From the book Dawn of the Awakened Mind
John S. King, M.D.
Founder and President of the Canadian Society of Psychical Research
Hypatia brings her philosopher colleagues Socrates, Plato and Aristotle for a talk
[NOTE : I wish here to make an explanation, which may prevent misapprehension by the reader, in the interpretation of certain statements found in the pages of the present chapter, viz.: The chapter was not included here until much of what follows it was completed; as it was my intention to assign it to another publication; while the reason for the change is, that I desired my interview with the philosophers to immediately follow my interview with Hypatia—herself a philosopher of that age—upon the same subjects; and because it was due to her intercession, in response to my wish, that I was fortunate enough to secure so valued an opportunity. JSK.]
To this psychological session I brought with me several previously written questions, sufficient to secure from the alleged philosophers their present view on the mind and soul questions, should Hypatia succeed in securing their presence.
With the questions in my pocket, and with grave doubts in my mind as to whether I could or would have so great a privilege, as to secure their views, expressed as of their present knowledge; and as the first two days of my sojourn were to be occupied as I had already arranged, I asked Hypatia if my wish could be gratified on the third day, by devoting it chiefly to the purpose mentioned.
Hypatia in that gracious manner characteristic of her every effort to meet my wish, wrote in reply to my question, through the automatic hand, I hope to have them here, and will do my best to accomplish it.
When the day and hour selected had arrived, with the psychic seated at the table, I asked the question which I had then in mind.
JSK.. Hypatia, do the philosophers know anything regarding what is contained in my writings as to mind, soul and spirit; or the other features of the book I am compiling?
HYPATIA. Aristotle is in interest near to me, and well informed regarding the nature of your work; and he doubtless communicated with the others, since I requested them to be present here.
JSK.. Hypatia, if Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are all here, I am indeed most grateful to them; and hope they will forgive me, if I questions ask each one of them, during this extended session, for I have strong mental hunger, or wish to know. The questions I will read aloud.
HYPATIA. All three are here. 'Tis best to so proceed as you suggest, and we will write for you.
Before I had further time for remark or for question, the psychic began to automatically write rapidly without stop, the following response from Plato, viz.:
PLATO. We see as you now do, and in regard to soul, we too believe it is the whole, and body but machinery, which is result of soul degree. One may be tall or short, or thin or stout to some degree, no matter what his thoughts may be. I, Plato, was a man of power, and named as broad in shoulders so, but I was narrow in my thoughts as now I see and know; and as you ask me I will do. I do not think that I am cognizant of all your book; but we are present here today to hear and see, and also say an answer back to you, if you request us so to do. I idealized the human life, and made the soul of man to be superior, or of lasting quality; but what it was, and where it went, I could not tell as well as you; and so I listen here today, and much approve of what to you is plain. The working of the lower brain was to me not apparent, so I could not teach what I had not the power to know. We did not know the power of one living mind over another in my day (hypnotic). That study is as modern new, and is there well described by you. I had in mind a wish to know, and followed with my teacher Socrates, along each line of knowledge or surmise; and what we gained thereby was aided by the souls exalted near, but this I did not know was so.
When Socrates was lifted from his clay, I looked and wept beside his bier; and prayed as you, that he might be allowed to follow through my life with me. I sometimes saw him in a dream like sleep; but he was gone, and I alone to weep. It has been so for years—two thousand now—and you are one to make it plain by arguments, not faith and hope alone. I thought and wished it true, but could not prove as you. If I could have proved even one step, I should have been proud indeed. I had a pupil Aristotle, he was teacher of a king called great. I taught the King of Syracuse, but he rewarded me by slavery; and yet I led the thought of men, so they by ransom set me free to found a University. So you may arouse arguments, and if 'tis so, 'twill lead to glory, and not to future woe. All that you do is brought to me by those who love me honestly; and I approve of all you do to prove what I now know is true. I did not come direct to you, but learned from Aristotle, what one visited by him had done for men, to prove that spirits come again. If I have failed before, I will not do so any more; but will stand ever ready here to aid you, till you're in the bier. I'll answer the questions you ask.
JSK.. What would be your present definition of soul? Of what composed? Have you knowledge of Reincarnation?
PLATO. My present definition of soul is, that which occupies the body as a whole in life, and at death departs a whole to be, of what the mortal is and was, and is to be, a living himself in capacity to use what God's laws bring to hand, for his best powers to command. In earth life, or physical body life, five senses seem to be sufficient for his need; and out of matter living cells are taken, to replace the wear and tear of the anatomy, which like to a machinery generates forces needed to bring harmony of soul till he by death is from the body free; then added senses come to wakened state, and what he needs in forces wait for his command; and higher thinkers teach him how to rightly understand, or use what is his own, as in earth life 'tis also true, as was the work of me, or you. Hunger of soul exists, this is twofold as I might say, hunger for love or companionship; and hunger for entertainment and knowledge.
Appetites, normal ones, are voice of God, or spirit which is part of God, but Ego made complete in individuality, after a mortal birth as I now see.
To undergo reincarnation is not true from literal or mortal view; but minds deprived of proper growth in mortal state, will be allowed, or forced to undergo a second living like to human life, so they in soul to proper state may grow. We all assist in work of love for minds of mortal plan, just as you work sad and alone, to aid your fellow-men, who feel your woe, but do not consolation know. Ideas are expressed and proved in this new work called Dawn of the Awakened Mind, and it will be of use to men, where simply ideality is useless quite entirely.
[The psychic's mother here intimated that lunch will be ready, when it suits your convenience.]
Plato here interjected, through the psychic's hand, this remark, I will be
here, if you must go, you will not thus disturb me.
[To the psychic—at the moment objectively normal—the author suggested a few minutes more, and then it would be 1 PM, which might be followed by a recess for our spirit friends and ourselves, of one hour, which was adopted.]
JSK.. Have you present belief in immortality, or have you knowledge that a human ego has immortal life?
PLATO. We have not knowledge of the Deity. As individual I have been allowed to meet men of exalted state, who tell me they are children yet, and never need to wait for something new, so I believe in immortality as part of God or Deity begun. I will be so, no matter where or how I go; and injury but sets me back, as lightning jars the trunk of tree, but makes the root more strong to be, for future growth. So I observe and believe that when a being does his best, a spirit beautiful and good, will plan and guide the rest.
JSK.. Can you define or demonstrate your human personality, to a critical psychologist of the present day?
PLATO. I would describe it as a thing which has the power to hold past knowledge; and has power to gain and grow by added knowing gained from sources new, no matter what forms it passes through.
[The writing stopped at 1 PM, we went and had lunch, and were back in our seats at 2 PM, when the psychic's hand again began to write. JSK..]
PLATO continuing. I will add further that it is of form or characteristics, uniform or typical of its own individuality, through all these its powers to do; and all the changes it passes through tend to, and do cause it to grow, and improve, and become God-like, or more to its ideality of what perfected man should be. Beneath a rod of beauty, of comparison, we spirits free are here allowed to grow and be, and as we improve, we become radiant; and as we retrograde we become darkened in degree.
JSK.. Are my views as recorded in my book such as you can endorse as true?
PLATO. I can endorse them all as true, and wonder at your power to do so well, regarding what is hard to tell; or what is to the language of all men, hard to encompass true, so reader shall think as you do.
JSK.. Had you in human life knowledge of, or the power to control the mind of a fellow human by suggestion to the subjective mind, which is now known as hypnotic power of suggestion; by which means you now convey your thoughts to me through the subjective mind of the psychic, who conforms to your dictation to her subjective mind, to transcribe in writing, what do you wish me to know?
PLATO. I had knowledge of it in a superficial way; but did not know its source, or limitations; or whether it was natural, or morbid. No one of my time that I knew, had thought of it as false or true.
JSK.. Will you kindly explain for the benefit of readers who may wish to know, how it is possible for me to have attunement with yourself, or with others in spirit life, such as the example I gave elsewhere regarding my corresponding friend Wm. T. Stead, then in spirit life, calling my attention to the interesting fact that he sensed my thoughts toward him at a particular time, which was mentioned?
PLATO. An attunement is a track unseen, over which thoughts and answerings may flow, like to communication to and fro; and if no spirit sense in you awakened be, we use your intuition key; or that which leads a horse to drink, a wiser power than 'tis to think. Wise in this sense means more perfect or exact; or less to be questioned than is judgment born of reason, which starts from the limited premises of human power to sense.
[A break or interruption here occurs to the writing of Plato, and its place is taken by the following in explanation. It is the wish of the discarnate spirits mentioned on your tablet page, especially to do the very things you ask them to; and so when you requested it to be, he, Wm. T. Stead, brought to bear his wish to do; and other guides assisted him to be able to thus present to you the fact he sensed you; and he knew your wish to be able to thus express to him, this truth—The attunement, between author and Wm. T. Stead.]
JSK. Does the evidence presented in my book in your judgment sustain the claim I make regarding , 1st, Continuity of Life; 2nd, Spirit Return; and 3rd, Spirit Communion?
PLATO. It is my opinion that the evidence compiled for your book, Dawn of the Awakened Mind, is very conclusive, because it takes up normal mentality from your developed student view; and distinctly tells where its powers end; and so produces the necessity of belief, that added suggestion must be given to produce the effects observed by you, and nearly always others present with you. In your belief you are candid and honest, and men like to you, will follow your reasonings with interest in every step; and the how you come to your conclusions is so well explained, that they will wish to be able to do, as you in printing say, that you have had the power to do. Doubting Thomases will ever be, or those who do not wish to know; but honest thinkers lost in mist of facts, mixed in with theory, will be assisted by the steps you make; and what you teach will aid them to go forward, and proceed with care, and learn much of the Over There.
JSK. Were not the various dogmas, theories and plans of all the philosophers speculative and idealistic?
PLATO. In our time we had superstitions of peculiar types to combat, and idealism was the basis of most of my philosophy. Gods, heroes and men with mythological powers, were to the generality of men like to realities at then.
JSK. Is not the soul the nucleus of the origin of each human activity of whatsoever sort?
PLATO. Oh yes, a soul or ego, like to a cell of a human body, selects its food from what comes within its reach; and morbid or unwholesome food may be taken, when it is deprived of what is wholesome to its state of best development.
JSK. If you know what my views and thoughts are regarding mind, soul, and spirit, have you also knowledge of the other consecutive contents of the book as it is prepared for general readers?
PLATO. I have been informed of the contents of your book by Aristotle, as I before have said. Hypatia's interest in my teachings, and in the teachings of my pupil Aristotle, have caused us all to be in touch to her capacity to come and go, and let us know.
JSK. I try to make clear to reader that the dual mind functions for both soul and body in the incarnate state in the human; and at the parting called death, the mind still functions for the soul ego; and new senses, attributes and powers are manifest. Can you, friend Plato, confirm this from your own experiences, as a solution of this special psychic problem?
PLATO. It is difficult to define and picture intangible things, but the functions of each portion of mind observable by man, are in your book well defined, it seems to me. The mind and soul are like to the growing tree, the, body more like the pot in which it grows, but that does not of necessity combat or change your definition. It is the same in appearance, as what the body would be if perfect. Scars, illness and evil fate to body do not change appearance of the soul. The soul is copied by matter in the growth of body.
JSK. Have you knowledge and experience regarding the flight of the incarnate Ego. My Ego has visited relatives and friends at varying distances, and in various directions, and has been seen and heard by them; but I do not wish it so unless by my own desire, except it be for some wise or important purpose, and conducted by exalted spirits connected with my band.
PLATO. Your body is pervaded by a thing etherial, and of certain habit, and of certain size, call it what you will, it is the habitation of the man, when death of body comes. This body may go forth, as you so did, by other ego in attunement—like to you—being in space it occupied in your anatomy. This thing I speak of is not divisible, it cannot be abbreviated or changed in its appearance, or capacity, but it may be limited in its freedom.
You yourself, with the body were, and spoke to friend as you now speak to her (the psychic), and while Marconi-like conditions existed between yourself and your anatomy you were at ease even though free, and loving spirit hands like bands produced this power to do in you, and aided the friend to be able to hear, and able to see. It pleases me, whatever you have wish to do, I, Plato, am with other two, and all of us wish to serve you. (See Hypatia's explanation elsewhere.)
[NOTE: The communications from Aristotle follow those from Plato. They are the first of extended length which I have received from him.]
Several years ago a control speaking through the vocal organs of a psychic while entranced claimed to be Aristotle; but only a sentence or two were spoken at the time, and really no conversation was entered into to confirm an opinion, and hence no evidence to my mind was presented which would establish any view.
Again through another trance psychic, a year or two later, in Hamilton, Canada, while entranced, some intelligence utilized the vocal organs to give expression to thoughts which were philosophic in character and claimed to be Aristotle, and spoke a sentence or two, as in the former instance. A third time, a call was made upon me in the trumpet séance held in New York State, only a short time ago. The medium who held the séance to which I refer was under the control of Gray Feather, the strong Indian guide and control of J. B. Jonson, of Ohio, who took the place on two occasions of the psychic's own guide. Then for the first time, Aristotle, as he alleged himself to be, conversed with me by the aid of a trumpet, the date being the fourth of August, 1912, and his speech conveyed the impression that his words were those of a wise man; and one of much experience; and were of a character that made them seem similar to those which found expression through two other psychics, who were in the trance state. As I felt deeply interested in this personality, I invited him to meet me at the home of the Human-Psychic-Telephone that same afternoon, which he did; and there did write for me beginning at the hour of 4.15 P.M. and what next follows is what he wrote through the automatic hand, viz.:
ARISTOTLE. I, a philosopher of long ago, worked on the problem of the power of thought, and how the mind divine, and mind of man, could be so placed in unison by certain laws of behavior and speech, and so your Dawn of the Awakened Mind appeals to me. I had to shape each dart of thought, as from my heart it flew, and I am interested in this careful work you do. This carving out of stepping stones up cliffs of known degree, that lead to flights above the stars, it much appeals to me; and so as a philosopher, I came and spoke to you in trumpet séance (a confirmation); and I will aid you all I can in this work that you do.
The present interview will do more than confirm what had preceded it, and goes far to establish the reputation, and the identity of this famous philosopher.
I may add to the foregoing, that my questions all were read aloud by myself, while responses came immediately, and were there and then recorded, in my note-book, by the hand of my psychic, using my fountain pen; and when written and finished, were handed to me without copy, change or additions while under my sight from first to last. Though the questions were prepared by me, they were offered viva voce or read from the page on which they were written, and the answers came without hesitation or delay, and were as written by my own fountain pen, in the psychic's hand; which pen has come to be almost a psychic pen, for it has had its guidance by hundreds of different forces, or separate intelligences.
But to return to the communications. After the assurance that Aristotle was present and ready to write, I proceeded with my questioning.
JSK. Aristotle, I desire to know your views upon the subjects I embraced in the chapters on mind and the soul, in its present and future state. As you have evinced an interest in my researches, and my proposed publications, as shown by your communications, audibly and also through this writing psychic, I feel a strong desire to attune myself to you at this time, and request from you your present view, regarding these selfsame subjects. With many of your former views no doubt changed, as have my own, I desire to learn from you if what my book presents to mortal view regarding mind and soul or spirit is the truth, as you now know it.
ARISTOTLE. I agree with you that what you are at birth. you are at every future state, with modified degree of fate. A violet in nature never becomes a lily or a rose; and men are varied like to flowers, but each a one alone, or white, or pink or blue, as he was from the seed, but strong or frail, by circumstance of fate. Set out a rose, and rose 'twill stay, and when a man's soul blossoms in the light of God, his spirit beautified by added privileges, is still his spirit only and alone.
JSK. Do you agree with what I claim that the discarnate spirit or soul of each human presents the same personality, that formerly existed in the incarnate state?
ARISTOTLE. My present view is like to you. The garment body as a man is cast aside at death; and like to butterfly, the soul set free, but uses what it had in body crysalistic state, but for its growth it had no wait.
JSK. What would be your present definition of soul?
ARISTOTLE. My definition of soul, if well expressed, would mean the whole. The body, if one could speak true, is but its tenement of clay, in which imprisoned for a day, it holds itself alone complete, till called or wafted to God's throne it comes into its very own, or comes into its power to be complete in powers men cannot see or sense no matter how they try. Yourself is taken to the sky, and what remains is nought to you. As to the body of yourself, at three, it is now gone entirely, and nothing but your memory retains its form, or semblance. So 'tis with life here through which you go. Your acts are all recorded where they may be found by you; but you have entered into state that's altogether new, and body has no part with you.
JSK. Kindly make clear to my perception, what, in your view, discarnate spirit or soul is composed of.
ARISTOTLE. It is composed of substances to spirits only tangible, to man material 'tis nothingness. If you were able to communicate with me, by your latent spirit faculty, I should not have so done, or needed to; but as it was material I had to be, to come to earth and talk to thee; and so to do. I take a transient body like to you, made from substances of small degree, that for the purpose moving rapidly, they impress man as a reality. Matter does not exist, by the way; but is as scientists believe and know, made up of Eons plus and minus so they seem to be to man as a reality.
J: S. K. Have you present belief in or actual knowledge of Immortality?
ARISTOTLE. I have present knowledge that it is true, that I am part of God complete, and may use matter as a means to be able to so communicate with you, and aid you in the work you do, which is to teach the present age to realize that it has reached a stage of flood tide of experience; and you show this flood or current where it is to go, to reach its wish to sense or know that it may find its living dead, after their powers of earth have fled.
JSK. Is re-incarnation of spirit a fact recognized by you, or is the word misapplied, or misunderstood?
ARISTOTLE. Reincarnation is a fact recognized by me from my standpoint. Undeveloped discarnate spirits are replaced in earth life experiences of health and good, until they grow to learn and know. But into babes born on the earth they never go, and it was not intended it should be so understood; but literal minds so believed from teaching true given by ancient psychics to the men who listened near.
Reincarnation is not allowable in fact, but souls discarnate are allowed to act as aids or helps to men, who may not ever be informed that this is true, that spirits may return to you.
JSK. How can you demonstrate or define your human personality to me, or to any critical psychologist of the present day ?
ARISTOTLE. My personality is made up of my inherited traits, added to by the results of impressions made upon my power to sense, by my senses five, while in body, and added ones here, for instance, as a babe I discovered light, and learned to know it through my organ eye, but what I saw in color or degree, would not be just what any other eye would see. Each picturing of my imagining is my very own, for it is made of what I saw or heard, or sensed; and as this premise was a different one from every other one in life, each picture so created would be mine alone. These are retained in record, and to me they are my worn geography, in which I trace the way I learned to know my Master's face.
JSK. I understand, through Hypatia, that you are cognizant of much, if not all that I have written for the book I am now compiling. Are my views as there recorded such as you can endorse as true?
ARISTOTLE. I can endorse as true, that spirits may return to you, for I am one of those who do. I also endorse your way of seemingly agreeing with a possible argument, and then showing its weakness later in what you say or prove. Dawn of the Awakened Mind is good from many points of view. It is impersonal. It treats of facts you have experienced; of disappointments you have been through; and of consequent joy in revelations new, and by added observers certified to as true.
JSK. Does the evidence in my book, in your judgment, sustain the claim I make regarding 1st, Continuity, 2nd, Spirit Return, and 3rd, Spirit Communion?
ARISTOTLE. The evidence of Indian girl (spirit of Pansy), who, as you say, described location of pictures in your home of which you were not aware, but later comprehended and confirmed as true. Your symbology is good, starting proof, afterwards fulfillment of promises through different psychics having no acquaintance or possible collusion is to me a very positive proof. The disappointment of the man Stead in not being able to use the ones you hoped he would, and yet used others strange to you. The change of heart or mind in girl after messages were corroborated. The rose experience, interesting and convincing, because of success after long lapse of time. Your wife's fulfillment of ante-mortem agreement is also strikingly convincing.
JSK. Were not the various dogmas, theories and plans of all the philosophers speculative?
ARISTOTLE. All of the dogmas were speculative, but many had origin in some form of supposed revelation either real or imagery. Myths were means of picturing desirable results from good acts to a primitive savage people.
JSK. In my human life I have experienced great change in view from youth to advanced adult life; and so I presume that your centuries of experience in spirit spheres enables you to discern changes in character and number quite a few in your belief of then, your human life, and what now you know.
ARISTOTLE. We do not cast aside the rudiments of our arithmetic; so with my teachings, I but attained the rudiments of what to you in wholeness or completeness have proved true.
I grew with added knowledge to see the errors or incompleteness of my human theory; and yet to men in my time, it was new and grand, and difficult for them to understand.
JSK. Is not mind a necessity for the functioning of soul, and like to a highly skilled workman, qualified to solve difficult problems of construction or performance; whether on the one hand it be reasoning out or developing human attributes; or on the other classifying the memory records, and the culture and development of the Divine attributes, or those attuned to the Over-soul ?
ARISTOTLE. Mind and reason are necessities to the soul, but mind is like an organ, and reason what it does. Reason is a function of the mind, or mentality. Instinct and moral impulse are from the soul. I entertained theories founded upon very limited knowledge. As my knowledge increased my belief was changed, so that I now believe as you, that what is man is God, and so is indestructible; but it may as it advances become above or without the necessity of fixed apparent form. A body is a means of holding and withholding and as spirit becomes Godlike, it loses the need of restraint and protection. It is true to this extent, I remain myself and on record in my memory, and recorded in fact are the feature and form I had in human life, and in after spirit state. If I materialize in any sphere, I'll be as I was when I was native there; but when the need of doing ends, I leave my body and proceed to be, as to her now a soul set free.
[NOTE: At 5 PM. the interview with Aristotle ended; and in view of all the subjects dealt with, and the time consumed, I feel it to be wise to leave to Socrates the field, to speak upon such matters as his wisdom and my requirements would suggest to him as of most advantage, in the object sought by this special session. JSK.]
Next following is the deliverance of Socrates.
SOCRATES. As you wish to do so do I. Socrates I am, and also here, and if when you're away a new thought comes to you to ask a question regarding it, write it, and we will answer automatically. We all shall linger with your band, to aid you in the work you've planned, and hemlock tea will not be given to thee as reward of what you do in sacrifice to men. I also know that spirits come again, and Plato is to me disciple dear, and what he wrote to you, and what you read to him I heard, for I was near to him, and also near to you.
I'll try to aid your wish to be a speaker eloquent, for to me it was like a necessity. I walked upon the shore with pebbles in my mouth, to be a means of teaching my delinquent tongue to understand it must obey my least command. Yet when I won the hemlock tea was all that fate awarded me. Yes, I still live, and here today I have my influence; and the words I say show thought and power. 'Twas not to me a known fact that a soul could come and like to brother help me through; but I had faith and hope, and love of all humanity, and I was helped to bear the load, and aid humanity out of the rut of fixed belief in idolatry and superstition's fear, into a way to see more clear; and later pupils taught it so, and like to river in its flow it washed away in large degree the followers or beliefs in the idolatry of period then; and made a way for souls of men to grow, though what I taught I did not know.
OTELLEO (an Egyptian of the long ago and member of my spirit band). Sift out the gold some men would do, but it is not the case with you. You sift the dross away from what you wrote, and all is gold, that you allow to stay. Like to a crown of gold buried for ages in the halls of time, dust gathered clings to it, and you have made its wonders beautiful and true, and it will prove a crown to you.
Precious indeed it is, and we have led you forward carefully to this its nearly completed state; and when sufficient time is passed, no longer wait but put it through, for we in thoughts are guiding you, and lighting up your veil of care, till you can see the one is there. You have selected well and true, and good will be .
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