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Pages (PDF): 195
Publication Date: 1927
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Phineas Speaks: Direct Spirit Communications in the Family Circle, is Arthur Conan Doyle's journal of communications he had with the spirit world.
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It is no easy task to edit such a volume of home-circle communications. They are in their very nature so intimate and personal that one has a hesitation in presenting them to the world, and yet some of the teaching is so helpful that it was clearly meant for a wider circle. It is impossible, however, to confine the account to such passages, as to do so would be to lose that setting of beautiful comradeship which concerns itself with the smaller things of life as well as with the greater, and turns the Communicator into a dear brother as well as an august teacher. Our family life would lose something very precious and essential if the bright presence of Pheneas were withdrawn. This, however, is a calamity which, we are assured, will never occur.
Great excisions have to be made in this record. A large part of them consist of prophecies as to the immediate future of the world. All this must wait until its publication should seem advisable, and may form a second volume in the future. Let it be briefly stated in regard to them that any earth changes are remedial, and introductory to the happiest era which has ever been known.
Apart from these excisions, there are many minor ones which contain matter which is too personal for publication, or too remote to either, interest or instruct the reader. Only about one third of the entire script is included in this record.
It is now five years since the great gift of inspired writing first came to my wife. In her intense honesty and deep modesty, she somewhat retarded it at first by holding back her impulses in the fear lest they should come from her own subconscious self. Gradually, however, the unexpected nature of the messages, and the allusions to be found in them showed both her and me that there were forces at work which were outside herself. Sentiments were expressed. quite foreign to our own. Information was given which was sometimes mistaken, but in many cases, as will be shown in the text, was absolutely correct, including many prophecies as, to world events, which were later fulfilled. As to, the mistakes, it is well that the reader should realise, if he does not already do so, that even a high spirit is not omniscient, and that the knowledge which he has is conveyed to him, and so to us, in particular ways which may lead to misunderstanding. It is for this reason that the recipients, of such messages should always test each assertion with their own God-given reason, and apply to them all the usual safeguards of common sense.
Our first written communications, dating from early in I92I, were from relations and friends who had passed beyond the border. Occasionally also we had visits from strangers who were attracted by what they called “ the light” - a common other - world description of the psychic atmosphere of a séance. This family intercourse, and the incidental interventions have been treated shortly, as they are of secondary interest to the reader. Foot-notes have been freely used throughout to enable the reader to understand the situation. Here and there a name has been changed, which is better than that use of alphabetical letters which takes the human reality out of any narrative.
On December 10th, 1922, Pheneas, my guide, came through for the first time, and from then onwards he took chief control, though by no means to the total exclusion of the others. In April, 1924, the writing mediumship changed to semi-trance inspirational talking. The Medium never completely lost consciousness., but her hold upon her own organism was slight. The eyes were tightly closed, and never opened until the power had left her. This has been the usual method of communication up to the present day, and careful readers will observe how the messages increased in power as fuller control was gained.
I repeat that the sentiments expressed by no means represent those of the Medium or of myself. Speaking for both of us, I may say that though we share the admiration which the whole world feels for the life and teaching of Jesus, we neither of us realised Him in the vivid overwhelming fashion which was characteristic of some of these messages. I have personally often felt strangely unworthy of the role allotted to me of broadcasting things which seemed to come from so high a source, and were worthy of a far more spiritual messenger. I have found it impossible for this reason to transcribe many of these communications, but their general tenor is not affected by the omission. I would stress the fact, however, that much of the teaching is absolutely foreign to my wife’s conscious convictions, or to my own.
It has pleased our Guide not only to give glimpses of the life in the other world, but to touch upon the conditions which we may personally hope to find. I hesitated to include any of this, but I reflected that there was nothing to show that such conditions were not common to many others, and thus there is no special merit claimed by their attainment. They are interesting as very closely corroborating other descriptions of the other world which my wife has, I am sure, never read of, so that they could not have lingered in her subconscious memory.
Our three children, Denis, Malcolm, and little Jean, whom we call “ Billie”, were respectively thirteen, eleven, and nine when the Mediumship began, and it covers the gap between childhood and early adolescence. I explain this as it accounts for the tone and substance of the messages which the Control has sent them sometimes playful, sometimes practical, always loving, like a wise and tender elder brother.
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