Chapters 3 to 5 - Communication with Spirits during the Post-Apostolic Period and in Modern Times

PSYCHO-SCIENTIFIC FRONTIERS Selected publications from a variety of subjects of psycho-scientific research. Editor: Rolf Linnemann (Certificated Engineer) * Steinweg 3b * 32108 Bad Salzuflen * Tel. (05222) 6558 Internet: Translator’s email : E-Mail: Pastor Johannes Greber Communicating with God’s World of Spirit – its laws and its purpose Personal experiences of a Catholic priest Index Chapter 3 3. 0 Spirit Communication in the Post-Apostolic Age and in Modern Times ............................. 2 3. 1 Introductory Remarks .................................................................................................................... 2 3. 2 Spirit Communication in the Post-Apostolic Age .................................................................. 3 4. 0 The effects of Spirits on the Lives of a Protestant and a Catholic Clergyman in the 19th Century ........................................................................................................................................................13 4. 1 Clergyman Johann Christoph Blumhardt ..............................................................................13 4. 2 Priest Vianey3 of Ars and the world of spirit .........................................................................29 5. 0 Spiritism in the Light of Modern Science ...................................................................................36 5. 1 The medium Kluski in Warsaw. .................................................................................................38 5. 2 Carlos Mirabelli, the Brazilian medium. ..................................................................................47 5. 3 Clairvoyance at a deathbed........................................................................................................56 5. 4 Special cases of Clairvoyance. .................................................................................................59

- 2 - 3. 0 Spirit Communication in the Post-Apostolic Age and in Modern Times 3. 1 Introductory Remarks (By Priest Johannes Greber) After I had received the teachings set down in the second part of this book, relating to the laws of spirit communication and to the manifestations recorded in the Bible, it was left to me to study spirit communication in other ages of the history of mankind and to compare it with what I had learned from the spirit world. I was urged to investigate especially what goes on at the spiritistic séances of today, as well as what modern science has to say about ‘mediums’ and the messages delivered by them. I would gladly have investigated also the writings of the past by ancient authors, pagan as well as Christian, insofar as they dealt with communication with the spirit world. For this I would have had to study the works of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, poets and historians. I would have had to go through all the writings of the church fathers and of ecclesiastical authors, from the post-apostolic age down into the Middle Ages, not to mention the works of the mystics. I could also not have ignored the innumerable accounts of the lives and accomplishments of the Catholic saints if I hoped to lay claim to an exhaustive study of the subject. Furthermore, I would have had to sift through the enormous amount of material contained in books and periodicals on modern ‘occultism’. At the very first glance I was forced to admit to myself that such an undertaking would require the labour of a whole lifetime. I therefore decided to add only three chapters to this book. In them, it was my intention to show briefly on my own that spirit communication was a generally known and accepted fact in the post-apostolic age, and that it is practiced also in the present day, even though it may not yet be accepted by the people of today, and that, furthermore, it proceeds according to the same laws as those set out in this book, which have been the same throughout the past and will remain so forever. Thus, the following chapters came to be written: • Spirit Communication in the Post-Apostolic Age. • The Part Played by the Spirits in the Lives of a Protestant and a Catholic Clergyman of the 19th Century. • Spiritism in the light of Modern Science.

- 3 - 3. 2 Spirit Communication in the Post-Apostolic Age1 When a thing occurs of which we want to say, ‘See, this is something new!’ – we find that it has existed for a long time, in the ages that preceded us. Ecclesiastes 1: 10 Between the pagan world, into which Christianity emerged, and Christianity itself there waged a mighty battle. In this life and death struggle, the Christians of the post-apostolic age generally believed that the Powers of Evil were the true rulers of all paganism, and that the worldly rulers and their subjects were nothing more than the instruments of those evil powers. Hell saw its former dominion over mankind threatened by the good spirit world, which made itself known in Christianity. It now faced battle with a prince greater than the Roman emperor, and with forces stronger than his lieutenants and officials. The might of these forces had been at work even before the birth of the Roman Empire, and it extended to Rome’s dark provinces, where Roman authority existed in name only. It extended also into people’s hearts and thoughts, which are not subject to any authority. Weinel S. 2 and 3: “In the life of the state as well as the lives of individuals there were many ties to this world of spirits in the Beyond, whom the heathens called gods, heroes, or demons.”2 “The life of the state took place largely under their auspices, and a great part of the public communal ceremonies with offerings and festivals was devoted to their worship.” Although their idols might to all outward appearances be dead things, people were convinced that behind these statues of stone and wood there existed real spirit beings that could make themselves known. The Christian martyr Justin says of them: “Those images bear the names and shapes of evil spirits that have appeared.” It was these demons that the heathens worshipped. Justin I: 5, 2: “In ancient times demons appeared (in human mediums), committing adultery with women, abusing boys, and showing people scenes of horror that struck fear into the hearts of those who did not understand these doings; people called these demons gods, and called each of them by the name that demon assumed. Fear impelled them to do this, for they did not know that these were evil demons.” Not only had the evil spirits been active in the past, but their doings were witnessed personally every day by the Christians of the early centuries. First of all, there were the various diseases in which a spirit other than the spirit of the patient spoke and acted through him. The maniac had a demon in him. The hysterical and epileptic were possessed. Such was the universal popular belief among Jews, pagans and Christians. These invisible spirit creatures also spoke through human mediums. The Christian writer Tatian thus describes a female medium of Apollo’s. Tatian 19, p. 86: “After drinking water, she falls into a state of frenzy; incense drives her out of her senses and makes it appear that she is prophesying.” 1 The citations in this chapter are taken from Weinel’s book: Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister im nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenaeus [‘The workings of the spirit and the spirits in the postapostolic age until Irenaeus’], published in 1899 by J. C. B. Mohr, Freiburg im Breisgau. Wherever Weinel is quoted, it is from this book. [The other sources mentioned are also citations from Weinel’s book.] 2 [Weinel, p. 2, here cites Athenagoras leg. 23, p. 118.] 3 [Weinel, p. 3., here cites Tat. Or. 22, p. 94.]

- 4 - • A state of frenzy invariably indicates that a low spirit has taken possession of a medium. The presence of good spirits is always accompanied by peace and quiet. The ravings of the priests of Baal as described in the Bible, the frenzied motions of the Bacchantes at the pagan feasts of the Greeks and the Romans, the dancing dervishes of our times, as well as the numerous similar exhibitions given by modern mediums must be ascribed to the influence of evil spirits. These spirit beings could also be seen by the clairvoyants of those times. Persons endowed with the gift of clairvoyance or other mediumistic powers through which they could enter into communication with the spirit world were known back then as “Pneumatics”, a term derived from the Greek word “pneuma”, which means “spirit.” In the present age, which no longer knows anything of the laws of spirit communication, the word “pneumatic” is interpreted as “gifted in spirit”, thus creating the impression that it was the spirits of those persons themselves that were the cause of the wondrous phenomena. In reality, however, the “pneumatics” were either full-fledged “mediums”, or persons having a mediumistic talent, or else individuals gifted with the power of clairvoyance or clairaudience. Thus “pneumatics” were not only those who were in touch with the good spirit world, but also persons who were in contact with the evil spirits, the laws governing such communication being the same in both cases. Oratio ad Graecos 15, p. 70: Demons also become visible to people, showing themselves in order to create the belief that they are something proper.” “Their airy, fiery bodies are easily and often seen, although, to be sure, only by ‘pneumatics’, but the fact that they are seen, and frequently seen, is certain,” says Tatian. The airy and fiery bodies of the demons mentioned above are the odic bodies. All spirits have odic bodies, but their appearance differs according to the sphere each spirit inhabits. It is true also that the idols spoke and performed miracles. Not even the Christians could deny this fact, since it was a matter of general knowledge. It was on this that the heathens based the belief that the idols they worshipped were living spirit creatures and endowed with great powers. They asked: “How is it that certain images work miracles, unless the beings to which we erect our statues are deities? It is surely not likely that lifeless, immobile images should develop power by themselves, without someone moving them.” To this the Christian, Athenagoras, replies: Athenagoras leg. 23, p. 116: “We Christians do not deny that in certain places, cities and countries, miracles have occurred in the name of the idols, but we do not regard them to be gods.” Of a statue of a certain Neryllius in Troas he relates: “It is believed that this statue prophesies and heals the sick. The inhabitants of Troas therefore offer sacrifices to it, and bedeck it with gold and wreaths. It is likewise reported that of the statues of Alexander and Proteus in Parion, the one of Proteus can prophesy; to the other, that of Alexander, offerings and festivals are dedicated at the expense of the state, as to a god who will hear his worshippers.” Athenagoras does not deny the phenomena, but he maintains that those who bring them about are evil spirits.

- 5 - Weinel, p. 11-12: “Thus, people witnessed and experienced the phenomena, and through them received proof of the existence of a mysterious world of spirit beings, beyond the things of this world – spirit beings mightier, wiser but also more ruthless than people. Beyond and above the Roman Empire there arose the realm of the one who was the true ruler of the world: Zeus, the Devil. It was precisely in this Roman Empire, whose governing classes so stubbornly resisted Christianity, that that spirit kingdom seemed to have established its most mighty bulwark.” The Christians experienced the horrifying workings of the invisible ruler of the world and his instruments on their own persons. What then was the end that the Devil and his demons tried to achieve with all their attacks on the Christians? He wanted to lure them away from God, into the error of polytheism, to tear them out of their spiritual lives and to plunge them into spiritual death. Justin 1, 58: “For the demons, as they are called, desire only to lead people away from their God and Creator, and from His first-born, Christ. And those who proved unable to rise above worldly matters they have fettered to manmade objects (statues), and they do so to this day.” Justin 1, 56: “The demons have accomplished this end by inventing myths and mysteries, thus aping God’s plan for the salvation of humanity. They have, by means of their imagery, offered those who sought communion with God a pleasant but soul-destroying substitute for the true Revelation.” The evil spirits that spoke through the idols at the pagan ceremonies produced speech audible to human ears by employing the od at their disposal to create so-called “direct voices”. It was, in fact, an imitation of the speech of God through the cloud of od above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, for that speech also came as a “direct voice”, as has been clearly shown in my earlier explanations. Just as during God’s speech the required cloud of od was produced by the blood of the offerings and by the smoke of the sacrificial fires, so the blood of the pagan offerings to the idols and the smoke of their fires were the source of the od for the “direct voices’ of the evil spirits. Weinel, p. 24: “In view of the great danger that threatened Christians from the Devil and his hosts, there was a very widespread fear of these Powers of Darkness. It was neither a question of shadows and fantasy images, as it seems to most people in modern times, nor one of tenaciously held unproven doctrines, such as Christians of today have in their denominations. On the contrary, the evil spirits were powers that people experienced daily; they communicated with them and interfered in people’s lives at every turn, mysteriously, but potently. Weinel, pp. 24-25: “We must picture a Christian, stared at from the walls in the house in which he lived by the laren and penates (images of the idols), seemingly threatened by the images in the streets and public squares, passing temples in whose gloomy recesses behind the rows of bright pillars the mysterious powers carried on their work, attracting crowds of people. Among these images were many whose dreadful shapes, with their strangely grotesque combination of human and animal bodies, were repelling; they gave those the creeps who knew that a living, effective, personal spirit power lay behind them. Far more dangerous still were the demons, when they breathed life into softly shimmering marble, when the joyously lovely bodies of the Greek gods and goddesses became the magic that seduced the senses and through which the Devil enslaved mankind. Christians realized with horror that all this beauty, full of life, had been stolen from God to be used for sinful purposes, that all the majesty enveloping these deities was a theft of God’s grandeur and of His sovereignty over the hearts of men. And when, at family festivities or at municipal or provincial celebrations, Christians experienced in horror the immense power of defection from God; when they saw the foulest crimes of demons and heroes enacted on the stage at such festivals; when the passions of men and gods, like greed, hatred, vindictiveness and sensuality – and their consequences: war, murder, adultery – were displayed with magical seductiveness before the eyes of old and young, mature and immature, then their hearts were

- 6 - stirred by a shudder of contempt and hatred for those who had lured people’s souls away from the true God and His eternal goodness and purity through their illusions and bugbears. Fortunate indeed was the Christian who only knew these feelings. For if the beauty of the images and of the people, or the sensual appeal of the spectacles crept into his heart, if man’s latent thirst for blood was aroused in him when the gladiators fought, then he could hear, with horror and dismay, these same Powers of Darkness call to him from the stirrings of his own base instincts, now in the soft tones of flattery, now in wildly seductive tones. He did not only imagine that he heard these voices. The more he listened to them, the deeper he became engrossed in his experiences with the spirit world, the more of a “pneumatic” he grew to be, the more clearly and frequently he would hear these voices; indeed, he would actually see the forms of the evil spirits and experience the physical torments of their presence. If, in spite of all, he remained true to his God, the very worst might yet be in store for him. In a time of persecution, Satan and his minions developed their greatest strength. With abhorrence and dread the Christian came to know the cruelty of these mighty and ruthless enemies, either through the suffering of his friends or the torturous pain that racked his own tormented body.” What then was the power that enabled the Christians to overcome the evil spirit powers? They themselves have given us the answer: “It is a holy spirit, a spirit of God, that gives us that power.” The spirits of God came to them as they had come to the earlier Christian congregations. Thus Justin, speaking of the Christians of his own day, says: Justin, Dialogue 39, p. 132: “They receive gifts, each according to his merit, and are enlightened in the name of this Christ. One may receive a spirit of insight, another a spirit of counsel, a third a spirit of strength; still others receive spirits of healing, of foreknowledge, of teaching or of piety.” Justin, Dialogue 88, p. 318: “There are among us men and 4 [Weinel, p. 25, here cites Tat. Or. 15, p. 70.] women upon whom a spirit of God has bestowed gifts of grace.” In his dialogue with Tryphon the Jew, Justin says: Justin, Dialogue 82, p. 296: “The gifts of prophecy still exist among us, whereby you may see that the things formerly given to your lineage have now descended on us. And just as there were false prophets in the days when the holy prophets appeared among you, so there are false teachers among us today..” Those who wanted to expel communication with God’s spirits from the religion are taken to task by Irenaeus, who speaks from the standpoint of the entire Christian church of his time when he says of the sect of the Alogians: “They destroy the gift of the spirit that has been poured out to all of mankind in the latter days according to God’s will. They do not want to admit that form of evangelism described in the Gospel of John, where the Lord promised to send us the spirit world. And they reject not only the Gospel, but also the spirit of prophecy.” The term “latter days” used by Irenaeus was understood by the Christians to mean the time from the appearance of Christ until the end of the world. By “spirit of prophecy” the Christians understood a spirit that communicated God’s truth to mankind through a human medium, as was the rule in the early Christian congregations. According to early Christian doctrine, the truth could be learned only from God’s spirits. This doctrine was expressed in the maxim: “The truth must be learned where God’s gifts of grace are to be found.” Inasmuch as communication with the good spirit world was, and still is, governed by the same laws as communication with evil spirits, the teachings of both spirit worlds are outwardly similar.

- 7 - Only from the content of the messages and from the behaviour of the spirit beings that have entered the human mediums can we judge whether these messages come from good or evil, from high or low spirit beings. As for the messages themselves, in those days Jews, pagans, and Christians (Catholic and nonCatholic) all regarded them as communication from invisible spirit beings. Weinel, p. 64: “Whenever a Christian sees a vision of an angel or a demon, of Christ or of the Devil, whenever [a Christian or] a pagan or a Gnostic has a vision, it is not true, as many modern theologians claim, that what in the case of the Christian is a real experience, is merely hallucination in that of the Jew, since in each of these cases invisible, superhuman spirit beings actually revealed themselves for that space of time. And these visions may occur in the same manner each time.” Weinel, p. 64: “The activities of the holy spirits and those of the demons, however, do not only bear a general resemblance to each other, but one and the same phenomenon may be construed as the work of either a good or an evil spirit, according to the dogmatic (religious) standpoint of the author. What might be considered the work of good and holy spirits by a member of the Christian sect of the Gnostics, might appear to a Catholic as an hallucination produced by demons, and vice versa.” Weinel, p. 65: “Whenever pneumatic manifestations appear in the same spiritual and physical domain, their similarity across the centuries is most striking. The monastic mystic of the Middle Ages, the Quaker in Protestant England, the inspired Huguenot, the faith healer of the 19th century – all experience and behave precisely as did the pneumatics of the church in its formative stage.” Weinel, p. 67: “According to Christian doctrine, there are no neutral effects in the field of pneumatic (mediumistic) phenomena. Either the spirit at work is good or evil.” The methods by which spirits communicated in post-apostolic times were the same as those described in the earlier chapters on mediums in this book. The spirits did their speaking through mediums. There were “partial-trance mediums”, whose own spirit hears whatever the foreign spirit says through the medium, as well as “deep-trance mediums”, through whom a foreign spirit spoke while the medium himself was quite unconscious. A medium who spoke in a partial trance thus describes his sensations: Weinel, p. 77-78: “On these occasions I always felt myself being uplifted to God, in Whose name I therefore solemnly declare that I have never been bribed or enticed by anyone, or influenced by any worldly considerations whatever, to speak any words other than those which God’s spirit or angel itself utters through my organs of speech. To such a spirit I therefore yield the guidance of my tongue during my state of ecstasy, meanwhile using all my effort to direct my spirit toward God and to remember the words pronounced by my lips. I know that a higher and different power is speaking through me then. I do not think about it and have no idea beforehand of what I will say. It thus seems to me as if my own words are being spoken by someone else, but they leave a deep impression on my spirit.” Often, also, a spirit prays through a medium who is in a partial trance. An example of such a “prayer in spirit” is strikingly presented in the martyrdom of Polycarp. The sensation of being deeply moved is also aptly described here: Polycarp comes down from the upper story of the house where he had been hidden for safety to the soldiers waiting below, orders his servants to provide food for the soldiers, of whom he requests an hour’s undisturbed respite for prayer. “When this was granted he stood before them and, filled with the grace of God (in spirit), prayed so fervently that for two hours he could not cease, and all of his hearers were seized with fear, while many of them regretted having come to take prisoner an old man so highly favoured by God.”

- 8 - He could not remain silent. For it was not he himself that was speaking, but something else spoke from within him and would not allow him to stop. Meanwhile he is not aware of anything that is going on around him. He is utterly unaffected by exhaustion, which would ordinarily have made it impossible for a man of his age to remain standing so long. Everyone present realized that it was not Polycarp himself who spoke, but that someone else was speaking through him. A sight like this is always unnerving to those who witness it, and this is generally true whenever the spirit world from the Beyond comes into contact with people in a manner perceptible to the human senses, but especially so for those who witness it for the first time. Weinel, p. 83: “Undoubtedly the Swabian clergyman Blumhardt, at who’s praying the sick felt the spirits of disease leave them, was someone who prayed like Polycarp.” The state of “deep trance”, or actual “ecstasy”, was very prevalent among the mediums of the Montanists. Eusebius, Montanus’ opponent, says that it was reported to him that: “The recently baptized Montanus, motivated by boundless ambition, allowed the evil enemy to enter his soul. He was filled with a spirit and, having suddenly been possessed and fallen into ecstasy, began to speak in a state of great emotion, uttering foreign-sounding words. Similarly, two women aroused by him spoke, “while unconscious, quite suddenly and strangely like Montanus, filled with the same evil spirit.” The spirit speaking through Montanus explains this mediumistic state in the following words: “Behold, man is like a lyre (a musical instrument), and I fly to him like a plectrum (with which that instrument is played).” This describes accurately the relationship in which a spirit stands to the medium through whom it speaks. The medium is merely the instrument in the hands of the spirit; he is the piano and the foreign spirit is the piano player. This is so of all true mediums, without exception. The condemnation expressed by Eusebius in the foregoing sentences of the spirit influences at work in the religious congregation of the Montanists, who were, after all, Christians like himself, is the judgment of a religious opponent. It must be remembered that of all enemies, the bitterest are religious ones. Religious opponents of all times have made the freest use of the weapons of lies and slander and distortion of the truth. That spirit communication among the Montanists could not have been of the nature imputed to them by their Catholic opponents is obvious from the fact that Tertullian, the most learned and serious church teacher of the time, went over from the Catholic congregation to the Montanists. Whoever is familiar with the works of this church teacher will understand at once that the spirit manifestations that occurred among the Montanists must have been of a serious and sacred nature; otherwise, this man would never have joined that congregation. Inasmuch as the spirit workings among the Montanists attracted great attention among the Christians and did serious harm to the recognized Christian church known as the Catholic, the leaders of the Catholic Church of that time promptly proclaimed the dogma that no true instrument of God speaks while in ecstasy, that is to say, in a deep trance. They did this in spite of the fact that it was generally known that there had been many people in all ages who had spoken as instruments of God while in a state of ecstasy. Thus Athenagoras, Catholic though he was, who lived during those times, says:

- 9 - Athenagoras, Legatio 9, p. 42: “The prophets, while they were in a state of ecstatic unconsciousness and their activities were controlled by a Divine spirit, have uttered things instilled into them, a holy spirit breathing through them as a flutist plays his flute.” Elsewhere Athenagoras repeats that “the spirits have caused the prophets’ organs of speech to function as though they were instruments.” In the Justinian Oratio ad Graecos we read: “The heaven-sent Divine plectrum played the righteous as it would a musical instrument, a zither or a lyre.” Justin and Theophilus make use of the same images, saying the same thing as the spirit that spoke out of Montanus. Among the Montanists the methods of spirit communication were the same as those practiced by the earliest Christian communities. The book titled “The Shepherd of Hermas”, a spiritistic work through and through, was so highly regarded in post-apostolic days as to be added to the Holy Scriptures. This book also explains in detail how to distinguish the speaking mediums of good spirits from those of the evil ones. From what is said there it is clear that “the spirit from on high” and the terrestrial spirit cannot be distinguished by their manner of speaking. Apart from the content of what is said, Hermas identifies the following features as characteristic of the speech of good spirits through a medium: “No Divinely sent spirit will submit to being questioned.” That is, such a spirit will not allow itself to be used as an oracle, to satisfy human curiosity. Naturally, people may ask questions of a spirit, if they have failed to understand its message or if they remain in doubt as to some point or other contained therein. The good spirit world even demands this of its hearers, for it imparts its messages, teachings, and admonitions for their benefit and earnestly desires that its words be thoroughly understood and correctly construed. Hence it welcomes any necessary questions. Indeed, the spirits often invite their hearers to ask questions, even such as may have no bearing on the immediate subject of the communication. This happens in those cases in which a spirit knows that there is someone present who wants to ask a question, which, however, must never pertain to purely material issues. A second mark that distinguishes the presence of a good spirit in a medium is: “It is not for human beings to determine whether and when a spirit shall speak. A spirit speaks only when God wants it to speak.” In all communications with good spirits, it is therefore impossible to put a medium in trance for the sake of obtaining a spirit message. It comes when it is meant to come. People cannot make it come. People can, indeed, create the conditions required for spirit communication by making available the necessary odic force, but whether or not communication will follow does not depend on them. The process is described by Hermas as follows:

- 10 - “The angel of the attending prophetic spirit fills a person, and that person, filled with a holy spirit, speaks to the congregation as the Lord wills.” The deep-trance state of the Montanist mediums, and this occurs with all deep-trance mediums, is described with the words: “They bow their faces to the ground.” This appears to refer to the onset of the deep trance, for, as the medium’s own spirit leaves the body, that body sinks over forward and is returned to an erect posture only when the foreign spirit enters it. The “stepping out” or departure of the medium’s spirit is accurately expressed by the word “ecstasy”, the meaning of which is “a stepping out”. After the foreign spirit enters, the communication proceeds in complete calm, if that spirit is a good one. If, however, an evil spirit has taken possession of the medium, conditions very often arise that give even observers inexperienced in such matters the impression of demonic possession. As the Christian Tatian says, “Raving is the work of demons.” Clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience, which includes the senses of taste and smell, also occurred frequently among the Christians of the first few centuries. Much space in the book of Hermas is devoted to clairvoyance and clairaudience, for most of the communications received by him came through these channels. A female figure that he saw and heard explained the truths of the Beyond to him. She is his guide, as Beatrice was to the clairvoyant Dante – for Dante also saw most of what he wrote down in his “Divine Comedy” through clairvoyance. The martyr Polycarp also foresaw his destined death by clairvoyance. He spent his time at the country home to which he had fled with a handful of companions doing nothing “day and night” but praying for everyone and for the congregations of the whole world, as he was in the habit of doing. Three days before his capture, while he was at prayer, he had a vision in which he saw his pillow in flames. At this, he turned to those around him and said: “God has determined that I am to be burned alive.” The most frequent visions granted to clairvoyant believers in God are figures and landscapes in the Beyond, and, generally, visions of the spirit realm as a world similar to ours on earth, only spiritual instead of material. Needless to add, pagan clairvoyants had similar visions, for clairvoyance is a gift of the human spirit resulting from the configuration of the od surrounding it, enabling it to see in the same manner as a disembodied spirit. The things seen by a clairvoyant are as faithful an image as are the images of the material world seen by our physical eyes. The spirit world can show these images to a clairvoyant whenever it pleases. Od is the substance of which they are composed. It depends entirely on the inner attitude of the clairvoyant whether his visions of the Beyond are presented by the good or evil spirit world. Clairvoyance relating to things on earth and dependent on odic radiations of terrestrial beings is not affected by the clairvoyant’s inner attitude, and for this reason the pagan clairvoyants were able to foretell events on earth quite as well as the Christian clairvoyants, although the Christians claimed that demons were producing the pagans’ visions. The records of the early centuries of the Christian era are filled with such instances of clairvoyance and clairaudience. When Polycarp died a martyr’s death in Smyrna, Irenaeus, who happened to be in Rome at the time, heard a trumpetlike voice proclaim: “Polycarp has become a martyr.”

- 11 - As regards mediumistic writing, many leading Christians of the time assert that they were inspired by the spirit world in their writing. The development of mediums in the post-apostolic age was the same as in the first Christian congregations, taking place at the gatherings for Divine service. According to Hermas, a prophet would enter the “pneumatic” state while the congregation prayed together, all of those present joining hands to symbolize unity. The closed circuit of odic current thus formed furnished the spirit world with the material it needed for developing mediums and for delivering its messages through those mediums who were already developed. Anyone who has witnessed the development of mediums will readily understand the description of the mediumistic proceedings of those times, since they were the same as today. When Eusebius reports that the Church did not permit its adherents to allow themselves to be developed as prophets by others, or to undertake it on their own, this, too, is perfectly clear to anyone familiar with the subject. Just as a person could become a medium at meetings held for Divine worship, the same end could be accomplished by a psychically inclined individual if he got together privately with a few others for Divine worship, or if he merely sat down by himself for spiritual concentration, the only difference being that the development of a medium progressed much more rapidly at harmonious larger gatherings than in the presence of only a few others or if he were completely alone. The combined odic power of a large congregation is far more effective in sustaining the work of the spirit world than the much less powerful odic force of a handful of people or that of a single individual. Nevertheless, little by little, the odic power of an individual who knows how to achieve inner concentration will become so great that he may develop into a medium, although in this case much more time is required. The prohibition by the later Christian Church, or more accurately the Catholic Church, of the selfdevelopment of a medium or development with the help of others was issued at a time when communication with spirits had ceased, even at gatherings for Divine service, because the leaders of the Church forcibly suppressed such activities. Their reasons for this opposition to spiritism were the same as those of today’s Christian churches when they act hostile towards Spiritism and Spiritualism. The leaders of a church that has become a closed worldly organization are not willing to tolerate the competition of a spirit world. Even in the days of Irenaeus the old Church had become an established worldly body, in which clerical officialdom ruled the faithful. The bishops were no longer named by the manifesting spirit world, but were appointed or elected by human agencies. They were also no longer content with the serving role of the “episkopos” of the first Christians, but regarded themselves as the bearers of the traditional doctrinal truths and as their legitimate interpreters. But whenever mortals who were not chosen for the task by a spirit of God lay hands on things that are holy, desecration follows hard on its heels. The same applies to the “presbyters” [elders] of later days contrasted with the “presbyters” of apostolic times. If, then, one wants, purely from the history of religion, to characterize in a few

- 12 - words the difference between the original Christianity and the later “Catholic Church”, one must say: “In Christianity, in its original form, the word of God’s spirits was everything and the word of human beings was nothing. In the Catholic Church of later days, the word of human beings was everything, and the word of God’s spirits was nothing.”

- 13 - 4. 0 The effects of Spirits on the Lives of a Protestant and a Catholic Clergyman in the 19th Century 4. 1 Clergyman Johann Christoph Blumhardt A biography of Johann Christoph Blumhardt, one of the most prominent clergymen of the German Protestant Church of the 19th Century, who lived from 1805 to 1880, was written by Friedrich Zuendel2. A great part of that book is devoted to accounts of the manifestations of the spirit world that played an important part in Blumhardt’s life and in his pastoral activities. The facts related are of particular importance to the understanding of modern spirit communication, since not the slightest doubt can attach to the reality of the manifestations and because the occurrences are identical to those in all ages of the history of mankind. Blumhardt set down his experiences with the spirit world in a report addressed to his ecclesiastical superiors and with strict regard for the truth, adding nothing and leaving nothing out. This is evidenced by the foreword with which he introduced his report: “In submitting the following paper to my ecclesiastic authority, I feel the urgent need to declare that I have never before expressed myself to anyone with equal boldness and freedom from restraint about my experiences….. Therefore, since most of what I have set down has so far been a secret that I could have carried with me to the grave, I was entirely free to select whatever I felt inclined to include in this report, and it would have been easy for me to give an account that anyone could read without taking the least offense. This, however, I could not bring myself to do, and although at almost every paragraph I was assailed by the fear that I might be acting hastily and recklessly in laying everything bare, a voice within me was continually urging: ‘Out with it!’ May the risk be taken, then, and I do so in the name of Jesus, the victorious. To act openly and honestly in this very matter, I regarded not only as my duty toward my highly revered ecclesiastic authority, who have every right to expect frankness on my part, but as my duty to the Lord Jesus, whose cause alone it was that I championed. However, since this is the first time that I am speaking without any restraint whatever, it is my earnest wish that my statements be regarded as private and as though a close friend were laying his secrets in the lap of his friends. My second request may also be pardonable: that my honoured readers may read everything I have set down several times before passing judgment. Meanwhile I put my trust in Him Who has our hearts in His keeping, and whatever the judgments may be, I shall have the consolation of knowing that I have spoken the truth without reservation and, what is more, the unshakable conviction that ‘Jesus is victorious!’” Further light is thrown on his report by Blumhardt in his reply to an attack by a Dr. de Valenti, in which Blumhardt says: “I might, indeed, as may be contended, have been cleverer and conveniently omitted those parts of my report that could be construed as the most boundless conceit, since we have long been accustomed to stories of demonic phenomena, especially those dealing with somnambulism, that have no reasonable outcome. All this I felt very clearly, so do not think that my exceeding frankness is due to stupidity. If I had to make a report, and I had been called upon to do so, I did not want to distort the truth by creating the impression that my experiences were nothing more than another case of demonic charlatanism or oddity, such as have been heard and seen so often within the past few decades. I would have been ashamed to take my place in the ranks of those eccentric adventurers who only too often use the apparitions and manifestations from the other world for frivolous ends; I approached the subject with the fear of God in my heart, and if the matter assumed a much more serious aspect than usually happens in similar cases, that was the very fact that I had to make clear to my authority for my own justification, if for no other 2 Friedrich Zuendel: Johann Christoph Blumhardt. Ein Lebensbild. Brunnen Publishing Co., Giessen, 1926. The facts presented in the present chapter have been taken from the work in question, to which the page references also refer. The Author.

- 14 - reason. If I was to write down anything at all, I had to write down everything; hence, I related openly and unreservedly how I acted and thought. By so doing, I could await any outcome with perfect confidence, and if I had made a mistake, or misunderstood, or engaged in self-deception, then my authority would know this or be able to judge accordingly. I am not willing to take a dumbly stubborn stand, such as is adopted today by many erroneous schools of thought and demonic clergy, for people who have been misled secretly brood over many things, and allow no one a look into their secrets who is not wholly committed to their side. I wanted my case to be brought out into the open light and judged in the open light, but, mind you, only as something on the order of a secret of the confessional and only towards my superiors. In them I would confide, and, for the present, in nobody else. I have kept my word.” In Blumhardt’s parish there lived a poor family named Dittus, consisting of three sisters and two brothers. One of the sisters was called Gottliebin and was 25 years of age. In the spring of 1840 this family had moved into the ground floor of a sparse house in Möttlingen, Blumhardt’s parish. It was not long before Gottliebin Dittus thought that she was experiencing inexplicable happenings. She had the sensation of hearing and seeing uncanny things about the house. Indeed, on the very first day on which they had moved in, she had, while saying grace at the table, been seized with an attack that caused her to fall to the floor, senseless. Often, also, there were constantly recurring sounds of banging and shuffling in the bedroom, the sitting room and the kitchen. This terrified the Dittus family as well as the people who occupied the upper story, but no one had the courage to speak of the matter. Gottliebin felt that her hands were laid forcibly over one other during the night. She saw figures and lights. Only occasional rumours of these matters reached the clergyman, Blumhardt, who paid no further attention to them. This spookiness had been going on for more than two years, when relatives of the girl called Blumhardt’s attention to her pitiful condition and asked for his help. In the meantime, the din in the house had become so terrible that it could be heard for some distance throughout the neighbourhood, just as if laborers were working on the house. Gottliebin had particularly frequent visions of a Möttlingen woman who had died two years previously and who appeared carrying a dead child in her arms. This woman, whose name Gottliebin at first did not mention, always stood in the same place by her bed, occasionally moved toward her and kept repeating the words: “I want rest.” or: “Give me paper, and I will not come anymore!” Blumhardt made arrangements to have a woman friend sleep with Gottliebin, in order to divert her mind from these matters, but the friend also heard the nightly din. Both of them saw a light flare up; following the direction from which it came, they found, under a board, a sooty sheet of paper with illegible writing on it. Beside it lay three crown talers and several other papers, also covered with soot on the inside. From that time on it was quiet in the house, and Blumhardt had begun to believe that the ghost story was over. However, after two weeks the din began again, and increased from day to day. Dr. Späth, a physician to whom Gottliebin had confided everything, spent two nights in her room in the company of several other persons. What he experienced there exceeded all his expectations. The stir caused by these events spread rapidly, drawing the curious from far and near, as is always the case when people are looking for a sensational experience, especially in matters of this nature. Blumhardt resolved to put an end to the scandal and to take drastic measures. He chose six of the most serious minded and trustworthy men of his parish to assist him in investigating the occurrences.

- 15 - Accompanied by them he went to the house one evening. While he remained in the sitting room in order to observe Gottliebin, the others spread out by twos inside and outside the building. On this evening these seven men were witnesses to the fact that within three hours, 25 blows were struck at a certain point in the bedroom, so violently as to cause an empty chair that stood there to leap clear off the floor, the windows to rattle and the plaster to fall from the ceiling. These terrific blows, which sounded in the street like the discharge of firearms at a New Year’s celebration, were heard by all the inhabitants of the village. When Gottliebin, to whom the vision of the woman carrying the dead child had appeared again, asked Blumhardt whether she should tell him the woman’s name, he emphatically declined. The following day Blumhardt was informed that Gottliebin was in a state of deep unconsciousness and on the point of death. He hastened to her and found her stretched out rigidly on the bed, the outer skin of her head and arms aglow and shaking; besides that, she seemed to be choking. The room was packed with people, among them a physician from a neighbouring village who happened to be in town and tried to restore her to life, but who went away shaking his head, obviously at a loss. Half an hour later she awoke, and told Blumhardt that she had again seen the figure of the woman with the dead child, but that she had fallen down unconscious the instant the vision had appeared. Blumhardt now took the girl out of the house and had her move into the home of a responsible family, where no one was allowed to visit her, not even her own brothers and sisters. Blumhardt relates his personal feelings in the following words: “I had a particular dread of somnambulistic apparitions, which so often give rise to most unpleasant notoriety and which, heretofore, have been of so little benefit to anyone. Since, in any event, the field that opened up here was a mysterious and a dangerous one, I could not refrain from laying the matter before the Lord in solitary prayer, begging Him to preserve me and others from any folly and error into which we might be led. It distressed us deeply to feel that the Devil should still be so powerful and should be able to spread such hitherto unrecognized diabolical nets over mankind. Our heartfelt sympathy extended not only to the poor woman, whose pitiful state we could see, but to the millions who have departed from God and who have become enmeshed in the secret bonds of magic. We prayed that, in this instance at least, God might grant us victory, and trample Satan underfoot.” Presently, however, the matter began anew in the quarters into which Gottliebin had moved. As soon as the din and blows were heard, Gottliebin would fall into violent convulsions, which kept increasing in intensity and duration. One day, when these spasms were so violent that the bedstead fell apart, Dr. Späth, who was in attendance, remarked, as the tears rose to his eyes: “One would think that there is no clergyman in this village from the way this sick girl is left lying there. This is nothing natural.” Blumhardt took the physician’s words to heart and visited Gottliebin more often. One day when both he and Dr. Spaeth were with her, her whole body began to tremble, while every muscle in her head and arms twitched feverishly, although otherwise her body lay there stiff and rigid. Meanwhile there were frequent emissions of foam from her mouth. The physician, who had never before seen anything of the kind, seemed at a loss. Suddenly she awoke and was able to sit up and drink some water; one could hardly believe that she was the same person. Day by day Blumhardt grew more convinced that something demonic was at work here. One day, as though by inspiration, he therefore stepped up to the patient on the occasion of one of her attacks,

- 16 - forcibly folded her rigidly cramped hands for prayer, and, calling her name loudly into her ear although she was unconscious, he said: “Fold your hands and pray: ‘Lord Jesus, help me!’ We have long enough witnessed the doings of the Devil; now we want to see what Jesus can do!” After a few moments the girl awoke and in prayer repeated the words; to the great astonishment of all present, her cramps ceased. This was, according to Blumhardt’s own admission, the turning point of his life. For the next few hours, the patient was left in peace, but then the cramps returned more violently than ever. Again, Blumhardt had her repeat the plea: “Lord Jesus, help me.” Again, the cramps ceased at once. Later, when Blumhardt visited her again, she exhibited new symptoms. The sick woman flew into a rage at his appearance and struck at him, without, however, actually touching him. Finally, she beat the bed with her hands, and it looked as though some spiritual force were radiating from her fingertips. This lasted for some time, after which she became calm again. Her relief, however, was of short duration. Presently sounds like finger tapping were heard all around her, and she received a sudden blow on the chest that caused her to sink down backwards. She also saw the female figure she had seen at her former lodging, and this time Gottliebin revealed the apparition’s name to the clergyman. It was a widow who had died a few years previously and whom Blumhardt remembered well from his pastoral activities. While she was alive she had been in low spirits, seeking peace and not finding it. Thereupon Blumhardt began to pray loudly and spoke the name of Jesus. Immediately Gottliebin rolled her eyes and flung her hands apart, while a voice was heard that was at once recognizable as a foreign one, not so much because of its sound as because of the expressions used and the tenor of the remarks. It cried: “I cannot bear to hear that name.” Everyone present shuddered. Blumhardt relates: “I had never before heard anything of the kind and silently appealed to God for wisdom and caution. Finally, I asked: ‘Can you find no peace in the grave?’ The voice answered: ‘No.’ – Question: ‘Why not?’ – Answer: ‘It is the punishment for my sins. I murdered two children and buried them in the field.’ –