Mediumistic Phenomena: Observed in a Series of Sessions with Eusapia Palladino

ICRL Press
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In the silence of the night, in a remote room in a laboratory at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Naples, a small group of scientists meet to attend séances with Europe's most celebrated medium, Eusapia Palladino, a peasant woman whose mediumship has been dazzling Europe for decades. It is not the first time she has been subjected to tests, but it is the first time that she is being examined with the automated tools of orthodox scientific research, in an effort to produce an impartial and unbiased record of her activities. As fascinating as a theatrical piece, this true life narrative has a riveting plot: scientists attempting to penetrate the troubling mysteries of the occult and coming to grips with the phenomena of mediumship, its dynamics and possibilities. The eight séances at the Institute are literally¿sometimes humorously¿described by the group's director, Professor Filippo Bottazzi, one of the most authoritative researchers in Italy at the time. And it is Bottazzi himself who, on the basis of the evidence obtained, proposes an explanation of the observed events based on his knowledge of physiology. All of this occurred more than a century ago, but the story remains fascinating¿and relevant¿to our own time.
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ICRL Press
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Published on
Aug 31, 2011
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History / Europe / General
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NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
Considerata l’importanza che ha l’indagine sperimentale dei “fenomeni medianici”, ho accolto il desiderio espressomi dall’egregio editore signor Perrella di pubblicare in forma di volume la “relazione” dei risultati che io ed altri miei colleghi ottenemmo in una serie di “sedute medianiche” fatte con E. Paladino, circa due anni or sono. Questa relazione differisce da quella che io stesso pubblicai nella “Rivista d’Italia”, non solo per alcune modificazioni e correzioni introdotte nel testo, ma anche perché il resoconto della settima sedata, pubblicato sommariamente in quel periodico, qui è completo, e per l’aggiunta del resoconto di un’altra seduta, l’ottava, con nuove figure. Le aggiunte potevano essere più numerose, perché, dopo le sedute di cui qui sono riferiti i risultati, ad altre simili ho anche preso parte. Ma a che scopo? I risultati sono sempre qualitativamente gli stessi; onde è quasi indifferente far conoscere quelli di trenta piuttosto che quelli di dieci sedute; ciò che importa è che queste siano fatte nelle migliori condizioni, per eliminare la possibilità del trucco da parte del medium, o scoprirlo quando il medium vi ricorra. Perciò mi limiterò a dire che le ulteriori osservazioni fatte hanno confermato in me la convinzione formatami circa la realtà dei fenomeni medianici. È necessario continuare le ricerche, limitandole a uno o due fenomeni, per determinare di questi tutte le condizioni; è utile, e presto sarà necessario, sperimentare sopra altri medium, possibilmente sopra medium i quali della loro proprietà medianica non abbiano ancora fatto mezzo di lucro, e che siano giovani e disciplinati. Credo che ormai Eusapia Palladino sia alle sue ultime prove: è vecchia, è debilitata, è inferma; il suo potere medianico viene man mano spegnendosi, come ho potuto constatare confrontando le sue ultime sedute con quelle di due anni or sono. I medium però esistono in maggior numero che non si creda. Ma i migliori hanno paura d’esporsi e di render nota la loro eccezionale capacità. Bisogna cercarli e persuaderli della serietà dei nostri intendimenti e della necessità di fare su di essi esperimenti basati sul metodo scientifico.
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