Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery

 
9780895403087: Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery

The compiler of this book is not a spiritualist, nora psychologist, nora member of the Society for Psychical Research; nor has he ever had anything more than a transitory and skeptical interest in psychic phenomena of any character. He is a newspaper man whose privilege and pleasure it is to present the facts in relation to some phenomena which he does not attempt to classify nor to explain, but which are virtually without precedent in the record of occult manifestations. The mystery of Patience Worth is one which every reader may endeavor to solve for himself. The sole purpose of this narrative is to give the visible truth, the physical evidence, so to speak, the things that can be seen and that are therefore susceptible of proof by ocular demonstration.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

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About the Author:

Between 1913 and 1937, an author giving her name as " Patience Worth" produced approximately four million words, including seven books, some short stories, several plays, thousands of poems, and countless epigrams and aphorisms. She would be acclaimed a literary genius - her works compared with Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Spenser. She was called a wit, a poet, a dramatist, and a philosopher. Some readers of her books may have thought that Patience Worth was alive in the flesh, when, in fact, she had been "dead" for several centuries. Her words were dictated through the mediumship of Pearl Curran (1883 - 1937), an American housewife from St. Louis, Missouri with only an elementary school education. Patience Worth began communicating on the ouija board operated by Curran, Emily Hutchings, and Mary Pollard in 1913 as their husbands played pinochle in the next room. "Many moons ago I lived," the communication began. "Again I come, Patience Worth my name." The three women pressed for more information, but Patience did not seem to want to talk about herself. Rather, she wanted to provide wisdom. She did reveal, however, that she was born in Dorsetshire, England during the 17th Century and migrated to America where she was killed by American Indians at age 44 or 45. When Pollard jokingly commented about Patience's reluctance to talk about herself, Patience responded: "Wilt thou but stay thy tung! On rock-ribbed shores beat wisdom's waves. Why speak for me? My tung was loosed when thine was yet to be." And when Pollard said something to the effect that Patience was unfriendly, Patience replied: "Too much sweet may spoil the shortbread." At a later sitting, Pollard commented that the world is crying for proofs of immortality, to which Patience communicated: "To prove a fact, needst thou a book of words, when e'en the sparrow's chirp telleth thee more? A tale unfolded by the Bishop's drudge may hold the meat for thousands, while dust and web are strong on his Eminence. The road to higher plains leadeth not along the steeple. Drop ye a coin and expect the gods to smile. Chant ye a creed and wordy prayer, reeking with juice queezed from thy smug fat store of self-love, expecting favor from the God who but enjoys the show - " It soon became clear that Curran was the medium. Until then, Curran had no interest in mediumship. However, once her gift was recognized, she moved from the ouija board to automatic writing, and then to clairaudient dictation. In one test of her ability by Dr. Walter Franklin Prince, Curran dictated a poem while she was writing a letter to a friend. In another test, she dictated four different stories, going from one to the other, the breaks between the stories fitting so closely that one character in one story seemed to reply to the character in another story. In the October 1, 1915 issue of Reedy's Mirror, a highly-regarded literary journal, William Marion Reedy told the world of his "flirtation" with Patience Worth. He explained that he had had many sittings with Mrs. Curran and that he had absolutely no question as to the integrity of the parties involved. He further noted that Curran did not always understand his questions or the responses by Patience Worth. He called the spiritual content of Patience's poetry "an archaic Wordsworthianism, with a somewhat of Emersonism." He described Patience as piquant in the extreme, witty and aphoristic in a homely way, and saucy but never rude. "She will not answer personal questions about herself or tell you the usual stock things of so many spirit communications," he wrote, "about lost jack-knives in the distant past, or when your wealthy grandmother is going to die - None of that stuff goes with Patience - She is ready with repartee and she says things that probe the character of her questioners." But Reedy rejected the idea that Patience Worth was a spirit, stating that he simply could not believe it possible for the dead to talk to the living. He considered the secondary personality theory, and even asked Patience if she and Mrs. Curran were the same entity. This theory, Reedy concluded, would be no less mysterious than the spirits theory. Patience immediately lashed out at the suggestion that she was a secondary personality of Pearl Curran. "She be but she and I be me," Patience communicated. Called by Patience Worth her "harp," Pearl Curran was, at the time Patience started communicating, a 30-year-old housewife who had, following a nervous breakdown, dropped out of school at age 13. Inspired by her mother's love of music, she became a piano and voice teacher until, at age 24, she married John Curran, a businessman 12 years her senior. Curran's limited education and travel were totally inconsistent with theories of conscious fraud or subconscious memories. English scholars struggled with some of the archaic Anglo-Saxon language. In one of her novels, Patience dictated, "I wot he fetcheth in daub-smeared smock." Even in the early 1900s, the word "fetch" was rarely used, but when used it meant to "go and get" someone or something. Patience used it as synonymous with "came" or "cometh," which philologists confirmed as the word's original meaning. W. T. Allison, professor of English literature at the University of Manitoba, observed that Patience Worth dictated words found only in Melton's time and some of them had no meaning until researched in dialectic dictionaries and old books. Allison, who closely observed Curran, reported that in one evening 15 poems were produced in an hour and 15 minutes, an average of five minutes for each poem. "All were poured out with a speed that Tennyson or Browning could never have hoped to equal, and some of the 15 lyrics are so good that either of those great poets might be proud to have written them," Allison offered. He went on to say that Patience Worth "must be regarded as the outstanding phenomenon of our age, and I cannot help thinking of all time." When a philologist asked Patience how and why she used the language of so many different periods, she responded: "I do plod a twist of a path and it hath run from then till now." When asked to explain how she could dictate responses without a pause, she replied: "Ye see, man setteth up his cup and fillet it, but I be as the stream." Numerous questions were put to Patience by various people, including investigators, to which Patience promptly replied. When asked if the spirits of our friends are around us, Patience responded, "Yea, yea, the Here lappeth thy lands even as the young waves lap the shore." When asked if we should make efforts to communicate, the answer came, "It shall be that the heavens shall give up unto the earth that that shall ope their blinded eyes more, more, more. 'Tis well; thou shouldst call." Asked if there is a concerted movement on her plane to communicate with earth, Patience responded, "Ne'er, ne'er, shalt heaven ope to earth. The seed ahead be but seed." While much of Patience's speech was more or less archaic and her writings filled with archaic terms, there was also much in modern English. "She has shown from the beginning an ability to write or to speak in such terms as she chooses," Prince explained, pointing out that it became less archaic as time went on. "But if she chooses a dialect, let me call it, for a particular work," he continued, "that dialect is consistently maintained to the end, however long the work may be, and no matter what form of speech her purpose or her mood suggests it is poured out with unvarying ease and sureness. Often she has dictated parts of two books of widely different dialects and conversed freely in a third in a single hour, without the slightest confusion. Her knowledge of English of all times and the extent of her vocabulary is equally amazing. Without burdening her works with wholly obsolete words she often gives to common words meanings that reach back into Saxon times and were obsolete in such senses long before the seventeenth century." Questions on many subjects were put to Patience. Her responses demonstrated a broad scope of knowledge and wisdom, e.g., On death: "Cheap pence paid for eternity and yet man whines" On laughter: "Me thinks that of all the gifts from Thy prolific hand, laughter, next to love, is dearest." On life: "Life is a gaysome trickster. Yea, life poureth about the atoms o' man wines of cunning, and equally is he filled up of Him. Thereby is man given freely and his lighting unto life leaveth him for his choosing. Aye, and the giving be wry-fallen atimes, for flesh to tarry long and dance with life, fearing the greater thing athin it." On philosophy: "Philosophy is a bony nag and her gait is woeful. He who rides must spur her well with his ain imagination." On learning: "Wisdom scratcheth the itch of the lout, while learning searchest for the flea." On fear: "The undergarment of every armor. Man moutheth over words, and hangeth his wisdom with garments of words. Man knoweth certainties which even God doubteth." On the press: "The gab wench of the day!" On the doctors of her day: "A sorry lot, eh? Aye, and they did for to seek of root and herb; - aye, and play 'pon the wit, or the lackin' o' it!" On the women of her day: "Chattels; beasties, verily. Ye should have seen me mither's thumb - flat with the twistin' o' flax, and me in buskins, alookin' at the castle, and dreaming dreams!" On God: "If I were with one word to swing HIM, that word would shatter into less than the atoms of the mists that cling the mountain tops. If I should speak HIM in a song, the song would slay me! And going forth, man would become deaf when he listed. If I should announce HIM with a quill and fluid, lo, the script would be nothing less than Eternity to hold the word I would write." On scientific fundamentalism: "Man's law is precision, God's is chaotic. Man's wisdom is offensive to God, therefore He shows his displeasure in complications. To man the complications are chaos, thereby is man deceived. To God, man's precision is the fretfulness of a babe, aye, and man at his willful deceiving is undone. Then to God, man is precisively chaotic; to...

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ISBN 10: 0895403080 ISBN 13: 9780895403087
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