Tag Archives: Leslie Flint

Encountering Electronic Voice Phenomena in Person, Part I

In the past couple of months, my boggle threshold* has been raised a few more notches. I’m getting more and more “whatever” as time goes on.

The annual conference of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies was held October 4-7 in Raleigh, NC. I had belonged to the organization for about a decade, but had never been to any of their events. This time I felt that I needed to be there, and the second day in, the reason became clear.

While waiting to register at the beginning of the conference, I found myself sitting next to and chatting with Terri Segal, who told me she was there to present about Electronic Voice Phenomena. This was the first synchronicity of a series. The next afternoon, I went to see what she and her cohort Vicki Talbott had going on. It turned out that they were giving not just a talk but a workshop in which we were able to actually try out the process.  Here’s a description of the session: http://ascsiconference.com/team/vicki-talbott-and-terri-segal/

Electronic Voice Phenomena are a subset of Instrumental TransCommunication, a range of methods of recording images or sounds produced by discarnate beings by means of electronic devices. For those who hadn’t heard of EVP, it might be helpful to stop here and read these:
https://atransc.org/recording-evp/
https://atransc.org/about-aaevp/

The conference had two tracks of presentations at the same time throughout, so it was sometimes hard to choose between them. Only a very few people attended the EVP session, which surprised me as well as the presenters, because this is usually such a popular subject. (Later, a number of people said they hadn’t been aware it was happening, although it was clearly indicated in the program— I had the feeling they might have been steered away!) I was fairly familiar with the idea of recording discarnate voices, but hadn’t heard many examples, and didn’t know a lot of details or much about the technology involved.

As we started the workshop, I became aware of Fryderyk being vividly present at my side.  He seemed to be practically jumping up and down with excitement. It was the only time he was around during the conference, in fact the only time he had contacted me during a period of a few weeks. I had no way of knowing that he had already made the acquaintance of this group!  We got brief recordings of him during the workshop, but there isn’t anything earthshaking– except, of course, the existence of the recordings in themselves.

The recording process went like this: Vicki had each of the attendees in turn ask a question of one of the discarnates, then let the recorder run for ten seconds so that they had time to answer. The equipment used was very simple, a small, rather old-fashioned hand-held Panasonic recorder. At the time, nothing at all out of the ordinary appeared to be happening. We spoke our questions, and then there was no sound but the slight whir of the instrument.

The fun began when the recording was played back, and voices that had not been present before showed up. I witnessed this in real time.  Even though I was already familiar with the concept, actually experiencing it was positively freaky.  I’m including links to a couple of clips so that you can share my freaked-outedness.

My question for Fryderyk was quite simple. I told the group that I was in touch with someone who very much wanted to speak, someone who I knew had a lot of experience with direct voice and other methods of spirit communication. “I know you’ve been wanting to say something. What would you like to say?” His reply is unclear, to my ears; the only part I can pick up for sure is “it’s helpful” at the end of the message, but that part is definite. The fact that there was any audible reply at all was enough to leave me pretty stunned. https://app.box.com/s/t9j5uactcum3evvcvdzf368gqj1ms7ho

In addition to Fryderyk, we called upon Vicki’s son, Braden, and someone close to one of the attendees, unknown to the rest of us, who was not named. All three replied immediately. I didn’t get to really hear what was said by that third person, only that a voice had come through, and since it was none of my business, I didn’t ask further.

I wanted to ask Braden something, and as I did so, I got to wondering if I could perceive him somewhere in the room.  I looked around, and my eyes stuck to a patch of air near the ceiling, about two feet wide, that looked somehow different from the rest.  As I was realizing that the odd patch was Braden, he suddenly reached out toward me with a considerable amount of energy, so that the effect was that he bopped me between the eyes!  It didn’t hurt, but I was knocked back a little in my chair, and everyone saw that.  I explained to the group what had happened.

Later, Vicki found that the discarnates were talking about Braden bopping me, just before I told her about it.  You can hear “he’s tapped her” near the beginning of the clip, and “I’m quite amused”; the rest is fuzzy to me.  https://app.box.com/s/0w9achce66o378g022t6x998mojh4xq6

Although Vicki is addressing Braden in this clip, I am reasonably certain that the voice saying “Very good. It’s me here” belongs to Fryderyk. That message is 100% audible and definite. https://app.box.com/s/seb9mfix0585y4zq1dvbultwey80r37f

Let’s stop a minute and contemplate this. After 25 1/2 years of contact with Fryderyk, struggling to get verbal messages, his voice, physical vibrations of sound, captured in a form that I can not only store and listen to myself, but can send to you. His voice, so similar to the one I had heard in the Leslie Flint recordings, where I had never been absolutely, entirely sure it was him.

When I was next in touch with him after the workshop, the first thing he conveyed to me was immense relief at the ease of communicating directly instead of through layers of cumbersome instrumentation. It struck me, though, that the brief messages that come through by EVP are not so different from the almost aphoristic verbal messages I receive from him, when I can get any definite words at all. It seems to me that when he is able to convey words directly to me, he’s put thought into boiling the concept down into a short, pithy phrase. It must take a lot of energy to get even such small transmissions through my thick skull.

There is a significant difference, though, between getting advice from him inside my head, especially controversial advice— say, being told that it’s fine to experiment with styles of trills and have fun with them— and hearing it objectively in an .mp3 file. The physical recordings have a unique value.

You will notice, if you listen to even a few examples of EVP, that sometimes the voices sound pretty ordinary, sometimes they sound electronic or robotic, and sometimes there’s a lot of fuzz, rather like a phone call with a really bad connection. Sometimes individuals are easily recognizable, sometimes not. Researchers use a witness panel to rate the clarity of the messages and to make sure there really are words in the first place. Some “scientific” folk say that there is only noise and listeners convince themselves that they’re hearing words because they want to so much, but I think you can already tell, if you’ve listened to even the few clips I’ve linked here, that this is simply not the case. The phenomenon is quite real, and one must deal with it. Nonphysical beings can manipulate physical sounds to create verbal messages. We are way past arguing whether this is actually happening. Now we need to understand how it can be possible, what the physics of it is.

You’d think I would be over the moon with joy at receiving even a few electronic words from my old friend. Instead, I found myself near weeping and in a kind of shock. It was strangely hard to deal with this new evidence of his existence. Suddenly, despite all the overwhelmingly intense moments I’d experienced with him over the years, he was somehow more real than I could handle. And although I knew very well that he’d worked closely with other groups and had multiple intellectual and emotional connections, walking into this room and finding him engaged in a major project with people who were complete strangers to me was also a little more than I could take in at first.

(It was not the first time I’d observed Fryderyk messing with electronics; that had occurred back in 2009. You may recall the anomalous behavior of my printer when it spat out three portraits of Chopin, which were not on the document I was attempting to print. https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/fryc-in-print/ That constituted a form of ITC, I would think. The EVP was just another order of magnitude weirder for some reason.)

There is also the frustration of trying to understand the meaning of the messages. Sometimes the words sound perfectly obvious, yet the message is still obscure. One of the later clips of Fryderyk that Vicki sent me sounds to me for all the world like “I’ve made a cologne for her.” Here it is:  https://app.box.com/s/izaal6l0fhwyqqbgo37ixq08gwapn8ob  Can you make any better sense out of it than I can? And if I am hearing it right, exactly how am I supposed to obtain this otherworldly cologne? (I haven’t experienced any anomalous scents lately!) My husband jokingly suggested that he’d made me a clone— that would be great, I could get so much more done!

After the conference, Vicki and I began a correspondence, and I was interested to find that her impressions of Fryderyk, who she knew little about as a historical figure, were identical to mine— including his dry sense of humor. And I was amused at the idea of him joining forces with Braden, who is also a composer, but in what seems like a diametrically opposite genre, hip-hop. So Chopin is collaborating with a rap artist these days….

Like Fryderyk, Braden— as you might have guessed from the bopping incident— is a comedian as well as a musician. I mentioned to Vicki that Chopin used to do a Victor Borge-like act at the piano, something she hadn’t been aware of. She replied, bemusedly, “So that’s why they wanted me to watch that Victor Borge video on YouTube….” (Both of them left the planet before the existence of YouTube, but it seems that is irrelevant.)

*The boggle threshold is the level of weirdness at which one’s brain freezes up and can’t process what it perceives any more. Thanks to Michael Tymn for the concept.

https://www.transcommunication.org/index.php
https://atransc.org/big-circle-recording-sessions/

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Hearing Voices Again: Wilde

After I wrote my last post concerning Oscar Wilde, I realized that I could have included his contact with the direct-voice medium Leslie Flint, which occurred in 1957.  (Search this blog for extensive information about Mr. Flint and my take on his work.)  I went back to a recording of the Wilde voice that I had acquired back in the ‘90s, and put it up on Box.com so that it could be shared.  Inexplicably, when I tried to go back to it just now so that I could give it to you, the file was gone and the link no longer worked.  I uploaded it again, and I could swear that this is the same URL as before: https://app.box.com/s/iybw0f9a2kha935jhsfo.  I hope it will stay there (as all my other files at Box always have) long enough that you can check it out if you want.  What most struck me about this conversation is that Wilde was so reluctant to state his identity, apparently believing that everyone still thought ill of him.  However, it is also clear that his overall awareness has expanded and that he perceives himself as something much more than he was.

I expect that there is a mundane explanation for the disappearance of my Box file, but perhaps Someone Up There didn’t like me sharing that recording?  The Leslie Flint Educational Trust insists that all their recordings and other materials are copyrighted, and that copies from other sources, such as the one where I purchased the Wilde recording, are illegal.  I think I’ve discussed some issues about copyrighting channeled messages with you before.  But at any rate, the Wilde session is not currently available at www.leslieflint.com, so I think I’m in the clear.  I have also cleaned up the sound as much as I could, and although it’s still full of static, it’s easier to hear than what I started with.

I hadn’t visited the Flint website in a couple of years or so; I had been trying to make transcriptions of the Chopin recordings, but found it impossible because I couldn’t download the audio, nor would the Flint people sell me any of it, and without being able to go back and listen to the same section over and over I just couldn’t manage to write the stuff down.  The tapes were old and fuzzy, and Chopin’s English can be a bit strange.  I even tried recording with an air mic on another device and going from there, but the quality was even worse and harder to understand.  I’m sure there must be some technological solution, but now I don’t need one, because ta da! transcriptions have been made by an infinitely patient person belonging to the Flint organization!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mr. Simon Lovelock for taking the many hours it must have required to transcribe all these messages from the Chopin voice and others.  The Chopin sessions can be found here:
http://www.leslieflint.com/transcripts_chopin.html

And thank you to Guilherme Tavares for pointing me toward the updated Flint site.  It turns out that some of the recordings that wouldn’t play before now run just fine.  I discovered that I can right-click on my MacBook to rewind or fast-forward, although the recordings are still not as user-friendly as those on many other sites.  There is now a YouTube channel as well:
http://www.youtube.com/user/LeslieFlintTrust?feature=mhee

Recordings of the Chopin voice are at http://www.leslieflint.com/recordingschopin.html.  When I clicked on a session I hadn’t been able to hear in the past, one from December 1955, I was greeted with “People don’t seem to realize, you know, how very much mixed up you are.”  Oh, my, did that sound familiar.  When I ask Fryderyk about anything pianistic, if I get any verbal answer at all, it is likely to start out with, “You are thinking about this all wrong” or “You are looking at this backwards.”  Next time that happens, I am going to reply with, “Are you as tired of saying that as I am of hearing it?”

Not that I would disagree that people are very much mixed up.  Far from it.  Guilty as charged.

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“When you play it you are touching my soul”

For some background and a summary of my concerns and conclusions about the Chopin Voice in the Leslie Flint material, you can have a look here: https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/hearing-voices-part-iii%E2%80%93-chopin/

The opening measures of Op. 10 No. 3, manuscript

The opening measures of Op. 10 No. 3, manuscript

I’ve been trying to organize my collection of musical insights gained over the years from communications with Fryderyk Chopin.  In the process, I came across a presentation given by the Chopin Voice to Leslie Flint’s sitters on February 25, 1955.  It contains some comments that so many of us who play Chopin’s works would find greatly comforting, especially those whose physical ability often lags behind their understanding of the music and the depth of their connection to it.  Some of you may feel that this is all too sweet, too good to be true, or too religious-sounding for your taste.  I understand, but it’s worth putting in front of you nonetheless, and what the Voice says does fit my experience of him.

Today is a good day for me to hear this message again.  I’ve been exploring the emotional landscape of Chopin’s E major étude, Op. 10 No. 3, which he composed at the age of 22, too inexperienced to fully understand what he himself was writing, one might think.  It’s one of those pieces that seems like the angels of music must have been whispering in his ear with special clarity.  I’m at a point where I have a solid understanding and deep feeling of the meaning of the piece and the story it tells– or at least, one possible story– but I am not yet quite where I can stay immersed in the emotional and psychological experience and bring all that to the listener because I just don’t have complete physical control of the entire piece.  I will soon.  Really!  It’s exciting to be so close to something so wondrous, but of course you know how frustrating it can be too.

Rose Creet, you may remember, was a great fan of Chopin and a dear friend to this version of him.  At one point in another year, the Voice half-joked to her that sometimes he listened to her playing and said to himself, “Hmm.  She is get a little better.”  I can only hope that at times he says that about me!  I do think that he is often quite aware of what I am doing technically, what the actual sound is, and how close I am getting to a clear physical expression of the music.  But it makes perfect sense that it would be easier for him to perceive a player’s emotional state and thought patterns than to hear the molecular vibrations of the Earth-plane air.

I transcribed this session from an online recording at http://www.leslieflint.com.  Between the Voice’s rather bumpy English and my inability to hear clearly at many moments, there are likely a fair number of errors.  I’ve added question marks in instances when I just couldn’t be sure.  I’ve also bolded passages that I think are of particular interest to players.  Here goes:

Sitters: Rose Creet, Leslie Mannington[?]

Voice:  Hello.

Rose:  Hello?

Voice:  Madame et monsieur, good evening.

Rose and others:  Good evening.

Voice:  Well, you have not said it, but it is me all right.

Rose:  Yes, I know.  Frederic.

Voice:  It is.

Rose:  Yes, Frederic.  And we’re so happy you have come to us again.

Voice:  I was trying to think what I should speak to you about this evening, and I thought the most appropriate thing would be what is common to our hearts, music.

Rose:  Yes, please.

Voice:  I have tried very much to find a way of expressing certain things to you regarding music in the spheres of love, but I don’t know how I am going to find the words which can possibly give you the right understanding.  I think the best comparison, the best way to do it, is to tell you that that which is music to you on Earth, beautiful though it is, important though it is, and essential as it is to those who feel and know and understand these things, yet in comparison to the things of spirit, where music is supreme, it is infinitesimal.  When I think of the compositions, the music that I have written in my Earth life, although I am in a sense pleased with it, I realize it is so small in comparison to that which I have been able to do here.  Here there are no limitations.  On Earth, I used to struggle… ah! the limitations seemed many.  Things that I had in my heart, in my brain, things that were running through me— I just found that sometimes the compass of the instrument was insufficient.  There were notes that in my heart I had felt so strongly, that could not be expressed, for the instrument was insufficient.

Here, there is such a wide range.  You see, here we are not limited as you are.  You can only hear to a certain pitch, or to a certain point.  Beyond that your ears do not hear.  With us it is different.  There is a much greater range of which we can hear.  And in consequence the instruments which we have are composed or [?] made in a much larger scale.  Therefore, we can strike notes and chords and create harmonies which are beyond your imagination.  Take something which you think today on Earth is a grand study, or something that is a great flowing piece of work, with great harmonies, great though it is, it is so small in comparison.  As the spirit is larger in its experience and in its wisdom and in its knowledge and in its expression when it is freed from the physical body and the earthly condition, so is music also.  It is only the limitation of the Earth that limit the human heart, that limit the human ability to create.     

Any artist who is an artist, whether it is in music or in any other field of activity, as you know, often will express the same thing.  He will say, “Ah!  I just cannot get it.  I do not feel, and it just will not come.”  He has the moment of mood, when he knows that he can do a work, and he will go at it day and night until it is accomplished, and then no doubt he will sit back and think, “Well, it is finished, but it is not as I would quite have liked.”  In other words, his materials limit him, and yet what he has created is accepted by the world as a great work, which it is, within the limitations of the Earth.  But here, where there are no limitations, where the power of the spirit is such that a man can become as great as he desires in a spiritual sense, and his work can become also as great, there are no limitations to those who strive, to those who seek, to those who try to express that part of God which is in themselves.  For in music is God, as indeed are in all things that are good.  There is the prize[?] and the heart and the emotion of the Most High.  For we see with the eyes that are not of the Earth, and we hear with the ears that are not of the Earth, and we express in volume and intensity, with things which cannot be confined as you understand it in a material sense.  All the limitations of the artist are broken over here, and he or she can accomplish great things.  And all those things are an expression not only of man himself, but of God working through man.  For God is perfection, and all we who are artists are striving for perfection in our art.  In other words, we are all becoming more like God, part of God, and in consequence our work and art grows also.

And therefore, in the different spheres you find that as those who have gone through one sphere to the other of progress, they leave behind in their particular sphere (the same as when a person leave your world to come to this), they leave behind some expression of God, some expression of the emotion of the spirit and the beauty of the spirit in all its purity and grace.  In my life, I try to leave behind some expression of God in my work, and the artists and the poets, and all those who strive to express themselves, the soul, which is a part of God, have left behind a heritage for those who follow after.  And so in the spheres as we progress from one to the other, as we learn and assimilate and utilize all the opportunities in each particular individual sphere in which we live, we create and leave behind for those who come from your world into that particular sphere some of ourselves, to leave behind in love to help those who follow after, the same as those musicians in your world today take the works of the great masters and find in them great beauty and reverence and harmony and sound of… great, joyous music.  They feel and know there is some part of God in the soul of a musician who has made progress beyond material things.

So it is that we all help each other.  We are all brothers and sisters.  You were surprised, long time ago, when I first come to you.  For a long time you could not really believe it.  You thought, “Ah, it is not possible.  Why should he come to me?” because you are humble in spirit, because you realize the greatness in music, you realize the greatness in art, and you realize too that there was some part of the soul, and you felt perhaps you could not touch it.  But my child, that is exactly what we are striving to do, to touch you, that you might in some measure link with us in harmony of the spheres.  It is our gift to humanity to help those who follow after, that they might be inspired also to express and to give to the world in the darkness in which it finds itself the harmony and the love of the spheres which is expressed in the music that we have been able to give through our sojourn on Earth.  We are all tied together in bond of love and affection.

Music is the harmony of love which flows through all human beings and links us together.  In my music when you play it you are touching my soul, and I am conscious of it.  When you love it and when you try to express it with all that you have to give to it, I am conscious of it, and when I find there is such love, then I am drawn.  And how often we have striven from this side, to make links with people on Earth, who do not understand.  There are here and there a few artists, a few people in music who, though they do not know the meaning of what you call spiritualism, yet in their deeper selves there is a consciousness of being attached through the music with the soul who created it, and they try to express it.  And if they are good artists, if they are talented, if they have a natural ability, then we can use them, as we often do, trying to help those that are struggling in your world as we would have liked to have been helped, and often were, when on Earth.  So we strive to help them.  There are some in your world who I often help, some that you know.  And so, because we love with all the fullness that love means, we do not necessarily only go to those who can become accomplished musicians in the Earth life, but to those who feel so intensely, which sometimes, in fact, I would go so far as to say is even more important than the execution of the music, for where there is an intensity of love, or a great understanding within the heart, to express, in my case, my music, then I am one with that person, and if I can help them, and help their trembling fingers over the keys, that is my joy and privilege, for I come in love to serve.  For my music is to serve humanity, to help them rise above mundane things, into the harmonies of the spirit which I now enjoy.

And so it is that music links us together, much more perhaps than any other form of art, but it is in music that we find such a peace, and it is in music which we find solace in our soul who are in trouble, as I know I did so often in Earth life.  For I have many times gone to the piano with a heart that was broken, and yet found peace and great harmony and great solace in it.  And some of my greatest composition was done in my most terrible hour, for it is always when God calls strongest to the heart that out of it falls the harmony of the spirit, which nothing can take away from the world.  For it is left behind, as indeed it is for service.  For even in death, as you call it, we serve still in various ways.  I am not dead; I am more alive than ever I was when on Earth, more conscious, more able to serve and to help, and greater harmonies I can now create than ever I was able to do in the confines of the material earthly body, which was always a sorrow to me, and ofttimes a nuisance.  But this I know, that your love, your desire for expression of that within you, makes possible that link I have with you, and if you do not execute my work as you know you would like to do it, it is the heart within you that makes possible that link between us, the desire.  It is always the desire, the sincere desire in the heart and the soul that calls to us, more than even the other things which often people around and about you admire most.  I know that there is disappointment and disillusion to the artist, to the soul who strives and feels so intensely and yet whose physical… physical body has not the power to do what the heart tells them.  But nevertheless, you are creating, in some sense, a great harmony, because you feel.  How often do we know of people who execute technically brilliantly the work of a great composer, but there is something lacking which makes it dull and uninteresting, because it is without feeling, it is without soul.  They have not touched the soul of the composer.  And unless the soul of the composer is put into the technique, if it is not behind that which is being done, there is in spite of its brilliance of execution, nothing but deadness, and there is nothing but disappointment.  But those who feel so intensely, those who appreciate music, and yet cannot play it, are the greater musicians, for they have something which the man with all the technique in the world has not got.  He has not got God in his heart.  He has not touched the heart of a musician.  He has not felt that wonderful union that comes between those who so love that which is and which has been created in love.  For in love do we who create music serve humanity.

Every great work of note in your world has been created, through the instrumentality of the musician, in some way, by the hand of God, for it is the hand of God that helps all those who strive to send into the Earth beauty and glorious harmony.  It is the fingers of God that move behind the fingers, often the stumbling fingers, of the humble musician.  For God is knowing all things, and God is expressing himself in all ways, through the artist who paints, through the musician who creates and plays, through the singer who sings the harmonies that others have composed, and all the beauties of the Earth.  Always you find God, and behind the musician, God is.  And when those who feel God in music, though their fingers cannot play the notes, there is a musician, there is harmony.  There is glorious music, for it is music of the soul that swells out and in the spheres is heard, and we are conscious of it, and we are drawn to those who, though they want to do so much, can do so little because of the limitations of their earthly life.  But their hearts are full of love, and their hearts are conscious of all the harmonies of the spheres, and their thoughts are with the great musicians and the great composers who have gone before but who have left a heritage for the children of Earth to follow.  I know how you feel, and because I know how you feel, it is a joy for me to come, and to serve and to help and to bless.  I do not ever feel that I am giving a second away if it is spent with those who love as you do the music that is God’s.  I must go, but do not feel sad, and feel joyous, for there is great beauty in all of us.  For we are all God, in harmony with each other.

Rose (in a reverent tone):  Thank you, Frederic.

Male voice:  Thank you, Monsieur Chopin.

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Chopin Interviewed

Originally posted February 22, 2010

Interview of Fryderyk Chopin by Betty Greene and S. G. Woods

Leslie Flint, Direct Voice Medium

Some sources give the date of this session as December 19, 1959, but it appears to me to have been earlier.  I’m not sure what year Mrs. Greene and Mr. Woods started doing these recordings.  The text indicates that the session occurred near Christmas.  On the Flint website the date is given as “unknown.”

This is the session I mentioned in my last “Hearing Voices” post, the one from which an excerpt came blasting out of my speakers at 2 am.  Until a couple of years ago, it was the only Chopin session available for the public to hear.  It is the only one for which I have a complete transcript; the recording quality was somewhat better than that of the sessions with Rose Creet, for the most part.  The Chopin voice struggles a bit more with language, however, especially when trying to describe matters that would be difficult or impossible to manage in one’s native language.

After discussing the experience of finding himself in the other world, the entity takes up the subject that is common to much of the Flint material, that of the preeminence of spiritual reality, though only for a short time.  It’s notable that the Flint group was very active during the height of the Cold War, and the messages often had to do with the need for greater awareness and compassion, in the hopes that living humans wouldn’t blow up the planet.

Today’s date has its own uncertainty.  According to Chopin’s birth certificate, February 22 is his birthday, which would make him 200 today.  But Chopin himself thought of March 1 as his birthday, as did his parents, who ought to have known.  So most Chopin scholars accept that date.  But what the heck, we can celebrate more than once, can’t we?  At any rate, after two centuries, this man’s legacy is going as strong as ever.

A special Cześć! to my friends at Piano World.

“…and at this stage I begin to realize

that a great change had come over me.”

Spirit:  Good morning!

Woods:  Good morning!

Spirit:  I do not know if it is really afternoon or morning— time is always a most complicated thing for us to be certain about.  When we come to your Earth conditions we are always inclined to be puzzled about certain things— time is always a problem. We don’t know sometimes— it is very difficult to say whether it is Tuesday, or Monday, you know.  We don’t know.  It is only from your mind, or from your calendar, and then we are confused sometimes.  But this is unimportant.  Anyway, I wish you good morning!

Woods:  Good morning.

Spirit:  I am most interested in everything that you are trying to do, you know.  You are most, how you say, ambitious to propagate this truth, you know.  You have make these machine recordings, you call them— it is very interesting—i t is a magnificent thing, I think.  I only wish it were possible in my day for this to be so, we have these instruments.  But then, of course, it was different, we have not nothing like this, no.  It is a long time ago now.

Greene:  May I have your name?

Spirit:  My name is Chopin.

Greene:  Oh, Chopin! [sounding thrilled]

Chopin:  Frédéric Chopin.  [He gives something close to the usual Polish pronunciation of his last name, but the French version of his first name.]

Greene:  Oh, how lovely!

Chopin:  What a great thing it would be to have had this for making recording of music.  It would have been a tremendous asset, you know.  Just imagine!  Now, of course, you have everything— science has made marvelous discoveries.  Your world has changed beyond all recognition.  People have such benefits today.  Often we see people in your world complaining about the modern age, but it has so many blessings!  Oh, so many blessings!  Ah, it is true that in some respects you have many things which cause alarm and concern, and can, oh, make you feel very unhappy, but there are many compensations.

Greene:  Please, will you tell us all about yourself?  And the usual question we ask is how you passed over, and how you found yourself, and what you’re doing now?

Chopin:  You have for me the questions… how I pass… how I pass over… pass over…you mean how I died?

Greene:  Yes.

Chopin:  Oh, I was very surprised.   I probably had very little, how you say, knowledge.  I did not have any knowledge.  I had no particular religion.  I suppose really I was Catholic, but… not very good one, I’m afraid!  I was a bad Catholic.  I did not have any strong ideas about anything.  When I come here it was surprise for me.  I meet so many friends, people that I have known years ago, friends that I had known when I was quite a little boy— all there.

I only remember I was very ill, lying on my bed.  My friends— some of my friends— were with me, and gradually everything seemed to go further and further away from me, and then everything seemed still.  No longer did I hear voices, no longer did I know or be conscious of anything, it was as if I was drifting, drifting away and away from everything.  Nothing seemed real anymore.  The things that had been real no longer seemed real to me.  And then I begin to see light, as if there was an enormous light.  [At first] it was like a little tiny glimmer, then it became brighter and brighter and brighter, and I begin to hear sounds.  It was music.  It begins to swell up and up and become louder, and it was as if there was a whole… whole orchestra— magnificent!  And I tried to hear, how you say, I tried to hear what this melody was.  There seemed to be a theme which fascinated me, and I could not know, I did not recognize… it was not music I had been accustomed to at all, it was beyond my comprehension.  It was different, much more magnificent than anything I ever hear.  And then it seemed as if I suddenly became conscious of being in a magnificent building.  It was a tremendous place, and the whole auditorium, the whole place seemed to be full of people.  And there was magnificent color; the whole place seemed to be suffused with magnificent color, and yet it was transparent.  I could see through this color, and yet it seemed as if I was breathing it in, as if all this color was enveloping me, and it was becoming, as it were, alive.  I don’t know how to explain this.  It was all tremendous.  It was… it was living matter, and yet there was such beauty, and it was all… harmony there.  It was difficult, impossible to describe.

And I see this magnificent building, alive with color and vibration and music. Gradually I see individuals out of the mass of people— some I had known, some who had been very close to me in my youth, my… people.  Oh, it was wonderful!  And then the music stopped, and the color began to become more, how you say, more definite, because before it had been so soft and so… wonderful.  And then the colors seemed to merge and become a beautiful color of, I don’t know how to say—but it was like blue, but it was a different blue to anything I have ever seen.  Instead of being many colors, it seemed to all change, and it was all a perfect blue, and everything seemed to be reflected in this light.  And people began to come towards me, and I felt myself surrounded by love and warmth and harmony.  And many individuals I had known greeted me, welcomed me, and they show me gradually— I don’t know how they do this— but they gradually were able to illuminate my mind, I suppose, that I could see beyond the walls of this building.  It seemed as if I move with them in one mass from this building.

The walls seemed to disappear, and I was in a magnificent sort of place which was like the grounds of a magnificent house.  And I could see in the distance a wonderful house, beautiful, with turrets, and beautiful colors, and a beautiful lake in front of this house.  It reminded me a little of Versailles, the fountains, and the birds and the animals.  I saw some deer.  Along a big avenue of trees I seemed to be going, with all these people round me, as if… and all the time I feel as if I were going somewhere, as if I were going to be received, I don’t know, but that was what the impression— that I was being transported to this building.  And I remember as I come to it there were many steps.  And I thought to myself, how strange, you know— oh, what a lot of steps to climb, you know.  And I don’t remember touching the foot— the foot touching the step at all.  It was as if I was transported one by one, and yet there was no effort needed.  That was one of the things that most impressed me— I feel as if nothing was an effort anymore, whereas previously when I was on Earth, everything I had to do was such an effort.  It was terrible.  I could not do very much, for a long time, I had to rest.

But here I feel so alive, so different, full of vitality, nothing was an effort.  And yet in my mind as I saw these enormous steps, you know, I think oh, what a lot of steps to climb!  It was still, I suppose, my mentality of my Earth… there, but I begin to realize that no longer was I affected by disease or trouble with my body.  It was a different body, but I had not seen it, but I felt that it was different, and I was anxious to see what I look like.  Strange how one should think these things, but I think, ah, I feel different, I have no effort no more.  I wonder if I look different?  And at this stage I begin to realize that a great change had come over me.

And as I get to these stairs, I go up and up this staircase— how you say, steps— and I come to a big building I had seen in the distance.  In front of me there was a big courtyard with a big, enormous, how you say, arch.  And I go through this, and I go forward into this building, and it was enormous with high vaulted roof.  And the floor was like, how you say, was like beautiful stone, but highly polished, and many colors.  And there were beautiful pictures everywhere of people.  And I look as I go along here, as if I was being directed, yet no one was showing me the way, but I seem to know which way I had to go.  And as I go along this big room, this gallery, I see these pictures, and I thought, “This person I think I know,” and I recognize various people on these pictures who have been pass over long time, you know, and I think, that is strange.  I still did not fully realize everything that had happened to me.

Anyway, I go along and along, and eventually I come to a very big room, and I see many people, and at the end of this room there was like a dais, you know, or a rostrum you say— steps— and a magnificent figure of a man, and he was dressed in beautiful garments, gold and purple cloak, and his hair was beautiful, it was jet black and very wavy, and cut short to the shoulder, and he had beautiful brown eyes, large and luminous.  And I felt I was in the presence of someone very important, very wonderful person.  And I approached this, and I felt as if I was being received, as though one might be by a pope or something.  And this person come forward and greet me, and welcome me, and tell me that I have been brought to the sphere of music, and that he was to be my, how you say, host, that he was welcoming me on behalf of all these peoples, and that I would be shown around and be introduced to various peoples, and would be shown my home, which would be in the grounds of this magnificent place, and there I would continue to make music and to study.  It was as if I was being initiated into a big society, which of course in a way it was.  It was a society of artists and musicians.  I met all great people— Michelangelo— oh, so many people that have been great—Cellini—many people.

Greene:  Go on, it’s awfully interesting.

Woods:  Very interesting, yes.

Chopin:  You know, it is extraordinary; we don’t know anything about ourselves when we are on Earth.  We are very dim, how you say, very… perhaps in some ways it is important that we are not allowed to know too much.  Perhaps it is wise.

You know, I meet peoples on this side to… to suggest and to give some impressions and ideas which perhaps could not be put in words… you know music can sometimes say more to a person than words.  Religion is something… which is something deep within oneself.  There are many things that you cannot put into words, you cannot describe, you cannot read about, people don’t know how to write about it.  True religion is something that comes from the soul, from the inner man, which cannot be described or analyzed.  It is something that you do, that you express.  It is that part of you that is divine, that is God, that is eternal, that cannot be destroyed, that is ever-living through all humanity, through all time.  This is true religion, this is true realization, this is true development of the soul and understanding of it.  It is not something that some people think that you can put in a book, and that is the beginning or the end, and nothing existed before or afterwards.  That is ignorance that make people say these things.

True religion, true understanding of religion, true realization of oneself, true realization of one’s oneness with the Divine and the purpose and the plan, all these things are beyond space and time, beyond books, beyond the things that man can say in words.  These are things which, in themselves, are deeply hidden within, but can be expressed with time and experience.  And we cannot do it all in one life or one age.

Greene:  The present-day music must have given you a nasty shock sometimes, hasn’t it?

Chopin:  Well, some of it I do not like, and some I do not dislike!  I think there are many here and there who are trying to suggest— who are trying to reproduce things which are probably, and in many cases, very much a… a product of their age.

You know, music changes.  Although there are a limited number of notes, it is amazing what one can do with them, and one can reproduce many sounds and many experiences of the inner soul.  And one can reproduce also much of the condition of a life, or the experience of a life, or of an age.  I do not like most of your modern music, but nevertheless I respect some who are sincere and are endeavoring to reproduce something that they feel intensely, and which represents to them their time and age.

But of course, true music, real music, great music, is something that is beyond your world, and springs from the spiritual aspect of man, the realization of the greatness and the oneness with God.  Great music is something that is really born in the spirit, and is reproduced, perhaps, very badly in your world.  The great geniuses of music, whether it be of one age or another, they are what you would call reproducing certain aspects of the higher self in sound, the aspiration of man.  You were going to say, Monsieur, something?

Woods:  Yes, is your music much different to the Earth music?  Much more advanced?

Chopin:  Oh, of course it is much different.  For instance, we have many instruments which you do not possess.  Also on the higher planes, on the very highly evolved planes, we can create music without instruments, by the mere effort of thought, thought being creative here.  A great musician, for instance, can complete and achieve a whole work without the use of an instrument at all.  He can as it were, in himself, create all the sounds from himself, and in consequence those who are attuned in to his thoughts and himself as it were, will hear the reproduction of that which the composer has created.

You see you have become, quite naturally, because you live in a material world and it is difficult for you to grasp otherwise, you have become accustomed to everything having to be material.  You must have a shovel to dig a hole, you must have a violin to play a violin concerto.  But the whole point is that these instruments are in themselves mechanical, they are things that have been built and contrived by man to create certain things, or for certain purposes.  Here, we realize that thought is so predominant and so strong, that when you know how to use it and how to control it, and how to make it, as it were, something which is very fundamental and real and powerful, you can create sound without the aid of an instrument.  You can create it from within yourself, you can vibrate the harmony and the atmosphere, you can create music without instruments.  After all, you think… you think before you speak.  Your thought is there before the word, before the sound.  And here our thoughts are such that they can be received by those who are in harmony with us, on our vibration.

After all, you can close your eyes, and there is darkness, and yet you can see pictures, you can reconstruct, or construct things in your own imaginings.  What is imagination?  No one has answered the question, “What is imagination?”  It is a reality often.  That which you imagine is ofttimes more real than that which you are conscious of.

Man, in your world, in some ways, though he has advanced in many ways tremendously, he is still very ignorant of the power of the spirit, the power that is deep, that is hidden within.  It has been said to you, “Knock and it shall be opened to you.”  But few people bother to knock!  They are content with that which has been given to them.  Often those who are most anxious to see and to know are the most ignorant, because they will not realize the power that is within themselves.  They are content, in many cases, to accept that which has been taught them, or that which they have learnt, and they do not seek for themselves, they do not know.  There are many in your world who are very sincere, very kind, very good people, very honest, very happy people, but they are very childish!

Greene:  You may think this rather a silly question, but what was your impression of a piano when you first played one on the other side?

Chopin:  My impression of a piano when I first played it here… that I was at home, I suppose, because without a piano I was a lost person.  But when I find a piano here, and I could play, I was happy.

Greene:  Was it different, though?

Chopin:  No, it seemed exactly the same, but at the same time it seemed to have a richer, more beautiful tone, and it did not seem so restricted or limited as it did when on Earth.   But of course, this was all done in the early stages of my coming here, to make me feel happy, to make me feel at home.  But gradually, as I began to realize the possibilities and capabilities here, then I began to emerge, you might say, and become more able to do greater things.

You see, we limit ourselves by our lack of knowledge.  But as we gain knowledge, we become less limited, and that which we strive to do becomes more possible, and in consequence becomes much greater.  Oh, it is wonderful!  Do you not realize how wonderful it is, this world, where there are no limitations, only the limitations that we set ourselves?  Nothing is impossible, and everything that is good is possible, and we become greater because of our strivings for it.  Your world is restricted, but only restricted because man has made it so.  In his ignorance he does not see, he does not realize the capabilities, the possibilities in your world.  He limits himself by material thinking and action in consequence.  But there is no limit to what man can achieve if he will seek deeply and certainly and surely for that which comes from the spirit.  The power of the spirit can overcome all things, as you know, through the miracles of Jesus and other great souls.  These things which seem restricting are not so.  There is nothing impossible if man has faith, faith in the creator, and faith in the power that he gives us.

I am very happy to be able to come here to speak with you.  I would like very much again to come—

Woods:  May I ask you a question?

Chopin: Yes, monsieur.

Woods:  I love playing a piano, but I can’t play a note.  But I love to pick out tunes and play.  But I never play if anyone is there because I know they’ll laugh if I play, but I thoroughly enjoy making up some sort of my own music at the piano.  Or I love to sit in a park— I know people would laugh at me for doing this— and I listen to sound, and putting the sound into music, into some sort of… just music, forgetting the noise.  Now, am I actually making music in that direction?

Chopin:  Indirectly, yes.  But you see, like all things, to achieve, it means effort, it means training.  In your world you must be trained to play the piano, you must know the piano, what it is capable of, and your fingers must be accustomed to be supple, and so on.  But you see, within yourself obviously there is the inborn desire to be creative, to… to create and to play, and when you come here, away from the confine and limitation of the flesh, then you no doubt will create, and you will make music.  Because you are limited in your world through lack of experience, and because as a child you were not trained, all these things are limiting.  But you know, even so, in spite of all these limitations, it is still not improbable, or impossible for a person who has never touched a piano, had no experience, providing they have that faith, they can be used, and they can be controlled, and in such a way they can play the piano like a master.  You see, although these material aspects are important, they are not necessarily always a drawback that sometimes people think.  Nothing is impossible, and if one has faith, then one can be used.  But it will not be quite the same, perhaps, as being of your own self.  You see, there is this form of mediumship, which you say, a medium can be controlled and used, which often he may be.  You may be controlled in some way to play a piano, but it still not would be[sic]of your own.  You see what I mean?

Woods:  Yes.

Chopin:  But when you come here, if you have this desire, and I see that you have, no doubt you will become musical, more musical, and be able to play.  But you will have… still have to go through the various phases.  There is no certain, quick road, how you say, to success.  Everything must be done gradually.  Everything must be earned, you know.  We must suffer to earn.

Anyway, I must go, because the power weaken.  But it has been joy for me to come to you.  I wish you happy Noël.  Au revoir and bless you, madame et monsieur.

Woods, Greene:  Thank you very much.

[Mickey, the little-boy spirit, breaks in with “Bye-bye!”  Mrs. Greene laughs and says good-bye to him.  They begin a discussion, including Mr. Flint, about how interesting the session was and how Mr. Woods would like to be able to play the piano.  The tape cuts off.]


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Hearing Voices, Part III– Chopin

Originally posted February 11, 2010 at Gaia.com

I told you that I was introduced to the Leslie Flint recordings in March 1998, five years into my own contacts with the spirit world, and that I had a personal connection with this phenomenon.  Here’s what I was talking about.

One night I was searching online for information relating to Fryderyk Chopin, the “dead” person I’d been communicating with for so long.  This was relatively early in Internet history, and I didn’t find a lot.  However, astonishingly, there was a link to something entitled “Chopin still composes,” which promised a recording of his voice.  A real voice, captured on tapes made in the middle of the 20th century!  At the time I’d never heard of direct voice, and certainly didn’t know that Chopin had ever been involved with it.  Despite the intensity of my own connection with him over those past five years, I’d never received a verbal message myself.   The contacts had consisted of emotions, physical sensations, and sometimes images.

In order to hear the recording, I needed to download a plugin, and for quite a while, on attempt after attempt, it refused to work.  At last it kicked in, and suddenly, much too loudly, the following boomed from my speakers, staticky and rough:

“True music, real music, great music, is something that is beyond your world, and springs from the spiritual aspect of man, the realization of the greatness and the oneness with God.  Great music is something that is really born in the spirit, and is reproduced, perhaps, very badly in your world.”

It was 2:00 in the morning, and I’ll never forget the feeling of shock as that voice filled the room.

This touched off a whole month of unprecedentedly strong and persistent contacts.  For the next month he came around on a more or less daily basis– far more often, and for longer periods of time, than he’d ever done before.  It was as if he battered at my reality, doing everything he could to get through to me.  It was wonderful, romantic, and musically instructive, and I was deeply grateful for the experience, though it turned out to be more intense than I could handle.  Just when I began to get used to it all, it stopped.  But that’s a story for another time.

This connection between the entity identified as Chopin in the recordings and the one that I know makes me feel virtually certain that the two are the same being.  And when I’ve asked “my” Chopin questions about the Flint phenomena, he has answered as if he were the person involved with all that.  The personality of one is consistent with the other.  I have many reasons to believe that the person who visits me is the current version of the one who lived on Earth from 1810 to 1849 and wrote all that superb music, but I understand that it is never going to be possible to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt.  That small shadow can sometimes seem bigger than the light it obscures, I’m afraid.  I am further limited in my understanding by the fact that I’ve only been able to listen to a small percentage of the conversations that took place in sessions with “their” Chopin.  It’s possible that if I could hear everything, my doubts would be allayed– or that I would hear something that would absolutely, finally convince me that this person could not truly be Fryderyk Chopin.  Here I’m going to do some devil’s advocating and lay out some of the issues that might give a skeptical listener reason to scoff, along with some of my reasons to think The Voice is for real.

On the surface, the Chopin voice sounds more like a French speaker than anything else, and indeed Chopin did spend the second half of his life mostly in France.   English/French cognates tend to come out with the pronunciation split between the two languages; for example, “science” sounds like “sigh-AHNCE,” with a French nasal in the second syllable.  But Chopin should sound Polish, shouldn’t he?  (I mean, if I’d been trying to fake a Chopin voice, I would have tried to make him sound Polish, period.)  He does, if you listen closely.  For example, some of the vowels are distinctly Polish, and final Ys often sound like short I in English.  The syntax is frequently very Slavic.  I think this combination of linguistic influences would be difficult to fake.  Overall, one gets the impression of a person who is educated and cultured but is not entirely comfortable in English.

I spent a great deal of time minutely analyzing this voice’s accent and manner of speaking, only to realize, finally, that there is little point to that.  Since the voices are group processes and have nothing to do with the vocal mechanism of any individual human being, there is a limit to how much can be discerned about the speaker that way.  On May 19, 1955, the Chopin voice explained:  “You know, or should realize, that all that we strive to do, it has in every part of it an aspect which is more than it appears.  That is not very clear…. What I mean is that I speak to you, but behind my voice is something much more.  I mean, what you hear is an artificial voice.  It is not a natural voice, for the simple reason that we are reproducing our thoughts in an artificial way.”

Yet, wouldn’t it be more convincing if the voice of Chopin expressed itself in Polish?  I don’t know if this ever happened, but on the recordings I’ve heard, there is not a word of that language.  There was an apparent attempt, though.  At the beginning of one session, Mr. Flint mentions that he had awakened in the middle of the night to find himself speaking a foreign language.  The culprit’s voice breaks in with, “That was me.”  He says that it was easier to accomplish this while the medium was asleep, and that he wasn’t yet ready to try it under normal séance conditions.  Now why, you may ask, would it be a problem for a spirit to speak through direct voice in his native language, since it’s the spirit and not the medium who is doing the speaking?  I’ve certainly asked that myself.  In fact, I have endlessly picked and worried at this question, and a number of times I’ve pestered my Historical Source about it.  After all, other languages, both ancient and modern, have been known to come through with direct voice.  Yet, somehow, it seems to matter when the speaker’s language is not known to the medium.  Perhaps it is all the worse when the sitters don’t know the language either.

For quite a while I was severely bothered by the voice’s unwillingness to come across with even a few words of Polish.*  I was somewhat in agreement with a friend of the sitter, who had insisted, “I’ll only believe it’s Chopin if he speaks Polish.”  The voice, however, had a completely opposite take on the matter.  He felt that if he did not speak perfect Polish, and modern Polish at that, people would say, “That can’t be Chopin.”  He said that he was trying to learn to “speak modern” and to be totally proficient in the direct voice method before attempting to speak in what he referred to as “my language.”  (Apparently there was a specific Polish person he was expecting would listen to the recordings; I couldn’t catch the man’s name.)  Myself, I think we’d have been all the more convinced by Polish from the first half of the 19th century, but for whatever reason, he didn’t see it that way.  He would get this done in his own way and in his own time, he said, “because my way is the right way.”  An unusually arrogant statement for this being– though I do know him to be pretty bull-headed at times.  At any rate, heard all together, his point of view does sound reasonable.

This is all still a bit unclear to me, but I will tell you what I’ve received on the subject.  The gist of the message was this:  It was easier for the spirits to bring through more remote, ancient languages because Flint had no preconceived notions about them and did not have any expectation of understanding them.  In the case of Polish, even though it was unfamiliar, his mind kept trying to analyze and understand, and that created a barrier.   He could still grasp at the Latin and Greek roots and the other bits that were similar to English.

There was an image of the mind of the medium being like a thicket or swamp, full of things that get in the way, which the spirits must navigate around and through.  It was similar to something Fryderyk had told me a long time before:  “There is always interference from the medium.  The medium cannot turn his brain off just because he is a medium.”

Toward the end of the contact, I heard, “The mind of the medium is a blank canvas…”

I interrupted with, “I thought you said it wasn’t blank.”  A moment before, he’d shown me that thicket.

“The mind of the medium is a blank canvas in the sense that we use it to paint ourselves onto your reality.”

The sitter in these sessions, Rose Creet, was a huge fan of Chopin, and had read a great deal about him.  Sometimes she would ask him questions in which she’d massacre one Polish name or another.  I noticed that although her pronunciations were like an ice pick through my ear, he didn’t correct her.  Did he not hear her– or did he perhaps hear her thoughts more than her voice, and simply know who she was talking about?  Did he feel it was better to let the conversation proceed without interruption, and so let the errors go?  Or does this indicate an entity who is not sufficiently familiar with the facts of Chopin’s life?

For example, in a 1956 session, Rose brings up Antoni Wodziński’s book about Chopin’s “three romances,” mispronouncing “Wodziński” and incorrectly referring to him as a count.  The voice doesn’t correct her on either point.  “Three romances!” he says, with a kind of dismissive sniff.  “I had more than three.”  Rose, naturally, presses for more information, which he refuses with, “No, I have no intention to go over my dirty parts,” getting a huge laugh.  Like Rose, I would have loved to hear more, especially since I do know of at least one other romance of his.

There is one other thing that has bothered me about this voice.  In a 1953 session, the group is discussing a recent portrait of Chopin.  The subject approves of it, saying, “I think it is for the man to be congratulated.”  Rose asks what his coloring really was like in life, and he says that his hair and eyes were light brown.  Hmm, every piece of evidence we have says that Chopin’s eyes were actually grey-blue.   “That tears it,” I thought.  “This can’t be for real.”

At the next opportunity I had to meet with Fryderyk at Mendy’s, I expressed my concern about this.  I was told that his eyes had been mixed colors, rather like agate.  Well, I’d often seen eyes that were both blue and brown, but I’d never describe them as simply brown, I thought.  Right after this exchange, and I mean directly after, I went to see my friend Pam.  I noticed for the first time that her eyes were about 50/50 blue and brown, and that in certain light they appeared to have areas of green, turquoise and grey.  What would one call that combination of colors?  It turned out that Pam calls it brown. She told me that years ago a friend had insisted that her eyes were blue, and she thought he was crazy.  I told her that they were in fact blue, among other things, and she disagreed with me.   My perceptions of those colors were completely different from hers.  This may or may not have anything to do with Chopin, but it was fascinating that the universe put this lesson in my path just at that moment.

Apparently this entity made his own efforts to show what he looked like.  There was quite a bit of photographic activity on the part of the spirits in the Flint project.  A frequent communicator, Dr. Charles Marshall, described what they’d been up to in a session in 1955.  They had attempted to get an image of Chopin as he would have looked in his cell at the monastery in Majorca over a century earlier, but that had come out rather fuzzy.  Superimposed on that picture was an image of the séance room, and this part was Chopin’s project.  He took his place at the ectoplasmic voice-box and described something of what he had done to create the photograph.  He had wanted to do the photographic process in reverse, he said, taking an image of the people in the séance room even as they were trying to get a picture of him at Valldemosa.  He thought it would be amusing!  Rose asked why the door of the room was open in the picture, since it was always kept closed in reality.  The voice explained that he had wanted to make the image different from the usual appearance of the séance room, so that it would be obvious that it was not a normal photo with a double exposure.  In order to show the open door, he said, it had been necessary to figure out what to show on the other side, so he had needed to visualize the piano and other objects that he knew were in the next room.  It sounded awfully tricky to me– a virtuosic performance.

The spirits often spoke of Mr. Flint as “the instrument.”  Perhaps that gives us a way into a clearer understanding of this phenomenon.  Different instruments make different sounds, even when the same music is played by the same player.  An instrument doesn’t choose what notes are played, but it has its own range, tone quality, degree of responsiveness, and so forth.  It determines the ultimate effect, and limits and shapes what music is possible.

But for a master musician, an “instrument” has further possibilities.  A recording from 1956 begins with Dr. Marshall cautioning the group that if they wish to perform experiments like the one they did the evening before, they ought to stick with using only their friends and not involve total strangers.  It seems that the occasion had been a piano recital attended by Mrs. Creet and Mr. Flint—and by Chopin as well.  He had taken over the unsuspecting pianist, the total stranger, and played through him during much of the program, with varying degrees of success.  Toward the end, everyone agreed, his control had been almost complete, and the performance of a waltz that had served as an encore was considered to be as close to Chopin’s actual playing as could possibly be.  Everyone sounded delighted with the results.

I was boggled when I heard this.  Not because this entity could exert control over another pianist; I was well aware that he could.  But to impose himself on someone who had not given his consent and in fact had no idea what was going on— and during an actual performance, not just during a practice session!  That, to my mind, went beyond the bounds of propriety.  Yet Chopin seemed to have no compunction about trying this very invasive experiment, and an experiment it was, as far as he was concerned.  He didn’t express the slightest qualms; he was like a scientist discussing a lab animal.  “That man, he was like wax,” he said.

It is so unusual to catch Chopin doing or saying anything egotistical, during his life or now, that this really stands out.  One might choose to say that since it is so uncharacteristic of him, this proves that the voice on the Flint recordings cannot truly be Chopin.  Yet, I know that this escapade was and is absolutely within his capabilities.

It is clear from the recording that Chopin did not feel he was doing anything wrong in playing that player.  He seemed to believe that he was simply advancing the cause of communication between the worlds, and in fact he sounded quite pleased with himself.  Rose did not express the slightest misgivings either.

I brought this up with him at Mendy Lou’s, asking both of them for comments.

“He says, in his defense, that it was a long time ago,” Mendy began.  She added that the pianist had wanted this, even though he couldn’t have understood what was happening—he had always wished to play like Chopin.  I hoped that had been true, but it still wasn’t enough justification for me.  Yet, Chopin had been only one component of a large group on the Flint project, and most likely working with beings wiser and more mature than himself.  He had been allowed to perform this experiment, so the group must have thought it was all right.  Dr. Marshall’s comments may not have reflected the majority opinion.

I think this story did more to convince me of the identity of the Chopin voice than anything else.  The description of his ability to control the player varying through the performance matched my experience exactly.  His experimental attitude and his expansive energy sounded right too.

In the sessions with Rose, there is a running discussion of her difficulties with her own piano playing, which apparently caused her a great deal of frustration.  This exchange, from 1953, is especially pithy, and will give you a good sense of the personalities involved:

Chopin says, “If only you would practice, you could be very good, then I could help you.  As you know, you don’t practice enough.  You spend much too much time away from the music room.”

Rose replies, “But I can’t practice, Monsieur….”  She continues with an unintelligible protest.

“You should practice every day for at least three hours,” he insists.

Weakly and unconvincingly, Rose sighs, “Oh… I’ll try.”

“Shut yourself away.  Lock the doors if necessary, and then I can inspire you.  When you are saying to yourself, ‘Oh, I must do this, I must do that,’ and the phone go, and then you pick him up, and you say, ‘Yes, yes, no,’ and you rush back to the piano, how can you expect to have the right atmosphere?  How can you get into the mood if you always be distracted, you know.”

“I know, that’s it,” Rose admits.

“Ah, I look forward to winter comes, you shut all the windows, all the noise out, and you shut yourself up with the piano and me.”

“You know what I’m going to do, Monsieur?  I’ll just have the firelight, just the fire, and I’m just going to sit at my piano and improvise.”

“Ah, you improvise.  My work is not good enough for you, you have to improvise!”

“No, I mean to say, no, no, your work is wonderful, but only by improvisation….”   Chopin refuses to hear her explanation, and continues teasing.  “Well, you know, I am amused with you, because you come out with such talk!—how would you say, strange statements.  You say you admire my work, you think it is the most wonderful thing in the world, and yet you say to me, quite calmly, ‘I improvise.’  Why?”

Rose turns completely serious.  “I’ll tell you why, Monsieur, because I find your work very, very difficult….”

“Why don’t you practice?  You say you find it difficult.  Well, of course you find it difficult if you don’t work on it!  Ah!  You are hopeless.”  This sounds harsh in print, but it is delivered with tenderness, and everyone in the room breaks into laughter.  “I think sometimes I say to myself, ‘Hm.  Why, she is get a little better.’  Then I think, ‘Oh, no, that was dreadful.’  I don’t know.  But I’ll help you all I can.”

“I see.  But what shall I start with?  Tell me that, and I shall do it.”

“I think you start with five-finger exercises, for six years,”  he deadpans.  (It is so difficult to avoid awful puns with this material!)

One of my Chopaholic friends listened to some of this material and responded with, “It can’t be him.  I’d know him anywhere.”  But this is very much the him that I know, and in fundamental qualities like irrepressible humor, sky-high artistic standards, and a penchant for experimentation, I’d say he’s very much like Chopin 1.0.  I realize, though, that no manifestation of Chopin we may meet today is really that same person.  Any contact with the “dead” involves that being remembering his or her Earth personality and trying to reproduce it, then squeezing him or herself down into a form that can fit through our methods of communication.  The reality of that person is multidimensional and unlimited, but generally we only get a hint of that greater reality, if we can perceive it at all.

Which is true for us on the planet, as well.

*My local manifestation of Chopin doesn’t speak to me in that language either, but then I rarely get a verbal message at all, in English or otherwise; it’s still more a matter of raw ideas, images, and emotions.  This is true for my friends who see and hear him, as well– language is irrelevant.  However, once when Hania Stromberg and I were in touch with him during an IADC session– a large subject in itself– Hania heard, “Dusze.  Dusze.  Mają dusze.”  (“Souls.  Souls.  They have souls.”)  She said that she was puzzled by having a Polish phrase pop into her head, because she was completely “in English mode” at the time.  And we were both confused by the message itself, because it seemed to have nothing to do with what was going on at that moment.  Later, someone reading my transcript of the session pointed out that a little before that, I had been telling Hania that I hadn’t experienced anyone close to me dying in recent years, except for two cats, and that I didn’t have any idea what happened to cats when they died.  Obviously, said my friend, “they have souls” referred to the cats!

When I do get messages in English, they are brief and pithy, and they tend to sound very non-native.

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Hearing Voices, Part II

Originally posted January 27, 2010 at Gaia.com

While struggling to decide how to present the rest of my material on direct-voice mediumship, I’ve read through some sites that give a contemporary perspective in addition to recounting the historical record.  I’d like to recommend that you check out this one for a great overview:  http://adcguides.com/dvmediumship.htm

The introduction to this site starts out with something very much like what I was trying to tell you:  “Direct-voice mediumship is the most difficult form of mediumship for people to understand and accept as genuine contact with the afterlife…. when someone claims that dead people are speaking in the dark just as they would when sitting across from us having a friendly chat, people are rightly incredulous. They have no frame of reference for such claims.”

Direct voice used to be far more common some decades ago, but it does still go on today.  Perhaps the best known such medium today is David Thompson.  You can read about him here: http://www.silvercordcircle.com/Silvercord/David_Thompson.html.  Recordings are included– and you may be especially interested to hear from the distinctive voice of Louis Armstrong.

I searched for specific references to the testing we’re told was done on Leslie Flint, and found nothing in writing, though there is a picture on www.leslieflint.comof Mr. Flint bound and gagged.  David Thompson has been subjected to similar testing, and there is a detailed report of a carefully-controlled session, written by Montague Keen, athttp://www.silvercordcircle.com/Silvercord/montague_keen_report.html.

More and more I can appreciate the difficulty the average person might have with the “boggle factor” inherent in this material.  Even after long acquaintance, and my own longstanding experience with mediumship, I am finding it difficult to deal with.  In fact, I’ve been badly stuck for weeks trying to write about it.  Part of the problem may be that these days, mental mediumship and channeling are much more the norm.  We neither expect to hear disembodied voices (except through our electronic devices!) nor expect a séance to include tables lifting from the floor.  All that seems rather quaint and passé, doesn’t it?

In his extensive writings about spirit contacts, Mike Tymn has taken up the question of why dramatic physical mediumship is so much less common in our sophisticated times, and I think his answers have a lot of merit.  (See metgat.gaia.com/blog.)  One is that people have a great deal more options for entertainment now, so they are far less likely to spend evenings sitting quietly in a darkened room together waiting for things to happen.  When I remind myself of the months and years even the strongest mediums have had to spend in such patient practice before major manifestations occurred, I feel less frustrated with the unimpressive progress I’ve made working alone and in a somewhat irregular and desultory way.

Mike has also pointed out that after their extraordinary efforts failed to convince the general public about survival after death, the spirits involved may have shaken their non-heads and given up on showy physical effects, deciding to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.

You may think that the explanation is simply that people are less gullible and more able to detect fraud in modern times.  I don’t think the evidence supports this idea at all (and people are as gullible as ever!).  If anything, our much more compact electronic devices ought to make fraud, at least in terms of direct voice, simpler and harder to catch.  And perhaps the spirits have merely adapted to current technology.  Electronic Voice Phenomena, in which anomalous voices appear on recording devices without a medium being necessary, are now a major subject of study.  So far I haven’t been able to catch any spirit friends speaking this way, but one day my printer did something extremely unusual, and I promise to tell you about that sometime soon.

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Hearing Voices, Part I

Originally posted December 30, 2009 at Gaia.com

In March 1998, having dealt with my own spirit contacts for a little over five years, I was introduced to the direct-voice mediumship of Leslie Flint, probably the best-known and most studied medium of his kind.  Flint had died only four years earlier, but unfortunately I had never known he existed.  Here, I am going to discuss some generalities about his work; I’ll write about my own connection to it at another time.

Direct-voice mediumship is a challenging concept even for those of us who are familiar with mediumship overall.  If you’re not used to the idea, it sounds completely crazy; once you’ve spent some time with it, it still sounds crazy, but in a more reasonable and understandable way.  With direct voice, the medium never speaks or contributes any physical movements.  It’s necessary for the medium to be present, but the spirit communications are accomplished by voices that appear in the air of the room, seemingly from out of nowhere, not from the medium’s body.  We are told that this is done by means of an “ectoplasmic voice box,” a quasi-physical construction that is able to vibrate in response to a spirit’s thoughts and intentions, producing voices that are audible to normal human hearing and can be recorded like any other sound.  It is apparently an arduous process, and it is not always successful.  Yet, hundreds of recordings of Flint’s sessions exist, and many can be heard at www.leslieflint.com.

We are told that Leslie Flint was tested in varied and ingenious ways over a period of decades, enduring such indignities as being made to hold a measured amount of water in his mouth while the voices spoke.   “I think I can safely say I am the most tested medium this country has ever produced,” he wrote.  “I have been boxed up, tied up, sealed up, gagged, bound and held, and still the voices have come to speak their message of life eternal.”  (On the Flint website there is a photo of the medium bound and gagged for one of these tests.)  To the best of my knowledge, there is no serious possibility that his work was fraudulent, in the sense of the voices themselves being faked.  As far as I know, there really were disembodied voices, not produced by any “normal,” material means, manifesting in his presence.  But there is still an unavoidable question:  Do the voices really belong to the persons they purport to be? There is always a chance, with any mediumistic work, that there might be entities who have ill intentions, or who simply want attention, masquerading as someone else.  Especially when the speakers purport to be famous figures from history, one wonders about this.  It’s easy to imagine a Gandhi or Churchill or Chopin wannabe.

For a number of reasons, the voices may or may not closely resemble those remembered by friends and relatives of the deceased.  In cases of recently deceased communicators, those who knew them reported the voices as recognizably theirs (and more importantly, they found that the information given by the voices was incontrovertible evidence of their identity).  In some cases, it is possible to check the recordings from the Flint archives against recordings made during the person’s life, and I’ve been able to do this a little bit with the aid of the Internet.  I was able to compare Gandhi-in-life to Flint-Gandhi, and there is similarity in the pacing and articulation, but it’s hard to say anything definite about a resemblance.  I also found a set of analogous clips of Ellen Terry, a British actress from the early 20th century, and I have to say they are convincingly similar to the Ellen Terry of the Flint recordings.  In fact, I find Dame Ellen’s voice in some ways the most convincing of any of the communicators I’ve heard.

With communicators who died before the advent of recording, sometimes it is possible to compare their speech with writings they left or to find clues about the authenticity of their messages through other historical information.  In the case of spirits purported to have lived centuries or even millennia ago, it can be difficult to say anything about their veracity.  One can only evaluate whether the messages themselves appear worthwhile.

One of the most prominent communicators was the one identified as Rudolph Valentino, who had a special connection with Leslie Flint and was crucial to the beginning of his work.  His voice presents some special issues.  Valentino, who still has legions of fans who would love to hear what he sounded like, never had his speaking voice recorded.  There are a couple of recorded songs sung by him, strangely enough, but those don’t help us understand what his speech was like.  The direct-voice sound we hear is beautiful, resonant, and cultured, a most impressive personage– but it doesn’t make one think of a native of Italy.  Yet, I’ve read that in life Valentino, speaking English, actually did not sound particularly Italian, and that one might even think he was French.  I cannot analyze the Valentino entity any further at this point, except to say that the content of his messages seems worth hearing.

My impression is that some groups of voices sound alike, perhaps suspiciously alike.  Valentino, Gandhi, and Chopin, for example, have certain similarities of tone and word choice, though a listener could not possibly mistake one of them for another, and while I’m a little uncomfortable about this, I don’t honestly think it is a matter of one entity faking a number of voices.   This brings up questions about how direct-voice medium ship is actually accomplished, what the nuts and bolts of the process are.  When I attempted to research this intuitively (being unable to find out any objective facts), I was given the idea that it’s all a group process.  In order to bring one voice through, a whole team of entities is needed on both sides of the veil.  Because more than one person is cooperating to produce the voice, there is a degree of overlap between them.   Much later, I heard the voice of Valentino, speaking on July 1, 1967, say that we should not think of him as just one person, that though he is an individual, there is a group doing the work on his side.

And then there are the influences of the mind of the medium himself, a subject I will take up at another time.

Some of the voices, I’m afraid, sound laughably fake.  The “Chinese man,” supposedly an ancient sage, perhaps even Lao Tzu, begins in one session with an accent that is almost French, and a cheesy fake French at that, before settling into an equally unconvincing old-movie Chinese effect.  When I first heard this voice, I almost switched off the recording in disgust, it struck me as so insultingly silly.  Yet, the content of the message was far better than the presentation would suggest.

At first I was put off almost as much by the voice of “Mickey,” who is supposed to be the spirit of a newsboy who died in an accident at the age of 11.  (For reasons I don’t pretend to understand, direct-voice mediums have typically been aided by such child spirits.)  Mickey’s voice seems high and piping, too babyish in tone, nothing like most actual boys I’ve met– an almost cartoonish quality.  Mickey’s personality, though, is another matter, charming, wise, and surprisingly profound.  Flint’s sitters speak to him with obvious affection, and I can see why.

What should a little boy who is not really a little boy anymore sound like?  What should a Chinese sage from thousands of years ago, long before the development of 20th-century English, sound like in that language?  Victor Zammit, who writes and researches on after-death communication, lays out the problem this way at his website, www.victorzammit.com:  “Imagine how difficult it would be for you to remember what your voice sounded like when you were five years old.  And then imagine having to project that memory with such intensity that it is picked by mental telepathy and reproduced by a medium.  This is the task faced by many communicators who have been in the afterlife for some time, in a world where communication is done by thought transfer.  ‘Ellen Terry’ speaking through the direct voice medium Leslie Flint in 1965 said:  ‘When on Earth you have your own particular body , and your own vocal organs…  We are having to do all these things artificially.  We stand in front of the “voice box.”  We concentrate our whole personality as best we can, and our thoughts.’”
Zammit also gives us this quote from ‘Bishop Cosmo Lang,’ responding to a question about his voice in a 1960 Flint séance: “I doubt very much if anyone coming from this side can identically reproduce their voice.  After all, what is a voice?  A reproduction of thought by sound waves.  Do not forget, my friends, that we who are outside your world, no longer having the same physical body, no longer able to speak to you in a normal sense as you understand it, transmitting thought as we do by the power of an instrument or medium, can hardly be expected to reproduce identically, or even remember what the sound of our voice would have been like.…  In any case my voice, like many other voices, no doubt changed from age to age.  My voice in my latter years was not like my voice when I was twenty. And the change of word here and there is of little import.  I speak to you as I am– remember this.  Not as I was.  Remember that I have changed– thank God I have.”


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