IN HER autobiography, medium Eileen Garrett recalled her first trance
state, which occurred in London during 1926 as she was sitting with a
group of women during a table-tilting séance. She drifted off into a
“sleep,” and upon awakening was told by the others that she began to
speak of seeing the dead relatives of those at the table. She was
informed that an entity calling himself “Uvani” claimed to be her
control and that she would be working in the capacity of trance medium
for a number of years.
As later observed by psychical researcher
Hereward Carrington, Garrett
would pass into a deep trance and, after a short wait, Uvani would begin
speaking through her mouth, addressing the sitter and inviting
questions. Generally, after a brief conversation with the sitter, Uvani
would find or attempt to find deceased loved ones. Uvani would
frequently allow the deceased entities to speak directly through Garrett
(rather than relaying their words as other controls often do). At the
conclusion of the séance, Uvani would again take over her organism, give
a few parting words and say a short closing prayer. A secondary control,
calling himself “Abdul Latif,” would also manifest, primarily for
Uvani claimed to be the surviving spirit one Yasuf ben Hafik ben Ali, an
Arab who had lived in Basrah during the early 1800s, dying at the age of
48 in a battle with the Turks. He said he had been a member of a noble
Carrington conducted many tests with Garrett, attempting to determine if
Uvani was a secondary personality arising out of Garrett’s subconscious.
He noted that Garrett was not spiritualistically inclined and was “on
the fence” as to whether Uvani was who he claimed to be.
“I have never
been able wholly to accept them as the spiritual dwellers on the
threshold, which they seem to believe they are,” Garrett wrote of her
controls. “I rather leaned away from accepting them as such, a fact
which is known to them and troubles them not at all.”
Garrett went on to
say that Uvani is nearly always detached, “the doorkeeper cloaked in the
personality of the guardian,” while Abdul Latif was more universally
oriented to outer events and therefore more positive in his
pronouncements and judgments.
Carrington had a number of personality and psychological tests
administered to Garrett and Uvani, believing that if Uvani were a
fragmented personality of Garrett’s subconscious the tests would pretty
much be the same. As it turned out, they were quite different. For
example, Garrett scored in only the 21st percentile on a measure of
neurotic tendency, while Uvani scored in the 87th percentile. On a test
designed to measure introversion-extraversion, Garrett scored 24,
indicating a fair amount of extravertive tendency, while Uvani scored
80, very much on the introversion side.
In a test giving an indication of the number of schizoid traits an
individual possesses, Garrett had a normal 15 traits, but Uvani had 36,
a score which was far beyond normal and psychotic individuals,
suggesting a tendency to daydream and withdraw from “reality.” In a test
asking them to list their four best and four worst traits, Garrett
listed “generous, honest, forgiving, and conscientious” as her best
traits. Uvani gave “honesty, physique, vigor, and swordsmanship” as his
best. Garrett listed “indifferent, too sensitive, unsocial, and
over-critical” as her worst traits, while Uvani gave “desire to wander
away from responsibility, desire for bloodshed, desire to rule his
household, and inability to forgive and forget easily” as his worst.
Carrington also tested Abdul Latif and deceased entities who were
allowed to take over Garrett’s body and communicate.
“The conclusion to
which we seem driven, therefore,” Carrington summed it up, “…is that ‘Uvani,’
and especially the other alleged entities, represent some sort of
independent entities, with no strong emotional or memory connections
with the normal Mrs. Garrett, or with any get-atable portion of her
As might be expected, other researchers took issue with Carrington’s
finding. Carrington pointed out to them that even if Uvani is a
secondary personality, it does not explain how others, known to have
existed as humans, are able to do the same thing as Uvani, nor does it
explain how they obtain information clearly outside the scope of
Garrett’s knowledge and experience.
Carrington interviewed Uvani as to his nature and methods. Uvani told
him that he had always been in close contact with Garrett during the
uncharted years of her life. He said that the moment he would see the
wanderings of her underconsciousness, he would be drawn to her.
time draws near, I am able to impress upon the underconsciousness not
only my presence, but others, and I control that underconsciousness,”
Uvani told Carrington. “Of the conscious mind I have no control at all,
nor would I find it right.”
Uvani further told Carrington that Garrett’s conscious mind “is
permitted to go into the Cosmos, to renew itself, where it receives
strength and is purified,” just as in the sleep state for everyone,
during the time he and others are using her organism.
When Carrington asked how Uvani influences her brain and body, Uvani
responded that he does not influence either. “I use a ‘figment’ - the
fabric of the soul - which is stimulated by my thoughts; this stimulates
the fabric and produces automatic expression,” he explained, adding that
it took him many years (of earth time) to learn to subdue the conscious
Asked how he knew when Garrett was ready for him to come, Uvani said he
gets a “telegraphed” impression that the “Instrument” is ready,
explaining that the moment that the conscious mind becomes very low, the
soul-body becomes more vibrant and that serves as a “telegram” for him
As for language, Uvani said he does not speak English. He simply
impresses his thoughts upon that “figment” with which he works and his
thoughts are converted to English automatically.
Carrington, Hereward, The Case for Psychic Survival (New York:
The Citadel Press, 1957).
Garrett, Eileen J., Many Voices (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons,
Source: Michael E. Tymn, vice-president of The Academy of Religion and