THE MORNING ALBERTAN - THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 1923

NEWS OF THE CITY AND SUBURBS

Death is Really Pleasant States Doyle; Pictures of
Dead Startle Big Crowd

Calgary Audience Listens Intently to Story of Death and Life Afterward in World Where All have Ideal Age of Manhood and Womanhood, Only “What I Know I Speak of,” Says Sir Arthur

One thousand pair of human eyes gazed spellbound on photographs of the dead formed from that mysterious substance termed ectoplasm, flashed on screen in Al Azhar temple last night when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, renowned spiritualist and writer, lectured on “Proofs of Immortality”. Pictures of Sir Arthur’s own son killed on the battlefields of France, and of many others whom he named, were shown and Sir Arthur in the course of his lecture emphatically and repeatedly declared that there is no insuperable barrier between this world and the next, or “The Third Heaven,” as he termed it.

That he furnished absolute proof of immortality of man, that there is nothing to fear in death and that in reality it is a pleasant experience, that man is composed of two bodies, one natural and the other ethereal, which separate on death, and that communication with the dead has been definitely and positively established, were some of the statements made by the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes in his address.

The pictures of the dead were startlingly clear, and they startled the big audience. One shown of the sweetheart of a well known American scientist was particularly arresting to the eye. In it was sorrow, pathos and soul. It might pass as an excellent portrait portraying human emotion. But there could be observed that slight haze or vapor which scientists now term ectoplasm, and of which these dead coming into this world again are formed. In the darkened room crowded with many persons deeply concentrated on them, the pictures had marvelous effect. As one which was arrestingly vivid was flashed on the screen, one could hear low murmurs of amazement, possibly of incredulity.

Taken as a whole, however, the audience apparently took the demonstration stoically. Many commented on Sir Arthur’s charm as a speaker, the forcefulness of his delivery and the effectiveness of his style. As the crowd passed out, many also spoke of his apparent sincerity.

Given Explanation

The speaker fully and carefully explained ectoplasm. All give out ectoplasm, he said, some to a higher degree than others, and a person from which it emanates in great quantities is a medium. The power of the medium varies with the amount of the ectoplasm they have the ability to give out, Mr. Arthur said. One slide which he said provided absolute proof of his beliefs was that of a cenotaph erected in memory of Britain’s heroic war dead. It showed grouped around the monument the vast crowd of humans who attended the ceremony, and then another slide showed the photograph of the ectoplasmic figures of the dead soldiers themselves grouped around the tomb, Sir Arthur said. Many had claimed that they had recognized relatives and dear friends in the faces of the dead shown, he said, but he hardly believed this possible, owing to the number shown, and the fact that they were not exceptionally clear. Many have asked why a room is darkened while communication with the dead is being established, Sir Arthur said. There is only one reason, and it is a scientifically chemical one, and that is that ectoplasm, the abstruse substance of which figures photographed are formed, is soluble to broad light. That is, it dissolves when exposed to the rays of light, so that necessarily to obtain the best results, the room must be darkened. Red light can be utilized with the same effect, and that accounts for the brilliancy of light one may observe in many of the spirit photographs, Sir Arthur declared.

Ectoplasm, which emanates from the body, sometimes from the mouth and sometimes from the side of a person, is purely a physical substance, and the speaker many times had it between his thumb and finger, it being an unpleasant substance to handle, he said. One slide showed ectoplasm flowing freely from the mouth of a medium, it being a grayish white substance which, however, was vibrant with life and action, Sir Arthur said. That it is basically physical is proven by the fact that a medium, after he or she has given it out loses from 10 to 20 pounds, this fact having been established by having persons seated in chairs which recorded weights. One slide portrayed a normally stout woman thin and emaciated while in a deep trance after having give forth a large amount of this ethereal substance.

Was a Materialist

“As a young man I was very much of a materialist,” Sir Arthur said, “and the idea of there being life after death appeared to be a physical impossibility. Then while I was at the house of a patient I became interested in psychic phenomena which occurred in that family. That was nearly 30 years ago and possibly that phenomena was puerile and foolish, but here was evidence of some outside intelligence other than that in the room. My curiosity was aroused and I read considerably on the subject. Finally I came to the conclusion that it either was an absolute or it was the most important thing in the world.

“Scientists who then announced themselves as believers became martyrs and I arrived at the conclusion the argument was all on their side, after I weighed opinions for and against.

“Then the war came and more serious thought was given to the question of immortality. England was hard hit. I don’t believe anyone outside of England ever realize how hard hit it was.

“Then came the pressing cry from all over the country, what had become of all those fine, brave-hearted men who paid the supreme sacrifice? Was it conceivable that they with all their fine vigor, their vitality and their strength, had gone for evermore? Then I could see that all these phenomena, however puerile, were but signs and signals to us from those whom the world called dead, although sometimes they were very much more alive than we. The position of the human race was that it was listening to the knocking, but did not understand.

The Lady He Met

“Then I met a lady who had that interesting power known as automatic writing. She had lost three brothers during the war. When seized with this power she would write of subjects, military information and similar things of which she could have no comprehension and which were completely outside the scope of her mind. I am not credulous. On the contrary, I weigh evidence very carefully. But I was sure that there was some intelligence existing outside the body and that there was no insuperable barrier between the living and the dead. When this became clear to me all the world seemed to alter to my wife and myself. If their personalities did not change, ours didn’t and it became clear that there would be no separation between ourselves and those we love and hold dear, “ Sir Arthur declared.

Sir Arthur described the first time he had been brought in touch with his son after the lad had been slain on active service at the age of 33. He spoke with him, and then he felt a heavy hand on his head, forcing it down irresistibly until his son’s lips touched his forehead in a caress.

What He Knew

Sir Arthur declared at one point in his lecture that he was not telling his audience what he thought or what he believed, but he was telling them what he actually knew.

Coming to this life, Sir Arthur told the story which had been related to him by the dead with whom he and others had conversed. Death is a pleasant experience. It is a gentle drifting out of this world. All have two bodies, he said, the natural and the spiritual, and it is the spiritual one which drifts out. And this body is an absolute duplicate of the first, the Spiritualist declared.

The first appearance in the new world after death is seeing the faces of those long gone whom they had known in life, he said. They see hands reaching out to them, to lead them on and give them courage.

Period of Rest

Then comes a period of rest, of complete oblivion. It lasts from a few minutes to three or four days, and one awakes refreshed and ready for the new life. In answer to a question which arises as to what this world is like, he said the lights were more beautiful, the tints more delicate, though it was a replica of this world otherwise. Ideal happiness exists, for here there is no discord. All is harmony. Nothing clashes.

Touching on the question of marriage, sexual love as it is known in this world does not exist in the Third Heaven, he said. At this point he interjected the only humorous remark in his lecture and the laugh that followed seemed strained, unnatural. It acted like a spring releasing extreme tension. It was clearly indicative of the rapt attention paid the speaker, a tribute to his remarkable power as an accomplished, forceful orator if nothing else.

Sir Arthur said that happy marriages in this world would continue, but that the nagging wife or bullying husband would naturally not be re-united. No children were born there. Many have come from somewhere else, Sir Arthur said, although he would not treat that, but that the world all live and die in was the starting point of a new cycle.

One asked what of the aged who die, Sir Arthur said. Age gradually disappears until one reaches the ideal age for man of thirty and of twenty-five for women.

As to the question of who goes there, the speaker said practically everyone goes there, in refutation of some religious doctrines that heinous punishment is meted out to some. It is the sins of the mind that are worst, not those of the body, said Sir Arthur. The bigot is the one who must pay, he said.

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