Book: "Raymond or Life and Death"

Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS

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- (Part 2) Chapter 14 - Supernormal Portion -

First Sitting of Lionel (Anonymous)


          AT length, on 17 November 1915, Raymond's brother Lionel (L. L.) went to London to see if he could get an anonymous sitting with Mrs. Leonard, without the intervention of Mrs. Kennedy or anybody. He was aware that by that time the medium must have sat with dozens of strangers and people not in any way connected with our family, and fortunately he succeeded in getting admitted as a complete stranger. This therefore is worth reporting, and the contemporary record follows. A few portions are omitted, partly for brevity, partly because private, but some non-evidential and what may seem rather absurd statements are reproduced, for what they are worth. It must be understood that Feda is speaking throughout, and that she is sometimes reporting in the third person, sometimes in the first, and sometimes speaking for herself. It is unlikely that lucidity is constant all the time, and Feda may have to do some padding. She is quite good and fairly careful, but of course, like all controls, she is responsible for certain mannerisms, and in her case for childishly modified names like 'Paulie,' etc. The dramatic circumstances of a sitting will be familiar to people of experience. The record tries to reproduce them - probably with but poor success. And it is always possible that the attempt, however conscientious, may furnish opportunity for ridicule, if any hostile critic thinks ridicule appropriate.

L. L.'s Sitting with Mrs. Leonard at her house, as a stranger, no one else being present, 12 o'clock, Wednesday, 17 November 1915.

Introduction by OJL

Lionel wrote to Mrs. Leonard at her old address in Warwick Avenue, for I had forgotten that she had moved, and I had not told him her new address. He wrote on plain paper from Westminster without signing it, saying that he would be coming at a certain time. But she did not get the letter; so that, when he arrived about noon on Wednesday, 17 November, he arrived as a complete stranger without an appointment. He had at first gone to the wrong house and been redirected. Mrs. Leonard answered the door. She took him in at once when he said he wanted a sitting. She drew the blind down, and lit a red lamp as usual. She told him that she was controlled by Feda Very quickly-in about two minutes-the trance began, and Feda spoke. Here follows his record:

Report by L. L.

Subsequent annotations, in square brackets, are by OJL.

Good morning!

Why, you are psychic yourself! L. L.-I didn't know I was.

It will come out later.

There are two spirits standing by you; the elder is fully built up, but the younger is not clear yet.

The elder is on the tall side, and well built; he has a beard round his chin, but no moustache.

(This seemed to worry Feda, and she repeated it several times, as if trying to make it clear.)

A beard round chin, and hair at the sides, but tipper lip shaved. A good forehead, eyebrows heavy and rather straight - not arched - eyes greyish; hair thin on top, and grey at the sides and back. It looks as if it had been brown before it went gray. A fine-looking face. He is building up something. He suffered here before he passed out (medium indicating chest or stomach). Letter W is held up. (See photograph facing p. 258.)

[This is the one that to other members of the family had been called Grandfather W., P. 143-1

There is another spirit.

Somebody is laughing.

Don't joke - it is serious.

(This was whispered, and sounded as if said to some one else, not to me.)

It's a young man, about twenty-three, or might be twenty-five, judging only by appearance. Tall; well-built; not stout, well-built; brown hair, short at the sides and back; clean shaven; face more oval than round; nose not quite straight, rather rounded, and broader at the nostrils.

(Whispering.) Feda can't see his face.

(Then clearly.) He won't let Feda see his face; he is laughing.

(Whispered several times.) L, L, L.

(Then said out loud.) L. This is not his name; he puts it by you.

(Whispering again.) Feda knows him-Raymond.

Oh, it's Raymond!

(The medium here jumps about, and fidgets with her hands, just as a child would when pleased.)

That is why he would not show his face, because Feda would know him.

He is patting you on the shoulder hard. You can't feel it, but he thinks he is hitting you hard.

[It seems to have been a trick of his to pat a brother on the shoulder gradually harder and harder till humorous retaliation set in.]

He is very bright.

This is the way it is given-it's an impression.

He has been trying to come to you at home, but there has been some horrible mix-ups; not really horrible, but a muddle. He really got through to you, but other conditions get through there, and mixes him up.

[This evidently refers to some private 'Mariemont' sittings, without a medium, with which neither Feda nor Mrs. Leonard had had anything to do. It therefore shows specific knowledge and is of the nature of a mild cross-correspondence; cf. P. 217.1

L. L.--How can we improve it?

He does not understand it sufficiently himself yet. Other spirits get in, not bad spirits, but ones that like to feel they are helping - The peculiar manifestations are not him, and it only confuses him terribly. Part of it was him,but when the table was careering about, it was not him at all. He started it, but something comes along stronger than himself, and he loses the control.

(Whispered.) Feda, can't you suggest something?"

[This seemed to be a reported part of conversation on the other side.]

Be very firm when it starts to move about.

Prayer helps when things are not relevant.

He is anxious about F.

L. L.-I don't know who F. is. Is it some friend?

(Medium here fidgets.)

Letter F. all right; it's some one he is interested in.

He says he is sorry he worried his mother about [an incident mentioned at some previous sitting].

L. L.-Was it a mistake?

Yes, tell her, because (etc. etc.). When I thought it over I knew it was a mistake. If it had been now, and I had a little more experience in control, I should not have said so; but it was at the beginning-everything seemed such a rush - and I was not quite sure of what I did get through. He did not look at things in the right perspertive 

L.L.- Perspective?

Yes, that's what he said.

Do you follow me, old chap?

L. L.-Perfectly.

L. L.-Do you remember a sitting at home when you told me you had a lot to tell me?

Yes. What he principally wanted to say was about the place he is in. He could not spell it all out-too laborious. He felt rather upset at first. You do not feel so real as people do where he is, and walls appear transparent to him now. The great thing that made him reconciled to his new surroundings was-that things appear so solid and substantial. The first idea upon waking up was, I suppose, of what they call 'passing over.' It was only for a second or two, as you count time, [that it seemed a] shadowy vague place, everything vapoury and vague. He had that feeling about it.

The first person to meet him was Grandfather.

(This was said very carefully, as if trying to get it right with difficulty.)

And others then, some of whom he had only heard about. They all appeared to be so solid, that he could scarcely believe that he had passed over.

He lives in a house-a house built of bricks-and there are trees and flowers, and the ground is solid. And if you kneel down in the mud, apparently you get your clothes soiled. The thing I don't understand yet is that the night doesn't follow the day here, as it did on the earth plane. It seems to get dark sometimes, when he would like it to be dark, but the time in between light and dark is not always the same. I don't know if you think all this is a bore.

(I was here thinking whether my pencils would last out; I had two, and was starting on the second one.)

What I am worrying round about is, how it's made, of what it is composed. I have not found out yet, but I've got a theory. It is not an original idea of my own; I was helped to it by words let drop here and there.

People who think everything is created by thought are wrong. I thought that for a little time, that one's thoughts formed the buildings and the flowers and trees and solid ground; but there is more than that.

He says something of this sort.

[This means that Feda is going to report in the third person again, or else to speak for herself.-O. J. L.]

There is something always rising from the earth Plane - something chemical in form. As it rises to ours, it goes through various changes and solidifies on our plane. Of course I am only speaking of where I am now.

He feels sure that it is something given off  from the earth, that makes the solid trees and flowers, etc.

He does not know any more. He is making a a study of this, but it takes a good long time.

L. L.-I should like to know whether he can get into touch with anybody on earth?

Not always.

Only those wishing to see him, and who it would be right for him to see. Then he sees them before he has thought.

I don't seem to wish for anything.

He does not wish to see anybody unless they are going to be brought to him.

I am told that I can meet anyone at any time that I want to; there is no difficulty in the way of it. That is what makes it such a jolly fine place to live in.

L. L-Can he help people here?

That is part of his work, but there are others doing that; the greatest amount of his work is still at the war.

I've been home-only likely I've been home but my actual work is at the war.

He has something to do with father, though his work still lies at the war, helping on poor chaps literally shot into the spirit world.

L. L.-Can you see ahead at all?

He thinks sometimes that he can, but it's not easy to predict.

I don't think that I really know any more than when on earth.

L. L.-Can you tell anything about how the war is going on?

There are better prospects for the war. On all sides now more satisfactory than it has been before.

This is not apparent on the earth plane, but I feel more . . . the surface, and more satisfied than before.

I can't help feeling intensely interested. I believe we have lost Greece, and am not sure that it was not due to our own fault. We have only done now what should have been done months ago.

He does not agree about Serbia. Having left them so long has had a bad effect upon Roumania. Roumania thinks will she be in the same boat, if she joins in.

All agree that Russia will do well right through the winter. They are going to show what they can do. They are used to their ground and winter conditions, and Germany is not. There will be steady progress right through the winter.

I think there is something looming now.

Some of the piffling things I used to be interested in, I have forgotten all about. There is such a lot to be interested in here. I realise the seriousness sometimes of this war. . . It is like watching a most interesting race or game gradually developing before you. I am doing work in it, which is not so interesting as watching.

L. L.-Have you any message for home?

Of course love to his mother, and to all, specially to mother. H. is doing very well. [Meaning his sister Honor.]

L. L.-In what way?

H. is helping him in a psychic way; she makes it easy for him. He doesn't think he need tell father anything, he is so certain in himself meaning Raymond, in spite of silly mistakes. It disappoints him. We must separate out the good from the bad, and not try more than one form; not the jig--jig--

L. L.-I know; jigger. [A kind of Ouija.]

No. He didn't like the jigger. He thinks he can work the table. [See Chapter XIX.]

L. L.-Would you tell me how I could help in any way?

Just go very easily, only let one person speak, as he has said before. It can be H. or L. L. Settle on one person to put the questions, the different sound of voices confuses him, and he mixes it up with questions from another's thoughts. In time he hopes it will be not so difficult. He wouldn't give it up, he loves it. Don't try more than twice a week, perhaps only once a week. Try to keep the same times always, and to the same day if possible.

He is going.

Give my love to them all. Tell them I am very happy. Very well, and plenty to do, and intensely interested. I did suffer from shock at first, but I'm extremely happy now.

I'm off. He won't say good-bye.

A lady comes too: A girl, about medium height; on the slender side, not thin, but slender; face, oval shape; blue eyes; lightish brown hair, not golden.

L. L.-Can she give a name-I cannot guess who she is from the description?

She builds up an L.

Not like the description when she was on earth.

Very little earth life. She is related to you. She has grown up in the spirit life.

Oh, she is your sister !

She is fair; not so tall as you; a nice face; blue eyes.

L. L.-I know her name now. [See at a previous sitting where this deceased sister is described, p. 159.1

Give her love to them at home, but also principally to mother. And say that she and her brother, not Raymond, have been also to the sittings at home.

She is giving his name. She gives it in such a funny way, as if she was writing, so- She wrote an N, then quickly changed it into a W.

[See also pp. 134, 159, and 190

She brings lilies with her; she is singing-it's like humming; Feda can't hear the words.

She is going too--power is going.

L. L.-Give my love to her.

Feda sends her love also.

Raymond was having a joke by not showing his face to Feda.


(Sitting ended at 1.30 P.M.)



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