Sunday, March 17, 2013

Oscar Wilde from the Afterlife

Direct voice mediumship is among the most maddening and fascinating of paranormal phenomena.

Maddening because it's hard to understand or believe, even for those of us who accept that "our little life" on earth is "such stuff as dreams are made on" and everyday reality is but a sliver of a vast metaphysical edifice. Fascinating because, unlike most of the famous evidence from mediumship which dates from the 19th century before recording technology, we do have modern sound recordings of it -- hardly up to today's state of the art, but still in many cases satisfactory.

A direct voice medium speaks not in his or her own voice, but in the actual voice of the person who is "dead" but communicating. (You can insert "allegedly" or "purportedly" wherever you like in this posting; I'll skip the repetitive hedging.) Not only that, but the voice of the communicator emerges from the air at some distance from the medium.

Impossible, of course.

The only serious answer to that is to quote Sir William Crookes, scientist and member of the Royal Society, when questioned about paranormal events he had witnessed and tested under experimental protocols: "I did not say it was possible; I only said it was true."

Fortunately for those of us who want to explore the mysteries of existence, perhaps the greatest direct voice medium of all time, Leslie Flint, lived in our era and his phenomena were captured on tape recordings.

As time has permitted (not often), I have listened to some of these recordings. Lately the Leslie Flint Educational Trust has put most of them behind a paywall. While I sympathize with its need, like any organization, for revenue this seems counterproductive if its goal is to demonstrate the reality of direct voice mediumship and post-mortem survival.

Furthermore, it's probably useless. Material like this, so significant in our quest to understand the bigger picture of life in this world and the next, is bound to be copied and distributed by a sort of digital samizdat. Some of the recordings have already been put on YouTube by a person or group under the heading "Okkulte Stimmen [Occult Sounds] Media."

Here is one example, Oscar Wilde speaking via Leslie Flint:

Is this really the spirit of Oscar Wilde? It doesn't fit the popular concept of what the man would have sounded like -- gay (in both senses), smooth, witty. This "Wilde" seems a little bitter and petulant. But of course the historical Wilde's last years were an ordeal for him, including two years in a Victorian prison, almost as degrading as ours. (There does seem to be a touch of the famous egotism and paradox when Flint mentions having read Wilde's books, and Wilde replies, "How fortunate you are.")

What seems to me a more serious objection is that Wilde, although a man of the world, was Irish by origin. I don't hear a trace of Irish pronunciation in the voice. Probably his long tenure in English theater and aristocratic circles rubbed away most of his early speech patterns, but almost no one entirely conceals the accent that he picked up in his youth. 

Make of it what you will. That's all any of us can do.

1 comment:

Stogie said...

I admire your open mind about such things and I too have an open mind, unfettered by any religion or ideology. I also believe that our conception of reality through our very limited five physical senses is woefully inadequate. Much more exists than what we can see, feel, hear, smell or taste.