Stead’s Folly

WT Stead

Socialist reformer W.T. Stead was fascinated by spiritualism and psychic phenomena, so much so that when a medium told him he must not, under any circumstances, travel by sea, he went and booked passage aboard an ocean liner for her maiden voyage.

He died aboard the Titanic, April 15, 1912.



Mario Bocca could speak with the dead. Or, at least, so he claimed. The Italian researchers who gathered around him on a night in 1950, in the small city of Camerino, Italy, wanted to verify, for themselves, if that were indeed true.

Sometimes, of course, the dead do not rest easy. Something draws them back, again and again, to the scene of their tragic, final act, the time when they, quite literally, “gave up the ghost.”

In this case, however, the ghost never gave up.

“My name is Rosa Spadoni. I was put into my casket alive! Please, so that others can be spared this terrible fate, please, DIG UP MY BODY AS PROOF.”

The medium, presumably through his “control,” vocalized the desire of the departed Rosa. Attendant was the intrigued doctor, Dr. Guiseppe Stoppolini, a distinguished professor of anatomy at Camerino University. Under his direction, it was a short order of work to demand the exhumation. The problem being: they could find no “Rosa Spadoni” in the town of Castel-Raimondo, where the spirit had purported to have died and been interred.

Further communications revealed, of course that she was buried under her married name of MENICHELLI, and had been so buried on September 4th, 1939, after apparently dying of an infection. She was 38.

It was grim work, exhuming the body. But, how much more macabre could the condition of the corpse have been, when the lid of the casket was finally opened?

Imagine the terror of being trapped in the dark, coming to consciousness, being unable to turn over, and putting your arms out to feel a hard, unyielding surface of solid wood. Screaming!–but there is NO ONE to hear your screams.

You writhe in terror, your mind cracking, knowing that you have been delivered into a trap from which there is NO escape–that you have quite literally been BURIED ALIVE. Perhaps you gnashed your teeth, bit through your tongue. The blackness was pervasive and all-encompassing. In the darkness and despair, you might have hallucinated the face of your own dear mother. Or Jesus. A saint, an angel, or Lucifer himself might come to greet you! It is hot, stifling, and the air is getting thinner and thinner…

Breathe in, breathe out…not many breaths left.
The condition of the body proved that, like Poe’s sister character in “House of Usher,” Rosa Spadoni Menichelli did, indeed, show signs of having been interred too soon. Her spine was arched in agony, her skeletal hand affixed to the lid of her coffin, as if in a hopeless attempt to push it open. She might have prayed for a miracle at this point, but, most probably, she just went mad until the oxygen ran out.

A general reform in burial practices across Italy and all of Europe are said to have followed in the wake of this strange, supernatural event. If so, we find no record of association, between one and the other.

So, did this prove the power of the medium, and survival after death? YOU DECIDE.

Mind Power (Excerpt)

1. A musical note is like an instance of thought. Timed accordingly, it reverberates along a scale. Each thought resonates to its own frequency. Each thought frequency is a tone along the mental scale. To play upon a thought, then, is like playing a piece of music–some pieces are more or less more complicated than others.

2. Music is a universal language, understood immediately by all, if not always entirely presented in the same way at the same time. Or, put another way, various notes crawl up and down different scales, yet they are all fundamentally the same–simply exuding different frequencies on different levels of vibration.

Mind is the Instrument of Matter

Mind is the instrument of matter, played upon by the music of thought.

Some instruments are finely tune, delicately tuned. Others are distinctly out of tune, or even damaged or broken. (We hope these latter are not beyond repair!)

The music (thought) exuded by one mind will not be heard in quite the same way by the receiving apparatus (instrument) of other minds, many of which will be playing at cross purposes, creating a seeming cacophany.

Delicate instruments will not emit heavy or thunderous sounds, nor will instruments designed, nor will instruments designed and played to emit blunt, unpleasant, or vry loud sounds register as delicate timbrels or tinkling niceties.

You wouldn’t expect a kettle drum to sound like a mandolin, nor a harp to sound like a castanet. Ipso facto, some instruments (minds) send music (thoughts) out to reveivers (brains) that interpret, adapt, or appreciate what they are receiving in entirely different ways. Not everyone will enjoy the same piece of music, or even agree taht what they are collectively hearing IS music–each receiver will be like an old-fashioned radio set tto receive a certain signal; each will tune in on a different band, in other words.

Notes for a Symphony

The individual notes of a selected piece cannot just be re-arranged, willy-nilly, at the behest of a composer or conductor. Each individual note builds on another until, finally, a discernible melody is achieved. each insidividual noe, pointless in and of itself, is an integral part fo the melody when taken together.

Misplace one, and the tune–the auditory illusion, the thought principle itself–loses cohesion, becomes incoherent. It lacks that which defines it easily, the receiver (thought, mind, self) will fal to recognize even the most commonplace tune. If, that is, if a note is left out of the equation (or misplaced).

So tot with the mystery of thought, the frequency of the mind.

A cacophanous din of random thoughts will not produce a clear, dsitinct, or pleasing melody. So to is it with thought, which must harmonize all the variant factors within its own scale of values before a true, wanted signal (music, melody, thought) can replace an inharmonous din of noise, an unwanted interference pattern–unwanted ir unplanned sound. In other words, the ABSENCE of information.


Values and Identity (Excerpt)

Ego develops slowly over time as a defense mechanism against the outrages of the world. We identify with the image of ourselves most conducive to personal defense. Orr psychology is a fragile thing; our mentality is elastic.

The ability to stretch–to make huge intuitive leaps in our idea of meaning and purpose is the hallmark of every right-thinking and sentient individual.

A mind can be shattered like a mirror– or, can reflect, like a pool, whatever is projected into it. It can rationalize any action ‘for the greater good.’ It, again, can make those intuitive leaps concerning duty and the will to a single-mindedness of purpose. It can both create prosperity, and foster pain.

Yet, as much as it is IN US, it is NOT US. We are something immutable, everlasting, apart–a consciousness encumbered in a physical shell–encumbered by the burden of the physical form–located in the confines of dimensional space–yet, apart from it. Waiting, growing; like the golden yolk of an eternal egg, waiting, for the moment to be hatched; to return to the bright Elysium shores of our Eternal Now–to be One again.

Heaven is wholeness; completion. Our psychology is like a withering stain, the ugly coat or cloak covering the brilliant body beneath. And when we cast off the old garment–do we put on another?