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Resurrecting Betty White

The following article, “Resurrecting Betty White”, and written by Mike Tymn, is reprinted here with Mike’s kind permission, as an example of his wonderful contribution to afterlife literature over many years. Mike unquestionably is the world expert on mediumistic/psychic evidential literature written from the first early writings on this subject up until the 1950’s. He is a 1958 graduate of the School of Journalism (B.A. Public Relations) at San Jose State University, written six published books to date and currently writing another, he has contributed more than 1,600 articles to some 40 newspapers, magazines, and journals over the past 60 year. In 1999 he won the Robert H. Ashby Memorial Award given by The Academy of Religion and Psychical Research for his essay on "Dying, Death, and After Death.

Historical Account

Abstract: Over a period of some 20 years, beginning in 1925, popular author Stewart Edward White wrote 10 books dealing with communication from the spirit world. They first came through the mediumship of his wife Betty and then, after her death in 1939, from Betty through another medium. “The Betty Book,” published in 1937, and “The Unobstructed Universe,” published in 1940, were both top sellers and are today considered classics in the metaphysical field. This paper summarizes the story behind the “Betty series” of books and offers some of the most meaningful communication coming through her when she was alive and from her after her death.

Consciousness is the one and only reality.

– the discarnate Betty White (1939)

A popular author of adventure and travel books, Stewart Edward White (March 12, 1873 - September 18, 1946) became interested in mediumship in 1919 after his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” White, discovered her ability to receive messages from purported spirits, referred to by her as the “Invisibles,” by means of automatic writing, trance voice, the direct voice, and clairvoyant sensing. “I had paid such matters very little attention; and had formed no considered opinions on them one way or another,” Stuart Edward White (hereinafter “White”) wrote of his attitude before 1919, going on to say that he considered himself a sceptic and that spiritualism had meant to him either hysteria or clever conjuring. (White, [1], 15-16)

White emphasized that he and Betty were not interested in the usual communication from deceased relatives and friends, as they had suffered no recent bereavements. Their interest was in exploration, to find out what life was all about and why. They concluded early-on that the objective of the Invisibles was to awaken them to the spiritual forces about us and to recognize the need for a better balance between the spiritual and the material.

White’s first book on philosophical matters was Credo, published in 1925, in which he explored question of survival based on the messages received psychically through Betty from the Invisibles. However, no mention was made of his sources or of Betty’s mediumship. A second philosophical book, Why Be a Mud Turtle? was published in 1928, again without explaining the source or mentioning Betty. White did not publicly come “out of the closet” until 1937, when The Betty Book was published. It was subtitled: “Excursions into the World of Other-Consciousness Made by Betty between 1919 and 1936.” But Betty was not identified. It discussed Betty’s development as a medium and reported on the “teachings” of the Invisibles. Additional teachings were set forth in White’s 1939 book, Across the Unknown. This time Betty’s full name and relationship to the author were given. In addition to the words of the Invisibles, the book included Betty’s reports on her out-of-body experiences and clairvoyant visions during those experiences. White stated that he recorded 2,400 single-spaced pages of communication through and from Betty, roughly 2,000 during her lifetime and 400 after her death.

After Betty’s death on April 5, 1939, White began receiving messages from her through the mediumship of a woman named “Joan,” who preferred to remain anonymous. Betty’s teachings, along with those of Stephen, the primary entity communicating through Joan, were then put together by White in The Unobstructed Universe, published in 1940. It discussed consciousness (“the only reality”), time, space, motion, frequency, conductivity, parallelism of law, and the continuity of existence, among other things.

The Road I Know, published in 1942, was something of a biography of Betty and the story of her “unfoldment” as a medium. It can be read first as an introduction to all the other books in the series. It was followed by Anchors to Windward (1943), The Stars Are Still There (1946), With Folded Wings (1947), and The Job of Living (1948), the latter two published aft White’s death in 1946.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, White graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1895 and in 1903 received his M.A. degree from Columbia University. His first book, The Westerner. was published in 1901, followed closely by The Claim Jumper and The Blazed Trail, the latter a best-seller and considered the best of his 40 or so non-metaphysical books.

White moved to California in 1903, first to Santa Barbara and later to Burlingame in the San Francisco Bay Area. He toured California with his good friend, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, who referred to White as “the kind of young American who is making our new literature.” (Internet Ref.) During World War I, he served in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of major. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society for his work in mapping German East Africa.

Elizabeth “Betty” Calvert Grant was born in Panama in 1880, but raised in Newport, Rhode Island by well-to-do parents. She lived in Bermuda, Florida, and Jamaica, before moving to California, where she married Stewart in Santa Barbara in 1904.

On March 17, 1919, some friends brought a ouija board to the Whites’ home to try out, without any belief that anything would happen. They were all surprised, however, when the little glass tumbler began spelling out simple sentences without any conscious volition on the part of White, when he had his finger tips on it. White didn’t quite know what to make of it, but had read that the subconscious is responsible for such messages and treated the phenomenon with laughter and buffoonery. When Betty tried it, the message came, “Get a pencil,” and was repeated. Betty did not heed the words until some days later, at which time “her hand was seized and used; and [this] seizing and using was not of her conscious brain.” (White [1], 20)

Automatic Writing

“The pencil moved very slowly, and it wrote curiously formed script, without capitals or punctuation, or even spacing, like one long continuous word,” White continued. “It was necessary to go over it painstakingly, dividing the words by vertical marks – when we had determined them. Sometimes we interlined more plainly, in our own hand, what we made them out to be. The result made sense.” (White [1], 19-20)

Betty assured Stewart that she had nothing to do with moving the pencil or forming the script, at least consciously. Moreover, she struggled to understand what was written. Concluding that it was either an outside intelligence or directed by Betty’s subconscious, they continued to experiment. After a time, the words began to flow. Betty blindfolded her eyes and looked away from the paper in an attempt to separate herself from the writing as Stewart sat next to her as an observer. The automatic writing continued for several months before some experimentation resulted in Betty becoming a trance-voice medium with Steward recording her words in shorthand. At times, she spoke in her own voice, at other times the Invisibles spoke through her and there was a marked change in voice, diction, and style. Occasionally, words would come through the direct-voice, independent of but near Betty.

“At present there is often considerable fluency, so that I have trouble keeping up with the transcription,” White recorded. “On other occasions there seems to be difficulty. Sometimes the direct voice speaks, at others Betty herself reports word by word as through taking dictation, and again describes her impressions and experiences in her own way. Sometimes if difficulty arises all three methods are tried.” (White [1] 26)

Betty’s development seems to have been very similar to that of Pearl Curran, the St. Louis, Missouri medium for the entity calling herself “Patience Worth,” which took place between 1913 and 1937.

White explained that Betty’s consciousness was not taken from her in the customary deep trance, describing it as more of a disassociated state. However, she was unaware of her surroundings and went “somewhere else,” still retaining her faculties of thought. He further noted that when he made a mistake writing down a word he had misheard, he was instantly corrected, even though Betty was lying below the level of the writing table with her eyes blindfolded. As an example, he wrote “attitude of mind” while taking dictation and was instantly stopped by Betty and informed that the correct wording was “altitude of mind.” (White [1], 26)

As White understood it, Betty would, through the super consciousness, be brought in touch with realities which she absorbed directly, and with ideas which came to her in words heard with the “inner ear,” sometimes by mental impression. These things were transferred down to her habitual consciousness and dictated to him. Betty often complained that what came through her was diluted and a “pale shadow of the actuality.” In effect, she had no vocabulary for them. (White [1], 25)

Betty further explained that for nearly three years she struggled for comprehension, passing from automatic writing to what she calls “a curious state of freed or double consciousness in which I absorb experiences directly, somehow, and Stewart records them in words spoken through me, or by me at first hand impressions.” (White [3], 61).

Subconscious Colouring

White continued to wonder what part Betty’s subconscious played in the communication. If it was coming from her subconscious, he reasoned, it was completely foreign to her usual consciousness and outside her remembered experiences. “The value of the thing offered must lie in itself, regardless of its source,” he concluded, adding that if it originated in Betty she is more of a wonder that he had supposed. (White [1], 29) He also considered the theory that she was tapping into some “universal mind.” He could not

completely discount that theory, but saw it as nothing more than a far-fetched hypothesis to avoid accepting the spirit hypothesis.

So much of it was foreign to both Betty and himself that he wondered how it could be coming from the subconscious of either of them. He finally decided “to accept, as a fact, that we were receiving through Betty, from outside, and apparently discarnate, intelligences, a graded and progressing and logically acceptable instruction on how to get along in life.” (White [2], 12) He and Betty nicknamed them the Invisibles, primarily because they insisted on remaining anonymous.

“The balanced proportion, the balanced ration of life is the first thing to impress on the world,” the Invisibles communicated early in Betty’s mediumship. “Balance is the big thing to emphasize. The world is crippled now because of its withered spiritual faculties.” (White [1], 32) They explained that they were talking about the balance between the spiritual and the material, pointing out that overbalance on either side always results in trouble.

“Welcome and accept all natural human instincts, all the savouring of life, but permeate them with the vitality of the spirit,” the Invisibles continued. “Those who savour even the highest forms of life without this permeation of the spirit will stagnate, sink backward, imprison themselves in matter. With them the spiritual sense becomes atrophied.” (White [1], 33)

The Invisibles discussed perception, elimination, impetus, assimilation, constructive prayer, personal responsibility, the substance of thought, and other subjects related to bringing the spiritual life in balance and harmony with the physical life or, in other words, stimulating the consciousness to partake of the higher consciousness. “The active life means constant inflowing and outflowing,” they stressed. “You must never, never forget to be constantly giving out...Without this giving out there is no circulation...your outgo must equal your intake.” (White [3], 208)

Many of the teachings of the Invisibles had to do with showing that causes and effects are not isolated, but smoothly continuous – that there are no dead ends, not even death itself. When White requested more scientific explanations, the Invisibles told him that they can give reality as they can manage to communicate it to him. They cautioned him about being one of those “over-sane, over-cautious people who have never sensed intangible verities” and suggested that he escape more often from the limitations of his ponderable mind. (White [2] 20)

White eagerly questioned the Invisibles as to the nature of life on their side, but was informed that explaining the afterlife was not part of their mission. Moreover, they told White that its detail is so unlike anything he knows about or can conceive of that any approximation on their part would convey false images. “If we gave detailed specifications of our life over here, it would be impossible thereafter to concentrate your attention on broad general principles,” they told him, “on the few simple lines of your effort. It is painfully difficult to eliminate and economize your attention. Only by shrouding other things in mystery can we occupy your minds in due proportion to the importance of the things we select.” (White [1], 186)

Habitual Spiritual Consciousness

The Invisibles stressed the need for Betty to develop what they called “habitual spiritual consciousness.” But they didn’t want Betty to think this meant retirement into a cloistered nunnery. “It means simply that each day, when you finish your practice, you do not close the experience like a book, but carry it around like a treasured possession,” they explained. “Instead of being completely forgotten, it remains in the back of your mind, communicating its influences automatically to your actions and reactions, and ready at any moment, if specifically called upon, to lend a helping hand.” (White [3], 190)

The objective, they said, is getting to know the higher self “and a gradual training of your spiritual muscles to maintain it, once recognized.” Don’t cease the multitude of routine and mundane daily activities, they added, but make the gradual growth and expansion of the eternal self the major business of each day. (White [2], 149)

White noted that there were many distortions in the communication, what he called “interruptions from opposing forces.” Betty learned to discern the “false messages” from those given by the Invisibles. “The false messages had always been delivered with feverish haste and great force in contrast to the calm and deliberation of other communications, especially those from my father,” Betty explained. “This ‘cutting-in’ haste had the virtue of making me able to recognize instantly and discount anything thus received.” (White [3], 51)

Although Across the Unknown was finished during December 1938, the book had not yet reached print at the time of Betty’s transition. Therefore, White added a final chapter, titled “I Bear Witness.” He reported on Betty’s final days in the physical body. Although they had come to the conclusion that permanent separation is impossible, White still feared separation, even if temporary. He knew that Betty, in spite of being in great pain, was reluctant to “let go” because of him. On April 5, the day of her departure, Betty’s doctor visited and exclaimed, “My God! The woman still smiles!” White then began to question the wisdom of his persistence that she hangs on. He went into another room, sat in an easy chair, and “projected” in Betty’s direction the words that he released her. A minute or so later, the doctor came to tell him that it was over. He told White that Betty had spoken up clearly and gayly as had been her habit. “It’s all right,” she said. “I’ve had a talk with my boy. You can take me now.” (White [2], 272)

White wrote that instead of feeling grief, as he had anticipated, he experienced a pure happiness that he had never before known, as Betty’s companionship flooded through his entire being in an intensity and purity of which he previously had no conception. In the months following, he sensed Betty around him but could not communicate with her.

The Unobstructed Reality

During a trip to Chicago to promote one of his many novels during September of 1939, White met with Darby and Joan, the pseudonyms adopted by the husband and wife authors of a popular 1920 book, Our Unseen Guest. Their story was similar to that of the Whites, Joan being the medium and Darby the recorder and author. Because they were both professional people, they elected not to go public with their actual identities.

White, who had met Darby and Joan some years earlier as a result of their common experiences, referred to Joan as “one of the greatest psychics, if not the greatest, in the world today.”(White [4], 23). He explained that she worked blindfolded from a state of trance, into which she entered instantly and completely as soon as Darby touched her wrist. Their book set forth wisdom communicated through Joan from a spirit identified only as Stephen, an American killed in World War I. Stephen spoke much about consciousness, calling it the all.

When Darby asked about the appearance of souls in the afterlife environment Stephen replied that all consciousness has form. “When you come here and your eyes are unsealed, those who meet you will seem quite natural and quite human, as, indeed, we are. In fact, we are more human than you, as you now know yourself, ever dreamed of being. We are humanity intensified many times.” (Darby & Joan, 230

Stephen further told Darby that what he (Stephen) referred to as rebirth is not in any sense what Darby knew as reincarnation. “It is true, as I once told you, that in the reincarnation idea there lies a glimpse,” Stephen communicated. “But this Buddhistic thought is on the whole an emotional hypothesis. Dismiss once and for all any possibility of my meaning by rebirth what the world has meant by reincarnation.” Darby took that to mean he had never individually lived a prior life and would not live another one. Stephen said his understanding was correct, that “part” of his consciousness would be reborn many times, but not his individual self. (Darby & Joan, 241)

Like the Whites, Darby and Joan were initially very sceptical as to the source, subscribing to the subconscious hypothesis, but they too, after much investigation, came to the conclusion that Stephen had actually lived in the flesh, and they received other evidential material pointing to the spirit hypothesis.

Although White said he had no need to hear from Betty, Betty communicated through Joan during his first evening with Darby and Joan. She began by speaking of intimate matters known only to her husband. “Here, in this first evening, she literally poured out a succession of these authentications,” White wrote in The Unobstructed Universe. “She mentioned not one, but dozens of small events out of our past, of trivial facts in our mutual experience or surroundings, none of which could by any possibility be within Joan’s knowledge. Many of them, indeed, were gone from my own memory, until Betty recalled them to me. And all of them – except just one – clean-cut, air-tight, without need of interpretation. A dyed-in-the-wool psychic researcher would have gone mad with joy over such a demonstration, which would have furnished him enough material to have lasted him for the next seven years.” (White [4], 27) Moreover, Betty communicated some 20-odd pieces of information to her sister, Millicient, some of which was unknown to White but later verified as fact.

Some of the very evidential information Betty communicated was so personal, that White was embarrassed to be discussing it in the presence of a woman, but Betty assured him that Joan was not “present” though her physical body was there serving as the medium.

Once she had convinced White that it was she who was communicating, she moved from the personal stuff to more existential and cosmic subject matter. “Consciousness,” she said, “is the starting point for everything.” She added that it is everything and beyond consciousness is nothing and that all manifestations can be traced to consciousness. (White [4], 96)


And so began a series of sittings in which Betty communicated much wisdom. She stressed that stability is what the world has lost, not security. She explained that stability involves the soul and the character of the person, and is based on faith in immortality. “Earth-life would have no point, would be too much to ask of man, without immortality,” she communicated.” (White [4], 34)

“The old order of things has collapsed,” Betty continued. “In some parts of the world, as in Europe, that collapse has been so complete that it seems everything of the old has been destroyed or lost.” She added that the elements that brought about the collapse in the Old World were at work in the New. When White asked Betty what had brought about this collapse, Betty replied bluntly: “Loss of faith in the present fact of immortality.” She explained that she was not referring to a conscious attitude of agnosticism or denial. “We may still profess belief in a vague and remote ‘heaven’ to which eventually we shall go,” she continued. “But belief is not faith; and it is only faith – faith in the same sense that we accept the inevitability of death itself – that can transfer the field of our practical endeavour out of the present moment. When the present moment – the earth span of life – is all that concerns us, then the emphasis of all we think and all we do at once bases on materialism.”

She further pointed out that modern civilization has been drifting in that direction while tending to write off everything but the gain of the day, and “emphasizing rights rather than obligations that a real faith in immortality must impose.” (White [4], 34-35)

When humankind loses sight of the fact of immortality, she continued, it has to come back or perish. Her purpose, Betty said, was to “make reasonable the hereness of immortality” rather than the thereness of immortality which most people subscribe to. (White [4], 37)

Time and Space

The basic thesis of the book is that there is an unobstructed universe and that it interfuses with our own. “You must keep clearly in mind the difference,” Betty advised, “that the obstructed universe has a limited frequency and that the unobstructed universe has an unlimited frequency. But it is not the same frequency. It operates in the same way. You have a frequency that permits your senses to be aware of the entire universe, up to a certain point. That point varies with the individual. Our frequency in the unobstructed universe is the frequency beyond the highest point reached by that vibration.” (White [4], 190)

Betty further explained that our material world has developed a greater control of space, mechanically, than of time. They, however, have a much greater control of time and can go backward or forward in time. Cause and effect, she said, is one of the laws of time and one of the laws of motion. “There are those here now who could tell you things that are going to happen,” she communicated through Joan’s entranced body. “They have proved it. It is done in time’s essence, receptivity. Take your own experience. You get up in the morning. Your intent is to go to the office. It’s perfectly true there are things that could deflect that intent. And it is true you have to operate certain things in your present to make that future event become present. Nevertheless, you do foresee the event. That is a very simple example. You can will it not to take effect. There can be extraneous deflections that can stop the effect. That is a condition of the obstructed universe. Predestination is, with you, only a glimpse. It is much more than a glimpse with us, though it is not a complete reality.” (White [4], 197)

Asked about their bodies, Betty responded that she recognizes other spirits by their light and colour, which reflects their frequency. However, she added that Stewart would recognize her just as he used to know her. “I don’t believe I can make you understand,” she lamented. “It’s that law of parallels again. My body functions for me according to my needs – “ (White [4], 209)

Betty said that she didn’t have answers for everything and that what she now understood was only a little beyond what she knew in her material life. “I know there are degrees (of consciousness) of which I know only a little more than you know about me,” she stated, adding that she had heard about higher degrees of consciousness and an ultimate or supreme degree of consciousness, and that she trusted her sources. (White [4], 249)

Having heard that spirits have difficulty communicating matters beyond the medium’s intelligence, White wondered how Joan, who seemed to be have very limited knowledge of metaphysical matters in her conscious state, was able to pass on such communication. Betty explained that Joan had the “potentiality” in her mind and that she had the ability to step up her “frequency.” “A station’s ability to release sub consciousness and be stepped up in frequency is a talent,” she said. “It’s part of that person’s make-up, like any other talent. You all have it to a degree, the simplicities of it.”

(White [4] 71-72) She noted that the four of them (Joan, Darby, Stuart and Betty) were very close in frequency and this facilitated the reception. On the other hand, there was someone named Anne on her side who was at such a high frequency that she could not communicate through Joan, though she was able to assist communicators on that side.

Like White, Darby had concerns about subconscious influence on what was coming from Joan. Stephen told him that he encountered hundreds of subconscious memories in his attempts to get messages through Joan. However, it was much easier for him to get through matters with which she was not familiar. “I can dictate my revelation through Joan, unfamiliar as its terms have been to her, with much greater accuracy than I could state through her my old preference in furniture or flowers,” he communicated. (Darby & Joan, 85)

Limitations in Communication

It was made clear to White early in Betty’s mediumship that the Invisibles could not interfere with the free will of humans, but he still wondered why they don’t reach out to more humans. “It is hard for us to foresee here what will be the results of this more general belief and how much we dare reveal,” was the response. “The teachers are all very cautious, for reaction must be carefully reckoned before knowledge can be given out. There is so much danger in the present situation that it is one of the first things we are cautioned about, when we are allowed to give communications: that is to be very watchful and not go too far, to move slowly and cautiously for the present. We have to note results carefully. It is the most intensive and comprehensive campaign that has ever been arranged over here, they say.” (White [5], 63)

It was also explained to White that there is an ebb and flow to such revelation. “The flood of the spiritual interest will soon rise to its height for the present,” the Invisibles told him shortly after the end of the Great War, “and then gradually subside – at least the fashion for it will – and then we shall see what really came in with the flood. Each tide brings a little more and we have to be content.” They further informed him that they work in rhythm, “allowing the force of each wave of effect to gain the effect of its power, to fall and break, to ebb back in gatherance for a new surge. The pause is fruitful. It allows the scum and windrift and jetsam to be floated away, leaving the sands clean for a new impression.” (White [6], 180)

Their object, the Invisibles said, is not to convince the world of anything except the need for continued conscious spiritual growth. They noted that technical advances, namely radio and the automobile, were already running ahead of what people could assimilate, resulting in instability, and the same would happen if they offered too much spiritual growth to too many. “The conviction of one thing or another – or another, will come naturally and easily and inevitably to each individual when he rises by his own specific gravity to that point. It will come to the world generally only when the common consciousness, by its own specific gravity, has also risen to that point.” (White [5], 78)

Other Teachings of the Invisibles

Death: “There is no sudden jump which will transform you. You take over what you are. That is the real continuity. It’s not the continuity of going over to something easier and adapted to all your personal peculiarities. It is a smooth transition. You might just as well accept it. You’ve got to do away with the superstition that your handicaps here will be instantly eliminated there. Get adapted here, and then you will enter without conditions. It’s a smooth beautiful thing, this continuity. The division been the lives is an imaginary line, like the equator.” (White [2], 86)

Free Will: “Only when an experience results from an exercise of free will does it become a part of the memory of the individual. The human physical structure, to take a simple example, is daily undergoing a great multitude of experiences having to do with sensational and instinctive, and therefore automatic aspects of awareness – such things as the ordinary bodily functions. None of these experience, so far as the individual is concerned, has any place in the final structure. But every experience which is a manner of action by free will, however slight, is drawn from that part of the cosmos which comprises the Not-done, and transferred into that part of the cosmos which comprises the Thing-done. The latter is, in the realest sense possible, a portion of the individual entity, and will forever remain so.” (White [5], 33)

Stress & Harmony: “Remember that the time to practice anything enduring is in the moments of stress. Garnered and gardened peace is only for refreshment, enabling you to return strengthened to your practice hours. It would be ineffectual to eliminate all stress points from your life, for then you would have no experience in producing harmony.” (White [2], 141)

Spirit Influence: “Your progress is in your own hands. We can do little but watch you gain necessary strength before we can help you further. That is the law. We can act only as the complement to the act.” (White [6], 124)

Aging: “You have a new way of working, a dependence on mental and spiritual vigour, rather than physical, which is not possible in physical youth. It is a period of rare enjoyment – once you manage to overlap the largely magnified physical dictates, once you learn how wisely to manage the body, once you learn not to arouse its combative simulations, but to give it ease and consideration. Even to pamper it excessively in order to gain its cooperation. See if you cannot transfer the vigour and abandon of youth, its enthusiasm for adventure, into the mental and spiritual integration you have acquired.” (White [5], 217-218)

Group Identity: “The individual man is a member of not one narrow group only, such as the family. He is also a member of a succession of ever more inclusive groups, until he is to be considered eventually a member of that which comprises the sum total of earthly incarnations. Each of these groups has its own type of problems, good and evil, to be worked out. And all of these problems have the same characteristic of being beyond the scope and power of individual solution. They have also the characteristic in common that they are the individual problem and responsibility.” (White [5], 6)

Conviction: “Intellectual conviction gained through study, through the reading of books, through the experimental examination of evidence, has one function and one function only: it moves the centre of interest into the path in which personal experience is most likely to be encountered. That is an extremely valuable function. It accelerates what might otherwise be a much delayed recognition, through conscious manifestation, of what is actually prepared.” (White [5], 78)

Lacking Conviction: “Let us consider someone from the lower grades, for instance, who is without firmly established supporting conviction previously developed through having constructed his own firm conditions of maintenance anywhere; without the eternal verity of equilibrium; without the surrounding stability of confidence in his own power of summoning to himself the same replacement conditions anywhere. He will begin at once to disintegrate and throw into confusion his whole creative mechanism by tearing it up into little worry-bits as to food and every detail of present and future need and his lack of possession of them at the moment. His panic over his mechanism of reconstructing his life puts him at once into the conditions he fears.” (White [5], 226)

Indifference: “There is a certain type of over sane, overcautious, unintentional people who have never sensed intangible verities, who prefer to occupy themselves exclusively with the more limited ponderables; just as there are the unfortunates who have never sensed the rapture of a perfume or the ecstasy of a colour harmony or who are deaf to sound reactions. Let us accept them in friendly understanding. They are useful people in keeping ponderable stability. But they will have to begin slowly over here.” (White [5], 226)

Enthusiasm: “Always hold in mind how much depends on arousing yourself. The energy with which you demand of us will measure what you get. It is not the energy of commanding, but of showing the force which begets its complement. It is the energy of measure for measure, given and received. This is all very indefinite to you now, but remember you are experimenting with forces not recognized in your world of sense.” (White [3], 100)

Conflict: “Sensitiveness capable of absorbing wisdom through direct impression suffers enormously from the world of combat. For as awareness increases, so does suffering. Because of this, unfortunately, the spiritual aspirant often prefers to seek a sheltered life and become a bystander. Such a person may have an exquisitely sensitized vision, but he is absolutely sterile because of lack of human contact. The bystander probably regards his reaction as one of fastidiousness, but it is really inertia, atrophied force, over cultivation, loss of productiveness.” (White [3], 97)

Suicide: “Those who deliberately, and not by submission to accident beyond their control, take into their own hands the termination of prescribed experience are in a different class. The very renunciation of responsibilities exerts a magnetic attraction which reorients the psyche back toward responsibilities. So that, in place of impulse forward toward onward progress, the soul is bound, by an urge which it cannot overcome, to the backward view. Do not confuse this with the conventional picture of the ‘earthbound’ spirit. the longing of regret for opportunities now seen to have been thrown away – the opportunities for certain fulfilments – blinds the entity to the possibility of those same fulfilments, with greater labour and lesser opportunity to be sure, in another state of being. Until that fixation is resolved, the entity is static and impervious to the helpful influences that so quickly heal the victims of a purely accidental passing.” (White [5], 229)


White, Stewart Edward [1], The Betty Book, E.P. Dutton & Co., NY, 1937

White, Stewart Edward [2], Across the Unknown, E. P. Dutton & Co, NY, 1939

White, Stewart Edward [3], The Road I Know, E. P. Dutton & Co., NY, 1945

White, Stewart Edward [4], The Unobstructed Universe, E. P. Dutton & Co., NY, 1940

White, Stewart Edward [5], With Folded Wings, E. P. Dutton & Co., NY, 1947

White, Stewart Edward [6]. The Stars Are Still There, E. P. Dutton & Co., NY, 1946

Darby & Joan, Our Unseen Guest, Harper & Brothers, 1920

Internet Reference:

Note: Most of these books are still available at and Very recent republications of The Road I Know and With Folded Wings are available at White Crow

Correspondence should be sent to Michael Tymn at

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