What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

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What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

Post by Left Behind on Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Has it ever been captured, and chemically analyzed?

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

Post by zerdini on Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:14 pm

Left Behind wrote:Has it ever been captured, and chemically analyzed?

Jim

A brief summary:

It was Professor Charles Richet Richet who gave the name ectoplasm to what had previously been referred to as od, psychic force, and teleplasm. When Sir William Crookes, the esteemed British chemist, first reported on it in connection with the mediumship of Florence Cook, Richet was among the many scientists who scoffed and thought that perhaps Crookes, a pioneer in X-ray technology, had ‘lost it.’

‘I avow with shame that I was among the willfully blind,’ Richet wrote in dedicating his 1923 book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, to Crookes, commending him for his courage and insight.

‘This ectoplasmic formation at the expense of the physiological organism of the medium is now beyond all dispute,’ Richet stated. ‘It is prodigiously strange, prodigiously unusual, and it would seem so unlikely as to be incredible; but we must give in to the facts…Yes, it is absurd; but no matter – it is true.’

Richet saw it as some sort of exterior (‘ecto’ meaning exterior) protoplasm. In his book, Richet referred to the ectoplasm produced by the medium Marthe Béraud as ‘gelatinous projections,’ explaining that ‘a kind of liquid or pasty jelly emerges from the mouth or the breast of Marthe which organizes itself by degrees, acquiring the shape of a face or limb.

‘Under very good conditions of visibility, I have seen this paste spread on my knee, and slowly take form so as to show the rudiment of the radius, the cubitus, or metacarpal bone whose increasing pressure I could feel on my knee,’ Richet wrote.
Richet further observed that the materializations are usually gradual, beginning with a rudimentary shape and then complete forms and human faces only appearing later on. ‘At first these formations are often very imperfect. Sometimes they show no relief, looking more like flat images than bodies, so that in spite of oneself one is inclined to imagine some fraud, since what appears seems to be the materialization of a semblance, and not of a being. But in some cases the materialization is perfect. At the Villa Carmen I saw a fully organized form rise from the floor. At first it was only a white, opaque spot like a handkerchief lying on the ground before the curtain, then this handkerchief quickly assumed the form of a human head level with the floor, and a few moments later it rose up in a straight line and became a small man enveloped in a kind of white burnous, who took two or three halting steps in front of the curtain and then sank to the floor and disappeared as if through a trap door. But there was no trap door.’

Dr Gustave Geley, a professor of medicine at the University of Lyons and a Laureate of the French Medical Faculty, observed Eva C in his own laboratory twice a week over a three-month period during 1917-18.

‘It is needless to say that the usual precautions were rigorously observed during the séances in my laboratory,’ Geley wrote. ‘On coming into the room where the séances were held, and to which I alone had previous access, the medium was completely undressed in my presence and dressed in a tight garment, sewn up the back and at the wrists; the hair and the cavity of the mouth were examined by me and my collaborators before and after the séances. Eva was walked backwards to the wicker chair in the dark cabinet; her hands were always held in full sight outside the curtains, and the room was always quite well lit the whole time. I do not merely say, “There was no trickery,” I say, “There was no possibility of trickery.”’

Geley described the process: ‘With Eva, the mode of operation necessary to obtain materializations is very simple. The medium, after having been seated in the dark cabinet, is put into the hypnotic state, slightly, but enough to involve forgetfulness of the normal personality. This dark cabinet has no other purpose than to protect the sleeping medium from disturbing influences, and especially from the action of light. It is thus possible to keep the séance room sufficiently well lit for perfect observations.

‘The phenomena appear (when they do appear) after a variable interval, sometimes very brief, sometimes an hour or more. They always begin by painful sensations in the medium; she sighs and moans from time to time much like a woman in childbirth. These moans reach their height just when the manifestation begins, they lessen or cease when the forms are complete.’

Of the ectoplasm, Geley wrote: ‘The substance exudes specially from the natural orifices and the extremities, from the top of the head, from the nipples, and the ends of the fingers…the most easily observed from the mouth…The substance has variable aspects; sometimes, and most characteristically, it appears as a plastic paste, a true protoplasmic mass; sometimes as a number of fine threads; sometimes as strings of different thickness in narrow and rigid lines; sometimes as a wide band; sometimes as a fine tissue of ill-defined and irregular shape… In fine, the substance is essentially amorphous, or rather, polymorphous.’

Of the quantity, Geley said this is also very variable, sometimes very little and at other times covering the medium completely, like a cloak. It most frequently appeared white, but occasionally black or gray.

‘Sometimes it is slowly evolved, rises and falls, and moves over the medium’s shoulders, her breast, or her lap with a crawling, reptilian movement; sometimes its motion is abrupt and rapid, it appears and disappears like a flash. It is extremely sensitive, and its sensitiveness is closely connected with that of the hyperaesthetised medium, and touch reacts painfully on the latter…The substance is sensitive to light rays; a light, especially if sudden and unexpected, produces a painful start in the medium. However, in some case the substance can stand even full light. The magnesium flashlight (flash camera) causes a violent start in the medium…It shrinks from all contact and is always ready to avoid them and to be reabsorbed

Several other scientists collaborated with Geley in his study of Eva C ‘We saw, touched, and photographed representations of heads and faces formed from the original substance,’ Geley wrote. ‘These were formed under our eyes, the curtains being half-drawn. Sometimes they proceeded from a cord of solid substance issuing from the medium, sometimes they were progressively developed in a fog of vaporous substance condensed in front of her, or at her side.’

Schrenck Notzing also reported that when he tried to capture some ectoplasm it evaporated and seemed to be reabsorbed by the medium. However, there was some residue left behind, which Schrenck Notzing had chemically analyzed.
‘As regards the structure of the teleplasm (ectoplasm), we only know this,’ Schrenck Notzing wrote. ‘That within it, or about it, we find conglomerates of bodies resembling epithelium, real plat epithelium with nuclei, veil-like filmy structures, coherent lamellar bodies without structure, as a well as fat globules and mucus.’

Whether or not this residue represented the true nature of the ectoplasm or was just that part associated with Eva’s own body Schrenck Notzing had no way of knowing. One thing for sure, he commented, the substance did not consist of India rubber, which many skeptics had suggested it was.


zerdini


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Re: What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

Post by Left Behind on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:23 am

zerdini wrote:
Left Behind wrote:Has it ever been captured, and chemically analyzed?

Jim

A brief summary:

It was Professor Charles Richet Richet who gave the name ectoplasm to what had previously been referred to as od, psychic force, and teleplasm. When Sir William Crookes, the esteemed British chemist, first reported on it in connection with the mediumship of Florence Cook, Richet was among the many scientists who scoffed and thought that perhaps Crookes, a pioneer in X-ray technology, had ‘lost it.’

‘I avow with shame that I was among the willfully blind,’ Richet wrote in dedicating his 1923 book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, to Crookes,


Schrenck Notzing also reported that when he tried to capture some ectoplasm it evaporated and seemed to be reabsorbed by the medium. However, there was some residue left behind, which Schrenck Notzing had chemically analyzed.
‘As regards the structure of the teleplasm (ectoplasm), we only know this,’ Schrenck Notzing wrote. ‘That within it, or about it, we find conglomerates of bodies resembling epithelium, real plat epithelium with nuclei, veil-like filmy structures, coherent lamellar bodies without structure, as a well as fat globules and mucus.’

Whether or not this residue represented the true nature of the ectoplasm or was just that part associated with Eva’s own body Schrenck Notzing had no way of knowing. One thing for sure, he commented, the substance did not consist of India rubber, which many skeptics had suggested it was.


Most interesting! So Richet completely switched his opinions.

Do you know of any other attempts to chemically analyze it?

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

Post by zerdini on Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:05 am

Hi Jim

See the following:

Dr Dombrowski of the Polish S.P.R. had a sample of ectoplasm analysed in 1916, and I quote a summary of the bacteriological report: “The substance is albumenoid matter, accompanied by fatty matter, and cells found in the human organism. Starch and sugar, discoverable by Fehlings test, are absent.”

Chemical analysis of ectoplasm showed: a colourless, slightly cloudy fluid, with no smell, showing traces of cell detritus and sputum, giving a whitish deposit, and slightly alkaline reaction. Microscopic examination revealed numerous skin discs and some sputum-like bodies; many granulates of the mucous membrane, and traces of potash. The dried residues weighed 8.6 grammes per litre, with 3 grammes of ash.

Z


zerdini


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Re: What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

Post by Left Behind on Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:06 pm

Sounds like material from the human body, used as building material for the materialized spirit.

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: What exactly IS Ectoplasm?

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