From the book The Voice Triumphant Mrs. Cecil Cook
VOICES IN THE SUNLIGHT
THE PEOPLE, AND THEY ARE MANY, WHO BELIEVE THAT communication between those who have passed through a change called death and us who remain on earth is possible, but is instigated by the devil cite as their principal argument the fact that communication takes place in the dark. The world from time immemorial has been taught that darkness is the realm of the evil one, and light that of God. Therefore it is not surprising that this view of communication should be held by some. Proof beyond controversy has been given them of the actuality of messages from their Spirit friends and they cannot be convinced of the contrary. As it is to the interest of certain organizations to prevent them from profiting by these messages, it becomes necessary, therefore, to instill fear into their hearts, and this is done by teaching them that it is the work of the devil.
Even if it were true that the manifestations of
those in the Spirit World always occurred in the absence of light, I believe I
have given a reasonable explanation for it. It is not true, however, that
darkness is absolutely necessary, and consequently we can remove even that prop
from the house of cards which selfish teachers call proof.
There is no darkness to those on the Other Side—light is eternal. Darkness exists only for us of the earth plane, who are not sensitive enough to perceive the light that is present. Of course it is true that the kind of light is different and is not perceptible to our physical sight, but it is there for those who can see it. I already have given examples of the effect of daylight on several physical and chemical phenomena and of the way it interferes with a séance. There is another effect which it has, and that is on the individual: it makes him tense and resistant to everything beyond his view. His sense of sight is functioning strongly and is bringing vivid pictures to his brain. Very little chance remains for the infiltration of other impressions.
Thus it becomes quite evident that a very highly developed and sensitive medium is necessary in order to make it possible for communication to take place in the light.
Let me pause at this point for a moment to say that when I make statements of this sort anywhere in this book, I do not want my readers to misunderstand and think that I am given to self-praise. I am doing my best to state facts and nothing else and I take absolutely no credit to myself for my mediumistic development. This is a gift from God and my Guides, and if I have been able to increase my sensitiveness and power by my efforts to live a life worthy of my gift, I am glad that I can bring just that much more help to the world.
To resume: a medium always furnishes by far the greater part of the power required to build up the Forces at a séance. Those who are sitting must furnish some part, but when the demonstration takes place in the light, and the power from the sitters is cut down almost to nothing, the medium has to shoulder practically the whole burden. If she is not very sensitive and strong, no manifestation occurs.
If I had secured the voices in the light but once in my life, I still could point with pride to that achievement. I have secured them, however, hundreds of times in the light, and often over long periods.
The method employed may be described briefly as follows: No attempt is made in any way to darken the room or prevent the ingress of daylight or artificial light. The sitter holds the small end of the trumpet toward himself, usually in his open hand. It rests gently, with the large end toward me, but the large end is not up to my mouth, or within a foot of my head. I usually hold the large end of the trumpet in my open hand, with my head turned from the trumpet, as all who are present can see plainly.
The communications generally are in loud whispers, but often singing will come through in a clear voice. Even the whispers can be heard for some distance. The singing could be heard for an ordinary city block or more if there were no near-by disturbance. At times the voices are natural and clear. They are what we call independent voices. This, however, necessitates an experienced and absolutely sincere sitter and the perfect harmony of the others present. The communications are as lucid as they are in a séance room. They are as complete. The identification is just as satisfactory. During one of these bright-light séances, sometimes as many as thirty or forty or even fifty voices will come through, each different. Perhaps four or five will sing.
I repeat that these communications often are held in bright light, contrary to the theories of the opponents of our great Truth, some of whom decry our work as trickery and rank fraud, and others again as the manifestation of satanic forces.
There is little that can silence the critics, however. I can hear many at this moment say: Yes, she holds the large end of the trumpet near her. The small end is near the sitter. It is very simple indeed for a ventriloquist to throw his or her voice, especially as a whisper which is not easy to identify, in the direction of that sitter, causing him to believe that it comes through the trumpet.
I expected that, and therefore I shall present a further illustration that will make such an explanation most difficult of acceptance.
In the Stead Center in Chicago, which was located on Grant Place, we had a large living-room, which was used as a meeting room, the dimensions of which were about thirty-two feet by eighteen feet. This room faced on the street and had numerous windows, sufficient to flood it with light. It had windows on the north or street side, and on the east side, overlooking the entrance to the Center. There was a large doorway near the west end of the room, opening into the library. A larger doorway near the east end of this room opened into the reception hall, from which the stairs led to the séance room, and other rooms, on the second floor. There was a fireplace in the west end of this room, the west wall being the outside wall.
We have held tests here for our own satisfaction which would rather disconcert our critics. I use the word tests, however, in a different sense from usual. These were not tests or experiments in the sense of trying to detect fraud. I believe that the conditions obtaining answered completely any accusation of fraud that might be advanced. Their purpose was to determine to what extent we could open the door and permit our loved ones to communicate with us. We tested ourselves, not my mediumship as a matter between fraud and honesty, or the Spirit World as a source of genuine intelligence.
A sitter has placed his chair in about the north center of this room, with the house lights turned out, but with the electric lights from the street flooding the room. It was so light that it was easy to distinguish the identity of every person in the room; newspaper print could be read with facility. In company with four or five others I stood near the east wall, and the sitter held his trumpet, the small end toward his ear, with the large end pointing about northwest, or away from me.
Not only did the voices come clearly, but they were so loud that we who stood some eighteen feet away could hear every word.
Not satisfied with this remarkable manifestation, we had the sitter move to the west end of the room and sit this time, for greater magnification of the sound, with the large end of the trumpet near his ear and with the small end placed almost directly against the solid west wall. The distance from myself and the others with me was fully thirty feet.
Again the voices came through so clearly and loudly that we in the east end of this large room could hear every word. Singing supplanted the voices at times—singing that could have been heard plainly by any passer-by on the street.
Now, if I can throw my voice this distance, without the aid of any instruments or wiring or telephones, then I am several hundred per cent better than any ventriloquist on the stage and could make far more money for myself than ever has been donated to me as a medium, and with more ease and no criticism.
All mediums do not secure the same manifestations. One medium cannot get the same results with all sitters. As far as the loved ones on the Other Side are concerned, they are always ready to communicate. If there are barriers, they are earth-made or man-made. If there are climatic conditions that prohibit clear communication, then it is because such conditions affect mortals. They do not and cannot affect the other life. The lower never can command the higher, and those who have passed through the change cannot or will not come to us and manifest their presence and intelligence if we do not permit them to, or if we shut ourselves out from such glorious evidence of immortality through our ignorance.
One may say of these phenomena: This would be remarkable if it were true. How do we know that it is true?
There are persons in this world who would not accept an unsupported statement upon any condition. There are many who would not accept even the sworn accounts of scores. However, I present this as true, and there are today in the world thousands of persons who know that the statements I make in this volume are true. This number includes many prominent lawyers, judges, physicians, educators, ministers of the gospel, corporation officials, bank officials, manufacturers, merchants, and others generally regarded as sane.
Beyond all that, however, is this further fact that to me is vastly more important:
What has occurred can happen again. This communication in the light has been secured by many mediums. It will be obtained by many more. It is as much an established fact that communication is possible and practicable in the light as it is that there is communication in any form.