Book: "Raymond or Life and Death"

Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS

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- (Part 2) Chapter 3 - Supernormal Portion -

Sequel to the "Faunus" Message


          It now remains to indicate how far Myers carried out his implied promise, and what steps he took, or has been represented as having taken, to lighten the blow - which it is permissible to say was a terribly severe one.

For such evidence I must quote from the record of sittings held here in England with mediums previously unknown, and by sitters who gave no sort of clue as to identity. (See the historical record, beginning at Chapter V.) .

It may be objected that my own general appearance is known or might be guessed. But that does not apply to members of my family, who went quite anonymously to private sittings kindly arranged for by a friend in London (Mrs. Kennedy, wife of Dr. Kennedy), who was no relation whatever, but whose own personal experience caused her to be sympathetic and helpful, and who is both keen and critical about evidential considerations.

I may state, for what it is worth, that as a matter of fact normal clues to identity are disliked, and, in so far as they are gratuitous, are even resented, by a good medium; for they are no manner of use, and yet subsequently they appear to spoil evidence. It is practically impossible for mediums to hunt up and become normally acquainted with the family history of their numerous sitters, and those who know them are well aware that they do nothing of the sort, but in making arrangements for a sitting it is not easy, unless special precautions are taken, to avoid giving a name and an address, and thereby appearing to give facilities for fraud. In our case, and in that of our immediate friends, these precautions have been taken-sometimes in a rather elaborate manner.

The first sitting that was held after Raymond's death by any member of the family was held not explicitly for the purpose of getting into communication with him - still less with any remotest notion of entering into communication with Mr. Myers--but mainly because a French widow lady, who had been kind to our daughters during winters in Paris, was staying with my wife at Edgbaston - her first real visit to England - and was in great distress at the loss of both her beloved sons in the war, within a week of each other, so that she was left desolate. To comfort her my wife took her up to London to call on Mrs. Kennedy, and to get a sitting arranged for with a medium whom that lady knew and recommended. Two anonymous interviews were duly held, and incidentally I may say that the two sons of Madame communicated, on both occasions, though with difficulty; that one of them gave his name completely, the other approximately; and that the mother, who was new to the whole subject, was partially consoled (1).Raymond, however, was represented as coming with them and helping them, and as sending some messages on his own account. I shall here only quote those messages which bear upon the subject of Myers and have any possible connexion with the 'Faunus' message.

(1) I realise now, though the relevance has only just struck me, that
from the point of view of an outside critic, pardonably suspicious of bad
faith, this episode of the bereaved French lady-an obviously complete
stranger to Mrs. Kennedy as well as to the medium--has an evidential and
therefore helpful side.

(For an elementary explanation about 'sittings' in general, see Chapter I.)

Extracts Relating to "Myers" from Early Anonymous Sittings

We heard first of Raymond's death on 17 September 1915, and on 25 September his mother (M. F. A. L.), who was having an anonymous sitting for a friend with Mrs. Leonard, then a complete stranger, had the following spelt out by tilts of a table, as purporting to come from Raymond


M. F. A. L. - Can you give any name?


(That was all on that subject on that occasion.)

On the 27th of September 1915, I myself went to London and had my first sitting, between noon and one o'clock, with Mrs. Leonard. I went to her house or flat alone, as a complete stranger, for whom an appointment had been made through Mrs. Kennedy. Before we began, Mrs. Leonard informed me that her 'guide' or 'control' was a young girl named "Feda."

In a short time after the medium had gone into trance, a youth was described in terms which distinctly suggested Raymond, and "Feda" brought messages. I extract the following -

From First Anonymous Sitting of OJL. with Mrs. Leonard, 27 September 1915

(Mrs. Leonard's control, Feda, supposed to be speaking throughout.)

He finds it difficult, he says, but he has got so many kind friends helping him. He didn't think when he waked up first that he was going to be happy, but now he is, and he says he is going to be happier. He knows that as soon as he is a little more ready he has got a great deal of work to do. "I almost wonder," he says, "shall I be fit and able to do it. They tell me I shall."

"I have instructors and teachers with me." Now he is trying to build up a letter of some one; M. he shows me.

(A short time later, he said:-)

"People think I say I am happy in order to make them happier, but I don't.' I have met hundreds of friends. I don't know them all. I have met many who tell me that, a little later, they will explain why they are helping me. I feel I have got two fathers now. I don't feel I have lost one and got another; I have got both.

"This is reminiscent of a sentence in one of his letters from the Front:

"As cheerful and well and happy as ever. Don't think I am having a rotten time - I am not." Dated 11, May 9th (really 12).

I have got my old one, and another too - a pro tem, father."

(Here Feda ejaculated "What's that? Is that right?" O.J. L. replied 'Yes.')

There is a weight gone off his mind the last day or two; he feels brighter and lighter and happier altogether, the last few days. There was confusion at first. He could not get his bearings, didn't seem to know where he was. "But I was not very long," he says, "and I think I was very fortunate; it was not very long before it was explained to me where I was."

But the most remarkable indirect allusion, or apparent allusion, to something like the 'Faunus' message, came at the end of the sitting, after "Raymond" had gone, and just before Mrs. Leonard came out of trance:

"He is gone, but Feda sees something which is only symbolic; she sees a cross falling back on to you; very dark, falling on to you; dark and heavy looking; and as it falls it gets twisted round and the other side seems all light, and the light is shining all over you. It is a sort of pale blue, but it is white and quite light when it touches you. Yes, that is what Feda sees. The cross looked dark, and then it suddenly twisted round and became a beautiful light. The cross is a means of shedding real light. It is going to help a great deal.

"Did you know you had a coloured Guide? ... He says your son is the cross of light; he is the cross of light, and he is going to be a light that will help you; he is going to help too to prove to the world the Truth. That is why they built up the dark cross that turned to bright. You know; but others, they do so want to know. Feda is loosing hold; good-bye."

[This ends the OJL. first Leonard sitting of 27 September 1915.]

On the afternoon of the same day 27 September 1915, that I had this first sitting with Mrs. Leonard, Lady Lodge had her first sitting, as a complete stranger, with Mr. A. Vout Peters, who had been invited for the purpose - without any name being given -to Mrs. Kennedy's house at 3.30 P.M.

Here again, Raymond was described well enough, fairly early in the sitting, and several identifying messages were given. Presently 'Moonstone' (Peters's chief control) asked, "Was he not associated with Chemistry?" As a matter of fact, my laboratory has been rather specially chemical of late; and the record continues, copied with subsequent annotations in square brackets as it stands: 

From First Anonymous Sitting of M. F. A. L. with Peters, 27 September 1915

Was he not associated with chemistry? If not, some one associated with him was, because I see all the things in a chemical laboratory.

That chemistry thing takes me away from him to a man in the flesh [OJL. presumably]; and, connected with him, a man, a writer of poetry, on our side, closely connected with spiritualism. He was very clever - he too passed away out of England.

[This is clearly meant for Myers, who died in Rome.]

He has communicated several times. This gentleman who wrote poetry--I see the letter M--he is helping your son to communicate.

[His presence and help were also independently mentioned by Mrs. Leonard.]

He is built tip in the chemical conditions.

If your son didn't know this man, he knew of him.

[Yes, he could hardly have known him, as he was only about twelve at the time of Myers's death.]

At the back of the gentleman beginning with M, and who wrote poetry, is a whole group of people. [The S.P.R. group, doubtless.] They are very interested. And don't be surprised if you get messages from them, even if you don't know them.

(Then 'Moonstone' stopped, and said -)

This is so important that is going to be said now, that I want to go slowly, for you to write clearly every word (dictating carefully)


This message is for the gentleman associated with the chemical laboratory.

[Considering that my wife was quite unknown to the medium, this is a remarkably evidential and identifying message. Cf. passage in my book, Survival of Man, containing this tunnel-boring simile; page 341 of American edition (Moffat Yard & Co.). -OJL.]

'Moonstone' continued:-

The boy - I call them all boys because I was over a hundred when I lived here and they are all boys to me - he says, he is here, but he says:-

"Hitherto it has been a thing of the head, now I am come over it is a thing of the heart."

What is more (here Peters jumped up in his chair, vigorously, snapped his fingers excitedly, and spoke loudly)

"Good God! how father will be able to speak out! much firmer than he has ever done, because it will touch our hearts."

(Here ends extract from Peters sitting of 27 September 1915. A completer record will be found in Chapter VII.)

At a Leonard Table Sitting on 12 October 1915-by which time our identity was known to Mrs. Leonard - I told 'Myers' that I understood his Piper message about Faunus and the Poet; and the only point of interest about the reply or comment is that the two following sentences were spelt out, purporting to come either indirectly or directly from 'Myers':

1. He says it meant your son's transition.

2. Your son shall be mine.

The next 'Myers' reference came on 29 October, when I had a sitting with Peters, unexpectedly and unknown to my family, at his London room (15 Devereux Court, Fleet Street) - a sitting arranged for by Mr. J. A. Hill for an anonymous friend:

Peters went into trance, and after some other communications, gave messages from a youth who was recognised by the control and identified as my son; and later on Peters's 'control,' whom it is customary to call 'Moonstone,' spoke thus.-

From Sitting of OJL. with Peters on 29 October 1915

Your common-sense method of approaching the subject in the family has been the means of helping him to come back as he has been able to do; and had he not known what you had told him, then it would have been far more difficult for him to come back. He is very deliberate in what he says. He is a young man that knows what he is saying. Do you know F.W.M?

OJL.-Yes, I do.

Because I see those three letters. Now, after them, do you know S, T; yes, I get S T, then a dot, and then P? These are shown me; I see them in light; your boy shows these things to me.

OJL.-Yes, I understand. [Meaning that I recognised the allusion to F. W. H. Myers's poem St. Paul.]

Well, he says to me: "He has helped me so much, more than you think. That is F W M."

OJL.-Bless him!

No, your boy laughs, he has got an ulterior motive for it; don't think it was only for charity's sake, he has got an ulterior motive, and thinks that you will be able by the strength of your personality to do what you want to do now, to ride over the quibbles of the fools, and to make the Society, the Society, he says, of some use to the world... Can you understand?

OJL - Yes.

Now he says, "He helped me because, with me through you, he can break away the dam that people have set up. Later on, you are going to speak to them. It is already on the programme, and you will break down the opposition because of me." Then he says, "For God's sake, father, do it. Because if you only knew, and could only see what I see: hundreds of men and women heart-broken. And if you could only see the boys on our side shut out, you would throw the whole strength of yourself into this work. But you can do it." He is very earnest. Oh, and he wants-No, I must stop him, I must prevent him, I don't want him to control the medium.-Don't think me unkind, but I must protect my medium; he would not be able to do the work he has to do; the medium would be ill from it, I must protect him, the emotion would be too great, too great for both of you, so I must prevent him from controlling.

He understands, but he wants me to tell you this:

The feeling on going over was one of intense disappointment, he had no idea of death. The second too was grief. (Pause.)

This is a time when men and women have had the crust broken off them-a crust of convention, of . . . of indifference, has been smashed, and everybody thinks, though some selfishly.

Now, returning to him, how patient he is! He was not always so patient. After the grief there was a glimmering of hope, because he realised that he could get back to you; and because his grandmother came to him. Then his brother was introduced to him. Then, he says, other people. Myerse -"Myerse," it sounds like-do you know what he means? - came to him, and then he knew he could get back. He knew.

Now he wants me to tell you this: That from his death, which is only one of thousands, that the work which he (I have to translate his ideas into words, I don't get them verbatum [sic] - the work which he volunteered to be able to succeed in, - no, that's not it. The work which he enlisted for, that is what he says, only he was only a unit and seemingly lost-yet the very fact of his death will be the means of pushing it on. Now I have got it. By his passing away, many hundreds will be benefited.

(End of extract from Peters sitting of 29 October 1915.) 

(A still fuller account of the whole 'Faunus' episode, and a further sequel to it of a classical kind, called the "Horace 0. L." message, will be found in the S.P.R. Proceedings for the autumn of 1916.)

It will be understood, I hope, that the above extracts from sittings have been reproduced here in order to show that, if we take the incidents on their face value, Myers had redeemed his 'Faunus' promise, and had lightened the blow by looking after and helping my son 'on the other side.' I now propose to make some further extracts-of a more evidential character-tending to establish the survival of my son's own personality and memory. There have been several of these evidential episodes, making strongly in this direction; but I select, for description here, one relating to a certain group photograph, of which we were told through two mediums, but of which we normally knew nothing till afterwards.



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