason, and common sense.” And in so doing he encounters the critical demands of the intellect to provide adequate explanation and verbal representation. And he must squarely face and answer for himself by experience the questions: “Is man a mere electrical recording machine?” “Is he also a `radio’?” And if the second, “What is the source of the broadcasting he receives?” Is it possible to `talk without thinking’? (i.e. to by-pass the intellect), and if so, “What `puts the words into one’s mouth’?”
From childhood I had found it necessary to “stop thinking” in order to “imagine” correctly; but as I grew older I found that, if I stopped thinking while talking, word were actually “put into my mouth” and I would say things that were verified as correct without having the least idea what I was talking about, and without requiring any exercise of imagination or understanding on my part.
A similar phenomenon occurred in writing. I could take a blank piece of paper and write on it something I never knew or thought of before. But it was definitely not so-called automatic writing. I simply said or wrote what popped into my mind at the instant; and it popped out of my verbal memory instead of my memory of scenes and pictures (as in the case of “imagining’ things), but I would not know what I was going to say or write next. And I was always astonished on reading it over afterward, or hearing the reaction of my listener, to discover that it not only “made sense” but was something that could be verified.
The trouble with most people is that they shape things to suit themselves, according to past acquirements, whereas we should permit truth to come to us, crystallizing in its own shape. We should then try to figure out what the shape is.
Some “feel” things without seeing any mental “pictures.” Some have vague “hunches” that act only at forks in the road, to aid them in determining which direction to take at the moment, but without providing them with any clear vision concerning their goal or the means of attaining it.
Some visualize their ideals in all, then carry them out one by one, prophesying for themselves without realizing it. And some sense things only through symbols, which constitute a universal language of understanding based on memory element of sensory experience in nature. The intuitive dreams and “imaginings” of this type of person will seldom be literally true. The truth is embodied in symbols that must be interpreted.
The history of human experience is filled with cases of all kinds, but in my investigation of these things I have personally experienced all types of mental phenomena without finding it necessary to take the word of anyone else for anything. I have seen thousands of “false pictures” in my “mind’s eye” of things that have actually happened, of things happening at the moment, and of future events. But often I see a symbol that I must interpret, and in talking with my friends of the symbols that come to me, it has often been the case that they knew exactly what I was talking about when it was still a mystery to me.
One day, for example, I was talking with a man in connection with whose initials I imagined that I saw the symbol of a silver frog. Two common conceptions of my memory, “silver” and “frog,” were thus compounded by my intuition in an apparent but vain effort to communicate something to my intellect. I could not make sense out of it, nor could the man in question at the time of our conversation.
But later he informed me, “You know that silver frog you spoke of? Well, the two middle names that I never use, save for the initials, originally meant a silversmith and a tadpole.”
Another case was my first conversation with a Mr. H. of Grand Rapids. I told him that when I shook hands with him I saw mentally many houses in construction, but it puzzled me a great deal because there did not seem to be any evidence of their being occupied at any time.
This didn’t make sense to me, but Mr. H. and his friend Mr. W. were very much amused, as one of the projects that Mr. H. was then interested in launching was a new kind of toy, a peculiar kind of building blocks with which children could easily construct substantial houses of several miniature sizes, depending on the number of blocks used.
Another source of confusion in many experiences of mental phenomena is the difficulty of discerning between “thoughts” of people and events that actually take place. The effect of the “mass mind” must always be guarded against by an intuitive person in his relation with public affairs.
In my own experience I found it necessary to attempt to shut out “thoughts” altogether on such occasions, in order to get at the “facts.”
Is “impersonal vision” possible? When I was asked if I could “imagine” or describe something that was going on in the world elsewhere, and specifically when I was asked if I could describe the greatest crime being committed in the city of Chicago at the moment (and it turned out that I was correct), to what extent was telepathy involved? Did some human mind or minds have to be seeing or remembering? Was my imagination of the crime an “impersonal vision,” or was it induced by the activity of the criminal’s mind?
Does human memory survive death, and of so, is it possible for disembodied minds to witness earthly events and to induce a representation of them in the imagination of a living person? Can the imagination of a living person envision distant senses or inanimate objects without the aid of witnessing mind, living or dead?
Are conclusive answers to these questions possible on the basis of the experimental evidence available? I do not think so. One may believe what one will. Only this fact remains: the “vision” is there. Your “human radio” and “mental vision” are working. But you do not know with certainty who or what is broadcasting what you receive; and you do not know where it is coming from.
Consider the following experience to which well-known witnesses are still living and available, though two are dead. We were on “location” during the filming of one of a number of moving pictures in which I was interested. A number of us, including the director, the late James Cruze, were sitting on a bench in a park near Hollywood, while preparations were being made for the nest scene.
There was an old man, an extra hired for the day, tapping the ground idly with the point of his cane. He was out of hearing, and also deaf. On the spur of the moment, I said to the others on the same bench with us and in adjacent chairs, “Do you want to see me make that old man draw a triangle in the sand with his cane, and then make a figure in the center of it?”
Everyone on the bench and within hearing held his breath almost, under the impression that I was concentrating as an experiment in trying to influence the old man telepathically to do what I had said. I was thinking about it, of course, and watching the old man intently. But the thoughts in my mind, far from being an effort to “will” the old man to do as I said, were somewhat as follows: “Now what made me say that? I have put myself on a spot, and without any good reason for doing so.”
For a moment or two the old man continued his tapping. Then suddenly taking a new grip on his cane, he began making aimless and disconnected dashes, lines instead of dots. In another moment he dragged the cane back and forth in zigzag line. H ended up by making a clearly defined triangle, and then proceeded to interest himself in drawing something inside it.
Everyone present thought it was a clearly defined case of telepathic influence or “thought transference,” without the conscious cooperation or knowledge of the subject. Of more interest to me were the reactions of the individuals who had witnessed the little performance. They ranged from excitement to amazed incredulity. But the entire episode ended in a burst of laughter, because of the tone of voice in which Jimmy Cruze uttered one of his characteristic and good-humored but unprintable curses, when he saw what the old man had done.
He capped a vivid description of what he would be by the exclamation, “By God! You did it!”
I said, “Hold on now, Jimmy. Don’t jump to any conclusions. I may have done it, but I’m not convinced of it.”
This seemed to astonish him more than the little experiment. He said, “What are you talking about? I don’t get it. Didn’t I see it?”
“Think it over. Did I really make the old man carry out my whim of the moment, or did I merely predict what he was going to do?”
But the next scene was ready. Jimmy got up and lumbered away, mumbling “Merely!”
He was not in the least impressed by the distinction, but it was a real one. In thousands of similar cases the material evidence provides no direct proof whether the prediction or statement involves mental processes that cause the event, or whether the event, casting its shadow before it, causes the statement.
We can no longer hold, even from the scientific view, to the conceptual belief that the physical universe within the range of our five special senses comprises the whole of reality. We know that by far the greater portions of it are “unseen,” and that our personal environing realities contain both cosmic and atomic elements with which our five recognized senses are unable to deal. Still, we do deal with them by means of speech and conceptual thought. And conspicuous among the words and concepts that serve us for this purpose are “God” and the “atom,” the one manifesting in religious behavior and the other in scientific behavior.
No one has seen God, and no one has seen a single atom. So far as these or any other concepts manifest in human behavior (serving as guides to action or research), it makes not the slightest difference whether they are “true” or not. But the knowledge of God has come to man in the same way as any of the generalizations of science.
We define “magnetism” as that unknown cause or power to which the magnetic force of our experience is due. We may define “gravity” as that unknown cause or power to which the gravitational forces of our experience are due. And we may define “God” as that unknown cause or power to which are due those compulsions of human experience that are to be found in love, faith, inspiration, and so on, and which transcend sex, our ability to reason, and our capacity as rational animals to understand.
Thus, as far as man transcends sex and self in his relation with others, he has admitted into his life of emotion and behavior something “above” nature, i.e., something “supernatural.” For nature contains sex and life, but not love and inspiration, by which alone the beast in man is subdued to permit a higher evolutionary process.
Today, we are all the victims of world conditions that have been brought about by power politics without love, as devised by intellect without God. We have been smothered mentally by a great logomachy (war of words without deeds) as an intellectual smoke screen of propaganda to hide what is really going on. For we have been living in a primitive state of world civilization dominated by purely rational animals in the form of self-preservative men, among whom the process of reasoning has reigned supreme as intellect without God. And the future outlook of such a civilization (in which material progress has exceeded spiritual development) is dismal indeed unless we can learn to understand and preserve a world-wide peace in an age of atomic weapons.
Science is now fully aware of this conditional outlook. But religion has for ages had priority over the best methods of controlling human behavior. And only now, when forced by circumstances to do so, scientists are waking up to the fact that the only alternative to the way of religion, i.e., love and faith, is the way of totalitarian regimentation by fear, discipline and force. For it has been found (too late to prevent damage already done) that knowledge and intelligence are not enough to create and maintain righteousness in the world. Neither scientific nor philosophic or liberal literary education is capable of preserving peace on earth through human behavior.
The situation is ironic. For many of our most intelligent men have in the past half century turned from religion because they were unable to accept the various faiths, dogmas, and doctrines as “true.” They have reared and educated a generations of young rationalists, some of whom are still open-minded as agnostics, and some of whom are aggressive and even militant theists. And now (again too late to undo the damage) we find scientific rationalists realizing that the “truth” of a faith (as they define the truth) is entirely irrelevant to the survival value and progress value of its function in human behavior.
What people believe manifests in their behavior whether or not it be “true” by any criterion whatever. And here is where scientific men have made the greatest and most costly error of all history: in assuming that the scientific criterion of truth could be applied to the evaluation of human speech and conceptual thought as manifest in beliefs and opinions.
It is not necessary for human ideas to correspond with past or present realities in order to create future realities through human behavior. The test of faith is not in “facts” but in “works.” The sole virtue and only legitimate psychological criterion of truth (as applied to human belief) is prophetic. The power and truth of a word or a conceptual thought is creative. It acquires meaning or truth only when it is “made flesh” in deeds, action, behavior.
From this view the scriptures of the world take on astonishing significance. Doubt if you will, but, unless you believe, nothing happens to change the biological behavior pattern of yesterday. For since man can think only with what he already possesses to think with, he resists change until experience makes it a part of his memory. Hence religion in its purely intellectual or speculative aspects has derived largely from the fact that man doubts, hence gives birth to reason in order to believe what he fears to doubt.
These rationalized beliefs may or may not be “true,” and so far as they are effective in the constructive guidance of human behavior, it does not matter. The true secret of life can be known only by him who is able to eliminate the mental concept of life. Neither sense impressions, words, nor mental concepts are capable of encompassing the truth of whole situations. But they provide data whereby intuition with the aid of memory and imagination integrates and synthesizes this sensory data together with extra-sensory assistance into a more complete understanding than a merely logical method of reasoning can provide.
This leads to the realization that truth is not to be defined in terms of the evolving organism and its sensations, or reactions to sensations, but in terms of the environing reality to which ultimate adaptation is essential both for self-realization and for the continued progress of survival.
Only intuition escapes words and concepts, including space and time. Only intuition can evoke from memory in imagination those recombinations that make up now and prophetic concepts to meet the needs of further progress. The only alternative to our self-guidance on the path of evolutionary progress by the costly trial-anderror, hit-or-miss method of rational experimentation is in the dynamic inspiration of a psychological orthogenesis evoked by intuitive faith.
I has been said that “man is created in the likeness or image of God.” Science is unable either to affirm or to deny such a statement. But a scientific investigation of God (I speak as one who has for fifty years been engaged in such an investigation) does lead directly to the proposition that God manifests in the likeness of man (for man) and in the likeness of nature (for nature). If one dips water from the ocean, the water will take the shape of one’s cup. And we must investigate and analyze the water as we find it in that cup. Thus a personal God is the basis of individual and sociological evidence of a phenomenal nature. So we say, on the basis of such evidence, that “God is Love.” And we affirm this God of man as his Creator, not in a historic but in a dynamic, and immediate, and a prophetic sense. For creation is continuousand man is not Man as yet.
It is precisely because man is free to accept or reject the “Substance of things hoped for, the [intuitive] evidence of things unseen” that a scientific investigation of human faith is possible. We can learn more about the kind of love that is Godlike than we can about gravity, for the very reason that life is possible without love, whereas it is impossible to escape gravity for the sake of comparison.
The historians, the psychologists, the sociologists, and the editorial commentators have long been at work analyzing the origins of present-day, world-wide conflict. We have heard all about the war-mongering of profiteers, power politics, population pressure, ideological differences, and so on But all these things are consequences; not one of them goes deeply enough to get at the source of the trouble. It has taken centuries for man to recognize in the “new commandment” of Jesus, not a mystical, but a scientific prescription for the world’s ills.
Still, some of us knew. Years ago, a scientific friend half-jokingly asked, “Can you tell me in two words what it is all about? What is really the cause of all this turmoil and confusion in the world today?” He did not really mean “two words.” That was just a figure of speech to him, but I accepted the challenge. I replied, “Sexual accidents.” And by this I meant “unwanted children” who, unloved and the fruit of loveless unions, grew up to manifest not only the “population pressure,” but the neurotic behavior, the compensatory substitution of selfish motives, excessive intellectual specializations, and the internal conflicts that are evident in the external conflicts of the world today. The world’s wanted children are being sacrificed to universal sexual and intellectual perversion. From loveless soil spring the personnel of war-mongering and the power politics of intellect without God.
But “intellect without God” does breed its own destruction. There are signs that the splitting of the atom has brought the Age of Reason to an end. Reluctantly the somewhat dazed intellectual individualists are being forced to admit that they belong to a biological brotherhood from which they are unable to withdraw; that there are “many members but one Body,” and that the harmony of its parts depends upon behavior that neither science nor philosophy have thus far been able to induce.
Now we find thousands displaying a credulity and hunger for any assurance bearing the semblance of truth, and with a thirst for faith miracles and a humility of childlike appeal as if proud “reason” had never claimed and wielded world-wide supremacy.
And it now appears that the works of the intellect have advanced man not an inch from the view of ultimate survival value. We find even scientists once more admitting that they have arrived at the solution of many problems in a manner “indisguishable from inspiration.” We see articles in the press and in journals and in books revealing that “Science has discovered Love and is prescribing it as medicine,” “Power of suggestion and faith result in cures that puzzle medical science,” “Doubts plague scientists; skeptical of `knowledge,’ they turn to mathematical yardstick,” “Religion needed to meet atomic power challenge,” and so on.
But did we not know this all the time? Were not the Golden Rule, the doctrine of love, the works of intuitive faith, the poverty of knowledge without God, and the correlativity of Christ all simply set forth in the words of Jesus? Was not this enough? Evidently it was not, for men failed to understand it as a profound gospel of far-seeing and prophetic scientific value. And in order to become effective universally it has had to be established as such, and it has had to be freed from its basis of belief based on authority, by wide phenomenal reaffirmations.
To understand all this, and to avoid the errors of misinterpretation that perpetuates the vicious circles of religious-scientific logomachy, we must escape the tyranny of words that keeps the pendulum of reactionary minds ever swinging between skepticism and mysticism. Billions of words have poured from the presses of periodicals and publishers to the confusion of those who seek for truth and understanding outside themselves. Men have ever rushed here and there, crying, “Truth! Truth!” where it does not matterand rejecting it where it does.
Let them consider the answer that was given to the young Egyptian medical student (in King of Dreams) when he asked his wise old teacher whether he believed that the Master of Healing was truly Son to the Lord of Life and had walked on earth, or was it a fable?
The teacher asked, “Do you think that it matters?”
Said the student, “I think it does matter whether we are taught the truth or lies.”
“Then tell me, what is truth?” asked the teacher.
“Why” But the student could not answer.
Said the teacher, “Yes, it is like that. We draw Truth with her feather, and call her co-worker with the Lord of Life, but we do not know her, nor can we hold her. We say, “There is truth in that man’s heart”; but did you search that heart with your scalpel, you would but thrust her forth to seek another home you would not find her. Truth is not a thing of flesh and blood, but of the spirit. That is why I say it does not matter whether or not our Master was divine and walked on earth, for his spirit is among us now wherever there is charity and the desire to heal. Men make their gods I do not say they make them out of nothing, or that no great Ones ever came down from Heaven in pity for our need and while men are, they will comfort their souls with the image of some Good Physician who cares for them, though they may not always call him Imhetep of Memphis. Again, in ages to come men of your blood and mine in Alexandria may forget Isis, whom we call Our Lady; but because so long as men love their mothers they will worship motherhood, our far-off descendants will bow before the images of another Mother and another Child. Nor will one faith be truer than the other, for Truth is eternal and faiths are but her perishable garments.”
Wise were the teachers of old who taught man never to speak the “Everlasting Name.” For to speak it is but to record it on the graphophone records of human intellects, and there to rob it of power and meaning by endless repetition of mechanical utterance. And thus man substitutes a false god in a mental concept that intelligent men are perfectly right to “deny.” For it is nothing but a mental echo and a vibration of the human larynx to which men bow in their ignorance, while the very soul of man, the spark of god within him, cries out against it, saying, “That is not I!”
Not everything is easy to explain, but we must avoid attaching the “mystery” to the wrong gate. The prime mystery is no longer in the physiological and nervous organization of manno more than in the construction of the Geiger counter. The mystery is in the so-called cosmic rays that act on the Geiger counter. What are they, and where are they from?
The mystery is in the source of energy, or life, that acts on or in the nervous organization of man to produce an intuitive “feeling.” What is it, and where is it from? There need be no other mystery. The organism upon which it acts is now fairly well known. New ductless glands will be discovered. Many neural functions and operations will be better understood. But in all the essentials the physiological foundation and nervous organization of man is well enough understood in the light of developments in the field of electronics and radiant energy, to know that man is capable of experiencing “feelings” independent of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching feelings that result from responses to stimuli emanating from sources known or unknown.
Beyond this coordinated sensitivity of the entire nervous system, no further or special sense is required. It is superfluous to postulate mysterious powers of vision, clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychic ability, and so on, when the normal powers and modus operandi of imagination and memory not only suffice in explanation, but may be investigated experimentally to establish the fact that one’s so-called psychic faculties or extrasensory perceptions are entirely limited, constituently, to the contents of the individual memory, just as the constituents of words are limited to the alphabet employed, and one’s verbal representation is limited to one’s vocabulary unless one pauses to look up or coin a word
For an idea that has not yet been incorporated by identification In one’s verbal memory.
And yet I have personally had words come to mind and pass over my tongue in experimental conditions, words entirely unfamiliar to me, words in foreign language, or technical terms that could be found in a dictionary (though previously unfamiliar to me), and some that could not; words conveying information that I did not myself know, but which was afterward verified as correct. Still, I used familiar syllables. I used the familiar alphabet. And even when I inscribed hieroglyphics entirely unfamiliar to me, it was a composition of familiar smaller elements of lines and curves, shapes, and angles. The fact still remains the army vision of these things cannot correctly be described in terms so vastly misleading and misunderstood as “psychic,” “telepathic,” and so on. It was nothing whatever but imagination composting familiar elements of previous sensory experience recorded in memory.
I see and correctly describe a scene ten thousand miles away. (I have done this under experimental conditions with witnesses.) I see and describe a future event that occurs exactly as I have described it, saves for minor variations. What is lacking or faulty in my description is lacking in my memory. For what do I see? Nothing but my own imagination. Actually, I do not see ten thousand miles away with any form of “vision” whatever. I do not “see” the future. My reception or perception of these things is entirely formless, entirely a “feeling,” entirely devoid of images, words, thought, or concept. What makes it intelligible to me or someone else is the activity of my imagination, which endeavors to symbolize, to portray, to interpret the “feeling.”
The reality is the energy that cannot be destroyed. What we know as “life” is but an echo and shadow, the organic reflex of the radiant energy that sustains the Great Broadcasting Program of Nature. If we attempt to attune ourselves more completely in accord with the Great Central Broadcasting Station of this mammoth program of life, the act of so doing is called “prayer.” The vibration that chills our spine when we make the attunement why should we not regard it as a “holy spirit” and the source of the energy, the “something else”? What does it matter what we call it?
The prophets of every nation and of every epoch have risen to proclaim the conception of a living God. Modern science has approached the threshold and is trying to explain this living God by drinking, tasting, hearing, seeing, smelling, and feeling under the name of energy; and the “holy spirit” of this God of Science is radiant energy.
Unless this all-pervading living God of immediate inspiration is infused into the churches, temples, synagogues, and shrines, to replace the intellectual God of yesterday (a God in word, concept, and memory only), the power to resuscitate the people will fade, even as an echo after the voice and ceased to vibrate; and individuals will in ever-increasing number seek God outside the church. And there they will find Him either in silence and alone, by joining some small, private group, or by a falling prey to the cults and isms that live like parasites on human credulity and sincerity.
For man seeks the “gate to power,” He wants the success, love, life, happiness, and realization that power brings. And if the key to spiritual power is withheld from him, he substitutes material powerand starves in the midst of his wealth.
It is not enough that the power of prophecy existed twenty centuries ago. It is not enough to hear sermons about it. He wants, and he has a right to, the fulfillment of those promises: “Even ye can do greater things than I,” and “Each shall prophesy that all may be comforted.” This cannot be hidden from him by shelving the records of scripture or retranslating them to leave out the word “prophesy,” both of which have upon occasion been done.
The seed of all this is in man’s intuition to sprout anew, and he is not to be robbed of his birthright by conspiracies of the intellect that have ever enslaved the souls of men. The moisture and warmth to release this power is found in tears of sorrow and compassion, and in faith, of which one’s prayer is but the barometer. When we do not pray we have lost faith in our soul; our “radio” is silenced; and only our memory of self speaks to us, but in empty words and self-pity, which encourages our vanity to silence conscience.
It is only the intellect that doubts, and that can maintain a state of activity entirely devoid of relation to truth. But the one and essential power that distinguishes the complicated nervous organization of man from the simpler one of the animal is the power of recombination, by means of which the imagination can make new creations out of the memory element of old experience.
Thus we symbolize; we indulge in fantasy; we speculate and theorize; we create works of art; we invent; and thus we produce a culture and a civilization. But as we thus change environments, we change our “destiny,” and we change the character of adaptation that operates in the law of the survival of the fit. Just as instinct no longer suffices as a mechanism of adaptation in intellectual environments, so does intellect fail to suffice as a mechanism of adaptation in the world of human progress and competition, which has been fathered by “flashes of genius” that have harnessed the power of nature without harnessing the power of human nature to make the right use of them.
Neither instinct nor intellect can cope with life in such a world. Inspiration and intuition become necessities. Without the guidance of spiritual values, mere knowledge betrays us. Without religion (not doctrinal religion, but a religion of inspiration to provide intuitive guidance as a substitute for the instinct, which intellect has forfeited), science can but lead us to destruction.
It becomes increasingly necessary to “imagine” correctly, to adapt oneself to more subtle and more complicated environments, to develop foresight as well as a knowledge of consequences; to plan, to prepare, to prevent. We find that only those who do this survive. Intuition becomes a necessity. And the very life of intuition is prayer.
In its broad sense prayer is an expression of religious need or mood, any form of religious self-expression by means of which attunement with the cosmos is sought or attained. But in man this is wholly intuitive, just as an animal’s biological adaptation to the environing realities of nature is instinctive and instinct-forming. With these processes of biological adaptation, the human intellect may, and to some extent does, collaborate; but to a larger extent it has set itself in defiance against them. Witness the world turmoil of the present century, as well as past ages of mental confusion, to behold the works of “intellect without God” in a world in which effectual prayer is a “lost art.”
Religion is expressed in worship. The origin of worship is assumed to have been in primitive efforts to perform acts that were thought to be pleasing to the Deity. In so doing, the worshiper experienced emotional consequences that he interpreted as evidence of divine favor. Thus the intellect gave birth to an art as a form of exercise ,public or private, that was performed as a matter of divine prescription, or as an expressing of one’s feelings of relationship to Deity.
The first grew into ritual, i.e., the repetition of regular and traditional practices the validity of which becomes entirely irrelevant so long as they result in the psychological consequences they were designed to produce. But the second remained spontaneous, the free and extemporaneous expression of feeling, a witness to the immediacy of religious experience and its individual character. This aspect of worship is the very substance of the intuitive life, and the highest form of prayer.
When people complain that their prayers are not answered, then either they have not fulfilled the necessary conditions or they know neither how to pray nor what prayer is. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.”
Those who pray that the flame that envelops their entire house may be extinguished at once have been unbalanced by the shock of being caught unprepared. Prayer will not controvert common sense. Even God cannot help here, for god’s law was obeyed when the house caught fire. Why was it not prevented by the one in charge? Why resort to prayer at the last moment in any matter that might have been prevented but that was previously ignored?
Prayer is a reminder to “tune in,” so that you will take care of the matches and gasoline before they become instruments of a big blaze. Prayer is a comforter. It is a hope restorer. But if a man thinks that God is going to listen to him when he pleads on his knees in prayer to save his life at eighty, after having forgotten Him for seventy-nine years, he is entirely ignorant of the nature and function and purpose of prayer. But if one has been sincere and fair in all his dealings, he has been praying all the time, and his prayers are answered before he knows it. And he is pleased. And so is God.
If we are guided by the correction principles, if we live by the “golden rule” and refrain from coveting what belongs to others, then our sincere heart’s desires are the foreshadowing of their own fulfillment, just as a seed foreshadows the fruit. Our effort to discern and to submit them for spiritual sanction (“Not my will, but thine”) is but a mode of divination. Our prayer born of faith is the prophecy made manifestthe answer, not the petition (which was already manifest in our natural and wholly reasonable and God-implanted aspirations and ideals).
It is only the intellect that is capable of ineffectual prayer. To offset his, Jesus of Nazareth (He who demonstrated the power of effectual prayer in a life of action) invented a verbal safeguard. He taught His followers what was known as the Lord’s Prayer, to guide man in his blindness through self-created dark hours or ages, his anchor or hope held firm on rocks of abstract truth, until the light of inspiration once again breaks through the mental clouds of worldly chaos, to restore his heritage of the lost art of intuitive living, which is rewarded by the faith that sanctifies and guarantees the power and the effectiveness of his prayer.
The prayer that opens the gates of the mind through man’s mental “radio” and “television” is a mental-emotional attitude, not a ritual of words. It is a speechless outflinging of unseen antennae of nerves, by which man attunes himself to the “something else,” the “universal element,” the very source of his own being, across the gulf that only prayer can bridge by human radio.
And a “human radio” can do or ask no more than this. We climb the highest mountain of human endeavor, only to fine, as others found before us, that within ourselves we are nothing. The soul within us, if not sleeping, is but the interception by our nervous system of the great Broadcasting Program of Man.
So when at last in my search for truth I had found my home, and made for myself a shrine of solitude where I could live an intuitive life and hear this program without distraction, I learned that labor was the wise man’s prayer.
I began to pray the prayer of perspiration, tilling the field and kneeling at the altar of nature to plant my seeds, chopping wood to sacrifice upon the altar of fire for the purification, the shaping, and the tempering of the iron and steel that symbolized our flesh and blood.
For a pulpit I made a workbench where I preached sermons in science without words, but by the work of my hands; where the smell of fresh-cut sawdust was my incense, and my prayers as those of the builders who sought to obey the law of the plumb, the level, and the square.
Is this idolatry? No. For it has a meaning. It is idolatry only when one worships or attunes oneself to the body and not the soul, to the symbol when ignorant of its meaning, to the idol instead of the Deity it represents, to the dollar instead of the bread of life it can buy, to the echo instead of the voice, to the mental concept instead of the living power to do. It is idolatry to worship by words without works, to socialize rituals exacting obedience to the letter, when ignorant of the spirit of truth.
And this is the truth that I learned in the desert, and proved to myself through the passing years: the flesh cannot pray. A sincere prayer is but an echo of God’s voice. God manifests Himself in our thoughts. He but whispers, and it becomes an echo in our prayers. Long before we ask for anything we have a right to ask, it is known and answered by an order that constitutes our faith. Thus faith is the sanction that our prayers are prophetic. And thus we reach the fulfillment of the intuitive life.
Then we learn anew that human brotherhood is possible only between intuitive men. Between wholly intellectual men only superficial and contractual bonds are possible. In marriage or in friendship “whom God hath bound, no man can put asunder.” But only the intuitive bonds are thus binding in life or in death. For of such is the love that is God.
“How knoweth this man letters, never having learned?”
He is a Son of solitude. Throughout the ages and throughout the world, he constitutes that brotherhood of man that is sensitive by inspiration to the mutual welfare that is “God’s will,” and that therefore gives body to a great kingdom of silence to that invisible theocracy, which, in spite of selfish usurpers, has ever controlled the hidden springs of human progress, writing in deeds the history of the world.
Man can go where he will on board the ship of this world; but in going with the ship he can go no faster or slower, for running madly back and for on the decks. If one man fails to obey the commands of the captain of that ship, another will endeavor to do soperhaps in a different way, but to the same end. Did you not hear the human radio broadcast at three o’clock this morning? Well, I didso that message will be delivered in my words if not in yours.
If the boiler does not burst out in one place, it will in another. History, like water, finds its level, regardless of the paths chosen or accepted by resignation to gravity on the part of individual drops.
The “play” has been written; the cast of characters has been “fixed”; but the players of those parts remain to be selected for each performance.
In each generation “many are called but few are chosen.” All aspirants must qualify, but the aspiration is the very voice of the necessary qualifications.
Men fail to realize that their very existence is the function of a “pressure,” a power to which their “will” is not the steed but the harness; not the water, but the pipe and faucet.
The amount of pressure or power available is beyond the individual will or harness or pipe to determine. One may be left impotent or enabled to function with almost miraculous strength and understanding, according to whether or not he is playing his part as required by the Whole.
For thus wrote the hand of God in history; through the ambition, the energy, the enthusiasm, the inspiration, and the guidance that is provided for those who, wittingly or unwittingly, serve as instruments for the good of all, by power of intuition and love that is beyond individual comprehension.
The unwitting play their parts as puppets, and receive a puppet’s wage. But he who knowingly seeks to serve mankind unselfishly is raised into the understanding of the great Exemplar of this age: He who first played the leading part that each of us may emulate, but that none can excel.
For the voice of intuition whispers: “He who travels through the desert of ignorance and the wild jungles of man’s intellectual deformities in My name will be welcome in the green pastures of peace, wisdom, and love, where I dwell. So come unto me.”
So the curtain rises on the next act in the spiritual drama of this world. The breeze is blowing over the prairie… And the end is not yet.