Deathbed Visions by Sir William Barrett

Deathbed Visions

bySir William Barrett

Kobo ebook | December 15, 2009

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During his 50 years of psychical research, Sir William Fletcher Barrett (February 10, 1884 May 26, 1925) observed many types of phenomena. In his reminiscences, read at a private meeting of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) on June 17, 1924, less than a year before his death, Barrett said: I am personally convinced that the evidence we have published decidedly demonstrates (1) the existence of a spiritual world, (2) survival after death, and (3) of occasional communication from those who have passed over… It is however hardly possible to convey to others who have not had a similar experience an adequate idea of the strength and cumulative force of the evidence that has compelled [my] belief.Barrett was the prime-mover in the founding of the SPR in 1882, serving as vice-president and editor of the Societys Journal during its first year and president in 1904. He also encouraged Professor William James of Harvard to organize the American branch of the SPR in 1884.Born in Jamaica, British West Indies, Barrett moved to England during his youth and studied under the famous physicist, John Tyndall, serving as Tyndalls assistant from 1862 to1867. He lectured on physics at the Royal School of Naval Architecture before becoming professor of physics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin in 1873. He taught at the Royal College for 37 years, retiring in 1910. In 1899, Barrett developed a silicon-iron alloy known as stalloy, used in the commercial development of the telephone and transformers, and also did pioneering research on entoptic vision, leading to the invention of the entoptiscope and a new optometer. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, Philosophical Society, Royal Society of Literature as well as a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Royal Irish Academy. He was knighted for his contributions to science in 1912. Barrett began to take an interest in psychic phenomena in 1874 after hearing of the research of renowned scientist William Crookes (later Sir William) with mediums. In fact I began the whole investigation of these phenomena convinced that [mal-observation or hallucination] was their true explanation, and it was not until after stretching this hypothesis to illegitimate lengths that I found the actual facts completely shattered my theory, Barrett explained his early views. Then 29, Barrett began experimenting with hypnosis, more popularly known as mesmerism in those days. He observed a young girl under hypnosis correctly identify a playing card randomly taken from a pack and placed in a book that was put next to her head. He also observed another hypnotized person correctly identify fourteen cards taken at random from a pack. As a scientist, he found such results very disturbing. However, while many of his scientific colleagues simply scoffed at anything paranormal, Barrett was open-minded and determined to find some rational and scientific explanation. As he explained his 1917 book On the Threshold of the Unseen, his prior theories really began to fall apart sometime in 1876 when a prominent English solicitor (lawyer) named Clark spent the summer at a residence near his in Dublin. Clarks 10-year-old daughter, Florrie, produced various paranormal phenomena, including levitations and spirit raps that spelled out messages from an intelligence calling himself Walter. As a result of his experiments in hypnosis and his investigation of Florrie Clark, Barrett prepared a paper to deliver to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The Association rejected the paper as well as Barretts request to present it orally to the group. After Crookes, Alfred Russel Wallace (co-originator with Charles Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution), and Lord Rayleigh protested the Associations action, Barrett was allowed to deliver the paper but not publish it. Barrett continued his investigation with other mediums, including Hester Travers Smith, Gladys Osborne Leonard,
Title:Deathbed VisionsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 15, 2009Publisher:White Crow Productions LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1907661034

ISBN - 13:9781907661037

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