In 1850, the fishily named Joseph Haddock wrote Psychology, or the Science of the Soul, which focussed chiefly on mesmerism. There is also a chapter on “Clairvoyance as applied to physiology and medicine”. I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions about the extraordinary claims made by the author…
For more than eighteen months, Emma has been able to see the internal organs of the human body. At first, only when placed in personal connection with the individual to be examined; but subsequently, when the parties were many miles distant. In her best state, the human body seems to her completely transparent, and might be compared to a watch, whose case and works were all of the most transparent chrystal. I discovered this power from her remarks on myself. One evening she began to describe my lungs, as “pink things,”‘ full of holes like a sponge, with air in the holes, and thousands of little veins in all directions. She said the right lung was not so good a color as the left, and that it stuck at the middle flap. This I knew to be the case, and thought she might only be giving utterance to my own ideas. But I soon found that this was not the case; but, as in the case of the pictures, she really did see what she described. I asked her some questions about the heart, which she accurately described, as to the auricles and ventricles; the contained arterial and venous blood, etc.; but, as might be expected, in very homely language. I thought her at fault once; but found, that while I was thinking about the heart, she had wandered to the windpipe, with its rings. It was some time after the discovery of this faculty, before it could be used without inconvenience; for when her attention was directed to the internal organs of the body, the strangeness of the sight, together with the universal motion, and circulating blood, so terrified her, that she would tremble from head to foot; and, when awakened, complained of being ill and frighened, without knowing the cause. But, by degrees, she became familiarized with these investigations, and she will now calmly, and without any fear, examine and describe the internal organs. Her manner on these occasions is always serious and kind; her language soft, but, from her want of education, imperfect. Had she received an anatomical education, her gift would be more valuable, or rather, more accurate descriptions could be given; but, on the other hand, her want of education proves that she does not derive the knowledge of the internal organism of the body which she evinces, from her previously stored memory. The application of this power, appears to be one of the most legitimate uses of clairvoyance, and perhaps the most beneficial in its application. By it an accurate diagnosis may be formed of many internal diseases, which elude the ordinary mode of research. But to make a clairvoyant diagnosis, truly satisfactory, it often requires the aid of the medical practitioner, or the professed anatomist and physiologist, rightly to interpret the language of the clairvoyant. Many curious points in physiology, which, from the nature of the case, rested rather upon rational induction than positive demonstration, have, to my mind, been satisfactorily determined by the revealments of clairvoyance; especially as regards the action of the brain and nervous system, and the action of the heart; and the knowledges thus obtained have an important bearing on the mode by which diseases of these important organs may be cured.
On the 4th of August, 1848, a gentleman of Bolton brought a letter, written by a lady, the wife of a physician in Gloucestershire, and this lady, who had heard of other clairvoyants describing the diseases of distant people, merely by using their handwriting as a medium of communication, desired that it should be given to Emma, to ascertain whether she could discover the condition of the writer. It must be remembered that Emma could not read printing, much less writing; the subject matter of the letter was of no consequence, it was the handwriting, as a medium of connection. Emma put it over her head, as she used to do with pictures, and carefully felt it with her right fingers, and then said “it was a lady’s up and down strokes” meaning by that phrase, the handwriting of a lady. She described the lady, as to her personal appearance, accurately, even to a small blemish occasioned by an accident; the internal organs of the body; an affection of the spine under which she was laboring; the situation and appearance of the place where she resided, and many more particulars. The accuracy of her descriptions was admitted by the doctor; and, subsequently, I had an opportunity, personally, to verify some of her statements. The envelope of the letter was directed by the doctor; him she described correctly, both as to his personal character, general pursuits, and literary tendencies. This was an entirely new experiment; and finding the result so unexpected and striking, it led to many more; some of which were, apparently, more remarkable. Among others, I may mention the case of a letter written by a gentleman at Cairo, which was put into her hand. She soon said it was written by a gentleman, and described him, as to the condition of his health, and the place where he was residing, together with the climate and appearance of the people there, even to the peculiar veil worn by the Egyptian ladies. The correctness of her statement, as to the gentleman’s condition, was ascertained from a subsequent letter. Locks of hair have also been similarly used as a medium; but the handwriting appeared to be the easier and better mode of forming the connection.
On the 29th of September, 1848, an opportunity was afforded for an entirely new manifestation of Emma’s powers. A highly respectable gentleman of Manchester, having, at that time, a daughter seriously ill with a cerebral disease, which baffled the ordinary medical treatment, and which, in addition to bodily infirmity, had produced a state of insanity, had been recommended to try whether by clairvoyance a mode of cure could be discovered. He came on the previous day; but Emma then being in the state- of trance, to be presently described, he could not obtain the information sought. He left with me a few pencil marks made by the lady, as a means of forming a medium of connection. On the date above, I gave this piece of paper to Emma, and asked her if she could find the person who made the marks, and tell me what was the matter with her; for at that time I had no idea of her selecting any appropriate remedies. She soon found the lady; described, accurately, the external symptoms of her complaint, and also the internal condition of her brain; to which organ she referred the whole cause of illness. After recommending various mesmeric passes, she exclaimed, pointing at the same time toward the ceiling of the room — ” There is what will cure that lady, along with mesmerism; Eh! what little bottles!” These she described as, containing little things like the small comfits, generally called “thousands.” I said, “Is there any thing like them in my shop or surgery ?” “No! you have nothing like them.” “Where can they be obtained?” “There — in that bis: town (pointing toward Manchester), in that shop with a head in the window; they are kept there in a drawer.” It would not have occurred to me what medicines she meant, but that in the previous month, when in London, I had been shown, by a lady, a case of homeopathic medicines. I do not recollect ever before seeing any; and I was quite ignorant at that time as to the mode of preparing and using them. I am certain also, that in her normal state Emma knew nothing about, nor had ever seen, any of these medicines. The shop, I subsequently found, was Mr. Turner’s, homeopathic chemist, Piccadilly, Manchester, and in the shop window, there was a bust of Huhneman, the founder of homeopathy. But I was ignorant that there was such a shop in that neighborhood, having seldom occasion to go to that part of the city. I wrote to the gentleman informing him of Emma’s remarks; and he directly purchased a case from Mr. Turner, and came over to Bolton to ascertain the particulars. The sealed box was put into Emma’s hand, and as soon as she had put it over her head, she said that it contained the medicines she before saw; and pointed especially to the situation of one bottle in the case. When the case was opened, she selected a bottle from the place she had pointed out, and tasted the globules through the glass, without attempting to draw the cork. By way of test, the bottle was put into another part of the case, and other bottles slipped into her hand; but she invariably detected the change, by tasting through the glass, and putting the bottle to her forehead. From that time, the prescribed globules were daily administered, and the mesmeric passes regularly made; and the result is, the restoration of the lady to health, both in mind and body.
The result of this experiment opened a new field for inquiry, and led to repeated trials. A quantity of the usual medicines were mixed with sugar, and put into small vials, and given her with the homeopathic medicines, and these she would select and test in the same way; namely, by tasting them through the bottle. Sometimes she would select homeopathic remedies; at other times, the usual ones. She invariably calls those which she considers suitable for the disease, nice; the others she calls nasty; but I sometimes found, that the ” nice” medicines were intensely bitter; such, for instance, as the sulphate of quinine. How she obtains this intuitive knowledge of medicines I cannot discover. The homeopathic remedies have generally been the best that could be selected according to that theory of therapeutics; and the usual medicines have been quite as judiciously prescribed, as to their qualities; but of the quantity, and mode of preparation she was unable to speak. Sometimes she was unable to point out any remedies for the disorders she described; and hence the necessity for a knowledge of the properties of medicine, in some one, in order to profit by her revealments. Her powers appear to be chiefly applicable to nervous diseases, and diseases of the lungs, liver, and heart. Many cases have been submitted to her, from different parts of the country; and some of these, of a most serious character, have been rapidly cured by an adoption of the means recommended. Since the period when this faculty for examining and prescribing for distant patients was discovered, a change has passed over her; and she can now do without any medium of connection; but requires the name and address of the party seeking relief, and that appears to be sufficient to enable her to discover them. But the handwriting of the patient, or the intervention of some friend, seems to insure greater accuracy. Upon awakening from these clairvoyant examinations, Emma has no recollection of any thing she has said or done; they being, in this respect, like all other mesmeric trances. But of course, the information thus obtained is available to the medical practitioner in all similar cases.
Her statements of the way in which some diseases are removed, and of the permeability of the solid tissues of the body, are very remarkable; but at the same time are in accordance with the suggestions of profound physiologists; and, moreover, they seem to be borne out by the facts of the case.
That exalted sense, before referred to, which enables her to see things to which her attention is directed, as apparently within the sphere of vision, whatever their locality, is also manifest, though in another mode, in her selection of medicines; for by tasting through the bottle, she has been enabled to identify the homeopathic globules with the tinctures from which they are prepared! This may be considered one of the strongest proofs that a medicinal virtue resides in them; for so highly attenuated are the dilutions with which they are saturated, that to the ordinary sense, they all taste alike, and merely of the sugar of milk, of which the body of the globule is composed; and I understand that they are not cognizable, even by chemical test.
The foregoing notes refer to the phenomena witnessed in the state of induced extasis, or mesmeric trance; the ensuing very briefly relate states of a much higher, or more interior character, and differing, in some respects essentially, from the observed facts of ordinary mesmerism.
Frequently during the spring and summer, Emma would, in the mesmeric state, speak of the scenery and nature of the spirit-world, in such a way as to impress the beholder with a conviction that the descriptions she gave could not be the result of any previously acquired knowledge, or of an active imagination. She also occasionally spoke of things which had actually occurred, but which it was impossible for her to know by any ordinary means. Her ideas of religion were principally derived from the teachings of a village schoolmistress, in connection with the Church of England, and from occasional attendance at the public services of the church. She had been taught to read a little when a child, but had lost the acquirement through a fever; and, as before observed, at this time she could not read, nor even correctly tell the letters of the alphabet; and yet the ideas to which she sometimes gave utterance were of an elegant and exalted description. As she still continued to have no recollection of what she uttered when she returned to the normal state, I one day said to her, “Emma, I have heard of some persons having seen such things as you speak of, but they could recollect what they saw, and write an account of it in books.” She replied, “Yes; because it was permitted them; and she should also be permitted by and by to recollect what she saw.” I did not tell her this when she awoke; nor did I expect then that her prediction would be verified. But subsequent events proved that she was correct in making this assertion.
The first of these spontaneous states of extasis, or spiritual trance, occurred on the 3rd of July, 1848, without any expectation or forewarning on her part. This did not last more than a quarter of an hour. Afterward she had several which lasted about half an hour; and since those, some which have extended from four to ten hours. Of most of these states, she had a presentiment while in the mesmeric state; and in one instance foretold the occurrence nearly two months before it happened. But she knew nothing of what was forthcoming while in her ordinary wakeful state ; and for the sake of experiment, and to test the truthfulness of her predictions, she was never informed when these trances were to occur; yet she was found correct, even to the exact time. They have usually been preceded by a feeling of quietness, and a somewhat confused sensation in the head, but no pain. Several gentlemen whom I had apprised of her statements, have been witnesses of their accuracy, and of the genuineness of this abnormal condition.
In these states she preserved a recollection, at times, of the place she was actually in, and of the persons by whom she was surrounded, and, at the same time, she had a distinct and sensational perception of a higher and spiritual state of existence, and of a class of beings living in such a state. She would speak of these things while in the trance, and on her return to the normal state she could recollect, and would again describe what she had seen and heard. During the first trance, of four hours duration, which occurred on the 28th of September, 1848, she was so far elevated in her perceptions that she spoke of this world, as the other world, just as if she had passed from this life by death. She said, also, that the perons in the room with her appeared only like shadows, and a long way from her. Upon examination she was found, in this and other trances, insensible to pain, and her eyes upturned, as in the ordinary mesmeric state, and her limbs continued flexible. At times she would seem wholly indrawn, and then she would, as it were, return and speak of what was passing before her mental vision. But in the next trance, of six hours’ duration, and subsequently, she became for a part of it quite insensible to all outward things, and perfectly cataleptic from head to foot. A gentleman from Manchester, who was present with me on this occasion, assisted me to raise her body, and we found it as stiff and inflexible as a log of wood.
I took the opportunity, during one of these trances, to ascertain whether she could see concealed natural substances, as in the ordinary mesmeric state. I put my hand in my pocket and withdrew it with a shilling concealed in the closed fist. I inquired, “What have I in my hand ?” “Only a shilling,” was the immediate reply. It must be remembered that the eyelids were closed, and the eyeballs up-turned, so as totally to prevent ordinary vision. I then put my hand into my pocket again, and withdrew it with a half-a-crown and a shilling enclosed, and asked her, “Can you see what is now in my hand ?” she replied, “Stop a little, till I’ve seen these,”alluding to the spiritual objects then engrossing her attention; but when I again asked her, she was about coming out of the trance, and could not then see.
One instance of her sight will be related, because it is a proof that there is a reality in her extatic perceptions, and that she then eminently possesses a super-sensual gift. On the 11th of July she told me, when in the mesmeric state, that an individual whom I well knew, but who had been dead for some years, had told her that on the following night they should come to her, and show her a book with some writing in, which she was to take and show to me. From some of her remarks, I concluded that one of three books was intended : — one, a small bible, not then in the house. Former experience having convinced me of the reality of her observations, and the certainty of her predictions, I got this little bible, and put it with the other books, among many more. In the night she awoke in a state of trance, similar to somnambulism, and descending two flights of stairs, selected this book from all the others, and then brought it open to me. Owing to the darkness, I inadvertently knocked the book out of her hand, while seeking a light. She speedily found the place again, by turning over the pages right and left, over her head, in her usual mesmeric manner. The passage selected was Joshua, chap. 1st, verses 8, 9. Frequently afterward, by way of test, this bible was given to her to point out this text; and this she invariably did before many persons without attempting to look at it, but by feeling the pages and turning them over while the book was over her head. She also told me circumstances connected with the history of that book, which I am positive she could not know by any of the usual means; for some were only known to myself. She was asked to tell by what means she found the passage, as she could not read, and was also in the dark. She replied, that the individuals alluded to, whom she said she saw in their spiritual body, had a similar book, but a larger one, open upon the left arm, and that they pointed with the right hand to the pages, and the same text; that her hands seemed guided in their movements, and when she had got the right place, she could no longer turn the pages, either to the right or to the left! Another instance of a similar kind occurred a few weeks later. After the lapse of some months, she was again tried with the small bible; but having then lost the connecting influence, she could no longer find the passage as she had previously done.
The subjects of these trances would afford matter for many pages; but some were of a private character, and, although highly interesting to the parties concerned, would not be interesting to others, except as illustrating the nature of the spirit’s home, and some of the general laws by which spiritual associations are regulated. All that she has said tends to confirm the distinction between moral good and moral evil, and the impossibility of those who depart this life in a state of moral evil, attaining hereafter, to a state of moral goodness; in this respect, being strikingly dissimilar to the statements of Davis, the American clairvoyant; but who, according to his own subsequent statements, had never been in the state of true spiritual extasis, when he delivered his lectures in the mesmeric state.
Her general statements represent man as a spiritual being, rising from the shell of the dead body immediately after death, a perfectly organized existence, and having a complete sensational perception of his fellow spiritual beings, and of the beautiful scenery of the spiritual spheres; that is, provided he possessed during his natural life a moral state, in harmony with those spheres. The male and female sex retaining all the characterises necessary to a spiritual state of existence, and living together in a state of angelic union. Those who have been interiorly united here, coming again into a state of union hereafter. She represents male and female spiritual beings, thus united, as appearing at a distance as one, and says that they are not called two, nor the married, but the one. Infants and young children, who have passed from this world by death, are stated to grow to a state of adolescence, but more speedily than in the natural world. During infancy and early childhood, they are confided to the care of good female spirits, or angels, whose delight it is to instruct them by various methods, especially by representatives of things. These spiritual spheres, and their spiritual inhabitants, are in close association with us, and exercise an influence over us, although we are unconscious of it. All that is wanted to have a sensational knowledge of their existence, is the closing of the external consciousness, and a full awakening of the internal consciousness. In the highest state of trance, she appeared to herself, to be among spiritual beings, as one of themselves; at other times she appeared to them more shadowy. The first receptacle of the departed spirit she describes as a sort of middle place or state, from which the good gradually ascend to higher and more delightful places; those that are the best having higher abodes than the others. All are welcomed by angelic spirits, on their arrival in the spirit-world; but the evil will not associate with the good, and recede of their own accord, more or less rapidly, to darker places below and to the left; but of these darker places, she had not been permitted to know so much as of the abodes of the good.
Being asked, in one of these long trances, if she now could explain how she saw distant individuals in the mesmeric state; she said, “Yes; I can see how it is now, but I could not before;” and then stated that if spirits wished to see each other, distance is no interruption; and words to the effect that spirits are not subject to our laws of space and time; and that man, as to his spirit, is a subject of the laws of the spirit-world, even while united to the natural body. The opening of her spiritual consciousness, gives her a sensational perception of the spirits of all to whom her attention is directed ; and thus, however distant the individual, he can be mentally present with her. But this she further represented, as being accomplished by the aid of intermediate associate spirits, by whom the connection is completed; and she further represented every one, as having a connection with the spirit- world generally; and a more particular one, by means of this associate spirit. Whenever Emma speaks of going into a trance, she always represents it as “going away” and “going a very long way”. Of any one that is dead, she says, ” They have left their shell and gone away,” and will never admit that they are dead.
In the mesmeric state, Emma represented the fibres of her brain as falling forward, and the hemispheres separating at the top, when she became lucid; and she further said, that a brain capable of these movements was necessary in order to attain a state of lucidity. In one of the spontaneous trances, I asked her if she could see me in the same manner as when mesmerised. She replied, that she had no recollection of the state of her brain while in the mesmeric state; but that in the state she then was, every thing seemed light, or rather was seen in light. She knew that she did not see with the eye, and yet somehow she seemed to use her eyes. She saw me plainly; yet I did not appear as I ordinarily did; she could not explain the difference, only that I appeared light. It appeared to her, that light issued from within, outward. During a subsequent long trance, I inquired whether she could see my lungs then as she had done when mesmerised. She replied in the negative, and said, “! can only see you as a cloud; yet I know it is you.”