In our Spring 1948 issue we published an article which outlined automatic writing as a way to contact the dead. Its author believed it was. Now we present the opposite viewpoint. Is it actually a delusion- a subconscious act?
by Marguerite Reymond
HAVING known dozens of people who were, in some way unknown to them, led into the practice of “automatic writing,” I’d like to state the opposite side from that published in your Volume 1 Number 1 FATE Magazine. (Automatic Writing-Blessing Or Curse? by Mabel Dunham Smith, Spring, 1948 -Ed.)
It may be possible that some few people have been brought to believe in a hereafter through automatic writing, but in the opinion of the writer, it must be a very unhappy existence they face if the things these discarnate entities write about are to be taken for their standard of
life after leaving the physical body.
In studying the history of this sort of thing, the first thing we learn is that every automatic writer is under some kind of an extreme emotional strain at the time of inception. An emotionally upset individual does not respond normally to any mental or physical test. This has been proven by physicians.
This does not mean that everyone who has used the ouija board is mentally ill, but it does mean that such practices are considered very. dangerous by many scientists.
Where there is, motion, there has to be force. Assuming that the force is from the “other side,” how are we to know which force–constructive or destructive- is motivating the hand? The writer’s contention is we do not know and never can.
This statement will be questioned, even denied by those feeling sure they can identify -some dear one because this dear one writes of things known only to the one passed on and to the one taking the supposed message. Again, our contention is that the receiver of the message knows subconsciously the message he Wants and thus influences what the hand writes. Because thought and feeling are both force, that force can be and is used to write what IT wishes. The question then is: will the message do good or harm? We believe the latter in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred.
Before examining what happened to some of the people we know who did automatic writing, why not try to meet on a common ground of understanding? No matter how we believe, the one great reason for anyone’s trying to get a message from a person who has passed through what is commonly called death, is that he cannot accept the belief that he might never see the dear one
Is it any wonder then that in the case of Mrs. A. grieving over a son lost in the war, she suddenly found herself writing “Tom”? Then next, the astonishing words: “Tell father.” How natural for this, emotionally upset mother to feel that her son wanted her to know that he was all right and that there was something he wanted to tell his father.
It all seemed so natural! That is the subtle way in which these things work. Mr. and Mrs. A had saved $2,000. A broker, close friend of the husband’s, had advised them to buy a certain stock. There was little risk and it-was bound to go up soon. Mr. A. had decided to take his friend’s advice, but the rest of Tom’s message was: “Tell father not to buy that stock.”
After considerable arguing on, “such nonsense,” as Mr. A. called it, the broker was notified not to hold any of the stock for the A’s. A few weeks later at his wife’s request, Mr. A. did buy a car.
Soon after, Mr. A. lost his job and could not keep up the payments, thus forcing them to lose the money they had paid down on the car. Worst of all, his broker friend liquidated all stock purchased for his clients at a two hundred percent increase.
Mrs. A told me many years after this happened that she believed the whole thing was brought on by a sort of subconscious desire in herself for an automobile – and her constant brooding over her son.
Nor was that the only penalty Mrs. A. paid for, “dabbling in Spiritualism,” as she called it during her explanation of things that followed.
“There is no question in my mind,” she said, “but what all the illnesses I went through during those ten years in which I was receiving supposed messages, were due to that morbid activity.”
When asked if she still received messages from her son, she smiled sweetly. “No. In my heart I know Tom is all right. I know he loves me and I also know I have no right, to disturb him in the work he is doing.”
Because of the reversal in her attitude of some time back, we asked her how this change had come about.
“As you know I was taken very ill; the doctors told my husband I was going to die. I finally forced the doctor to tell me the truth, as he saw it. Then, facing what seemed certain death, I remembered how as a child, I had been taught to pray. It startled me to realize how much time I’d spent taking those supposed messages and how little time I’d spent in being grateful for a very understanding husband.
“It seemed to me that the most important thing in the world was to let God know that I was grateful, that I did love “Tom,” my husband, and lastly that I did want to get well for his sake.
All night I lay on that bed in the hospital where I was supposed to pass out before morning, giving thanks.
“Morning came and when the nurse, being very professional, asked if I felt better I was surprised to find I had no pain and that I had not called for the usual sleeping pills the night before.
“That was the beginning of my complete recovery. My husband and I talk about our son; we know he is living and that he is much happier than he could possibly have been during the time I was trying to bring him back to earth. Nothing could ever again induce me to let a pen or pencil move in my hand, except that I knew I was moving it.”
Take the case of Dr. M. whose daughter was dangerously ill. The doctor had called a specialist who told him he knew of nothing he could do to save the ten-year-old child. During the mother’s life, she had been a physician and practiced with her husband.
Naturally, after being told by the specialist there was nothing he knew to save the child, Dr. M’s consciousness longed for his wife. Sitting in his office studying some remedies he felt might help and making notes with a pencil, suddenly he felt it move! He watched it write the name of a drug.
“Why certainly,” he said aloud, grabbing a bottle from the medicine cabinet and pouring some into a glass. “Why didn’t I think of this before?” he continued and turned to face his son, also a physician who had entered the room unnoticed.
“What are you going to do with that dope?” the son asked.
“Give it to Marian,” Dr. M. answered, starting for the child’s room, but was stopped by his son.
“No! Why that would kill an adult let alone a ten-year-old child!”
With that the son knocked the glass to the floor.
“That crash brought me to my senses,” Dr. M. said. “Later that night my son and I worked out the right remedy to give Marian. She lived, and the rest of my life I’ve tried to keep people from falling into the use of automatic writing.”
In cases of those who follow through in this practice, there are certain similarities in their experiences. Most of them admit they receive far more trash than material they think makes sense. All of them agree that there are always discrepancies where the element of time enters in.
The usual thing is for some great Indian Chief, or Alexander the Great, Confucius or some equally well known character supposedly to signify he has a message that must be given to the world and that the writer has been chosen as the one to bring it through. This appeals to the ego and leads the individual on. Libraries are full of such material. If there is one helpful idea in any of them, we’ve missed it.
How often have people in desperate need of money for medical care or with which to save their mortgaged home, been told by the ouija board: “You are to receive a vast sum of money from an unknown source.” At once the person asks: “When?” And the answer is, “Next week,” or “Tomorrow,” or even:
“Go right now and look in the woodshed.”
Among countless numbers of such messages, the only one which seemed bonafide I later learned was written by the woman’s own subconscious mind–or memory.
Mrs. B’s mother had passed on; the daughter felt sure her mother had left a large sum of money, but no one knew where it was hidden. One night, about six months after her mother’s passing, the daughter was sitting at a desk her mother had used. Suddenly she was impelled to pick up a fountain pen, which had belonged to her mother.
From simply toying with the pen, Mrs B. placed it on a piece of paper. To her surprise it began to write: “Look in the secret drawer,” she read; then the pencil wrote, “Mother.” The daughter being a very practical person, asked immediately: “But mother, where is the drawer?” and sat waiting for the answer.
Slowly, and with seeming difficulty the pencil traced out: “Pull desk out from the wall-key is in the lock.” At once Mrs. B. called her husband and asked him to move the desk, which was too heavy for her to move. After making all kinds of fun of his wife, he did pull the desk out. They found the secret drawer: the key was in the lock and the box contained $10,000 in money and
This so convinced the daughter that she was receiving messages from her mother, she formed the habit of asking for answers on all important questions. At first the answers seemed to work out very. well. Then all at once her mother advised her to take a certain auto trip. There was an accident and both she and her husband were in the hospital for some time.
Next came the assurance that the mother’s grandson would not have to go to war-that he would be turned down as not physically fit. This, Mrs. B. could not figure as correct for her son John (the grandson) stood over six feet tall and had never been ill a day in his life. More than this, he had a pilot’s license and. was waiting to be called.
Still the penciled messages denied that anything could happen to take the boy to war. When finally John came home to prepare for induction, the writer was indignant and went to her room at once to demand to know why her mother had so misled her. Minutes passed-the pencil did not move. All at once, Mrs. B. thinking intently about her mother, remembered very clearly the day her mother had been taken ill. She also remembered her mother had said: “If anything should happen to me, pull the desk out from the wall; the key is in the lock.” In other words, that one message had been given by the mother, BUT DURING HER OWN LIFE.
To this, writer, these examples (and there are dozens of others just as conclusive) prove that a thought or physical feeling can produce automatic writing. They further indicate that our own subconscious mind may influence the answers.
It is reasonable to believe that life after what some call death, must be vastly different from ours here on earth. Standards could not be the same; thus, even a valid message would be of little assistance to us.
Finally, in all cases noted, those trying to get such advice were endangering their health spending hours in unhealthy dark rooms or a great deal of time mooning around, NOT IN COMMAND OF THEIR OWN FACULTIES. This rules out, in our opinion, any chance that automatic writing could ever be a blessing to anyone.