From the book Beyond the Vail

Writings made by visible full-form spirit materializations
through the mediumship of William W. Aber

Thomas Paine,

That most astounding of all vocalizers at these sťances, standing in view of the circle, and speaking in his own inimitably eloquent manner of voice and pleasing style, said:

Friends, it has often been said that it is possible for spirits to materialize in broad daylight.

I would say to you that it is possible for spirits to materialize to the degree of common visibility in broad or full white light only on very rare occasions.

Something of the law governing the development and retention of the sensitive on the plate used in the process of photography governs in the process of materialization. So far it has been found almost impossible to fix and hold the sensitive film on the plate in clear white light. Experiment has demonstrated that white light which is pure, full, broad light destroys such fiber immediately upon the exposure of the film to such light. Experiment also has shown that this photo process may be successfully accomplished in red or ruby light, and very recent experiments have shown that green light also may be used successfully in photography.

By experiment, you know and any scientist may know that white light instantly destroys the visibility of a materialization, and that a visible materialization may be produced in a soft mellow light of yellow, or ruby, or any soft light; but only on very rare occasions in full white light.

A spirit in ethereal form is subject to clairvoyant vision. Ethereal vibrations are subject to detection by clairaudient.

The person who has his or her eyesight quickened so as to be sensitive to ethereal vibrations is clairvoyant and able to see the ethereal form that radiates such vibrations, which is an etherealization proper.

And if a person's spiritual hearing be so quickened as to sense voice waves of spirits, clothed upon only with spirit ether, such a one is clairaudiant. Often clairvoyance is so realistic to the clairvoyant as to be mistaken for materialization, and clairaudience for vocalization.

But clairvoyance and clairaudience are not affected by broad light, for this light does not destroy or in any way affect the ethereal form. Hence clairvoyance and clairaudience are as practical in broad light as in any degree of darkness, and need no cabinet.

I am glad it is possible that spirits can and do stand in visible form and be recognized by mortals, and while in such condition of visibility to write and talk to people of earth of future life for man, and of the various conditions that people find themselves in when in spirit life accordingly as the individual is prepared. I love to stand here in this way and tell you, in this direct method, of life, endless life. To show to you that your physical life is only one stage of endless life, composed of an infinitude of different stages; and to tell you of the glories that may be found along the line of those stages and of the innumerable hosts of living, loving friends who, awaiting your coming, will hail to you a glad welcome when you reach your different ethereal stages and assist in your passage through them, and from one to the other as you ascend the eternal spheres.

It has been also both spoken and written by certain self-styled scientific research people that a visible materialization under any conditions is simply a scientific absurdity and an absolute impossibility, and contrary to every known natural law.

Here, friends, I wish to say as loudly as I can, so as to be heard all round your earth, that what is called spirit materialization is in exact accord with every known law of spirit and of physics.

Every physical form in all of Nature's wide domain is a materialized form, builded either by some external spirit power or by a spirit life innate to the form. Therefore every one of those anti-materialization carpers is himself a temporary spirit materialization. Do those self-laudated scientists not know that one law, the law of spirit ability to manifest itself through matter to other spirit in matter, is the law that governs, rules, controls all spirit communion of all phases and ages? The same law that materializes gardens of roses, and the fauna and flora of your whole world, and of all other material worlds for that matter, materializes man. Do away with this one law and this whole material universe would at once cease to be.

Do away with that law, and your telegraphs, telephones, graphophones, and every means of communion among mortals, you must know would be done away with also. Oh, fools, fools and bigots! But I shall try to not be harsh, but you have learned some of the laws of materialization, and you apply that knowledge to the generation of improved domestic animals and general agricultural materializations. You learn some of the law of vision, and you make a material assistance to your powers of vision, so as to make that visible which otherwise is invisible to you.

So a spirit materialization is simply an application by spirit of its acquired knowledge of so much of the general law of materialization as appertains to conscious perception of material forms. And who dare say that a spirit cannot learn, at some stage of endless unfoldment, of the law of materialization, and make practical application of that knowledge sufficient to construct a temporary visible body for a spirit to use as an instrument of communion with persons in the physical life? If your reason here be allowed to assert itself, you must discern that to deny materialization to the degree of personal recognition is to deny the whole evolutionary theory itself. Anyway, friends, these are some of the opinions of Thomas Paine uttered to you by means of materialization, as you may bear me witness.