Saturday, 2 January 2010

Out of mind?

Oh, to be in England - the magic country of wandering houses and wayward hills and flights across time... 

Just as I thought I had read most of the most interesting "time slip" stories taking place in the United Kingdom, I was reminded of another one - of two, actually. (And yet a third one, for good measure.)

It's a story about a vision said to have been witnessed by Dr E. G. Moon, a supposedly "very down-to-earth" Scottish physician, on a certain day in 1935 when he visited one of his patients, the famous Lord Carson, at his home at Cleve Court (Isle of Thanet).

Now, this particular house is said to be haunted
But what is said to have happened to Dr Moon doesn't appear to be a "haunting" proper. (And what is a "haunting" - or a "ghost", for that matter - anyway? For a few of my thoughts on the subject, see here.)

I found this story here and since it is uncommonly well written, I think it would be best to let the author* of the original text speak.
(N. B. Sadly, the original articles are gone; the links now point to the archived copies on the Wayback Machine.)

In 1935 Dr EG Moon, a very down-to-earth Scots Physician with a practice in Broadstairs, was at Minster in Thanet visiting his patient, Lord Carson, who lived at Cleve Court, a haunted house referred to elsewhere in the section. After talking to Carson, the doctor left his patient and made his way downstairs into the hallway. His mind was very clearly occupied at the time with the instructions he had given the nurse about the prescription he had left for Carson. At the front door Dr Moon hesitated, wondering whether to go back upstairs to have another word with the nurse.

It was at this point that the doctor noted that his car was no longer where he had left it in the driveway. In fact, it had been parked alongside a thick yew hedge and that, too, was missing. Even the drive down which he had driven from the main road was now nothing but a muddy track, and a man was coming towards him.
The newcomer on the scene, only thirty yards from Dr Moon, was rather oddly dressed wearing an old-fashioned coat with several capes around his shoulders. And he wore a top hat of the kind seen in the previous century. As he walked he smacked a switch against his riding boots. Over his shoulder he carried a long-barrelled gun. He stared hard at Moon. And the doctor registered the fact that the man coming towards him might have looked more at home in the 19th century.

View Larger Map

Cleve Court, Isle of Thanet (UK)

Remarkably, Dr Moon seems not at the time to have been either alarmed or even mildly surprised by the changed scenery, by the quite oddly dressed man approaching his or the fact that his car was missing. What preoccupied him was the thought of Lord Carson's prescription. He simply turned away, without any concern, to go back into the house. But he did quite casually take one more look at the scene he was leaving. And now, as if by magic, the car was back where it had been and the yew hedge too. The drive was no longer a muddy track. And the man had also disappeared, back one assumes to the previous century. And it was only now that Dr Moon realised that something odd, something decidedly odd, had occurred.

All of this took seconds and so there is every reason to understand why Dr Moon did not immediately go out into the driveway to see where his missing car was. For the same reason it is understandable why he did not speak to the man dressed like a farm bailiff of the past. Dr Moon was drawn into some kind of accepting, hallucinatory state. When he came to - for that seems to be the best way of describing his return to his own time - he described to Lady Carson what he thought had occurred. He was anxious, however, that no word of if should come out in his lifetime for fear that his patients would begin to question his judgement. It was only after his death that the story was revealed.**

Now, this is a fascinating story as it is. 
But it's this little bit what makes it even more interesting, to my eyes: "Dr Moon was drawn into some kind of accepting, hallucinatory state"

He seems to have been in some sort of trance, an almost hypnotic state, similar (at least I understand it that way) to the state of mind one often encounters in dreams: the weirdest things seem not only somehow "normal", but often we simply know (during the dream only), why they make sense, why they should be so. This, I believe, is the Theta "state of mind" (actually, a brain wave rhythm).

And, luckily for us, we seem to have another story - from the very same region (and found on the same website) - pointing to the very same phenomenon, whatever it is that induces this strange state of receptiveness.
It is the account of a woman called Charlotte Warburton, who is said to have had a "time slip" on June 18, 1968, on Calverley Road, in the English town of Tunbridge Wells (Kent). 
Mrs. Warburton entered a supermarket and instead found a cafe that hadn't been there before... nor was it there the next time she looked. 
You can read more about it here.

I shall only point out the similarly unquestioning state of mind that she seems to have experienced - because I believe it is the key to such phenomena.
Was it an external factor, something from outside, what caused these experiences?

A third account - not strictly a "time slip" -, about a girl called Naomi Fuller (read it on the same page as the two accounts above) would seem to suggest that there is something about the area itself that, under certain (as yet undetermined) circumstances, switches a susceptible mind into a Theta-like state, which then makes it possible to perceive usually non-observable realities.

But if that were the case, wouldn't there be many more reports of such experiences? After all, timidity or fear of ridicule can only explain so much. 
On the other hand, of course, there are places, all over the world, where such experiences (be it "hauntings", "ghosts" or whatever one might call them) are reported quite often. Of course, it is virtually impossible to establish how many reports are genuine, and from those that are, how many were "fed" by self-suggestion, by expectation.
Anyway, such places deserve - and often get - a thorough in situ individual investigation. 
(Many seem to show unusually high electromagnetic activity. More on that some other time.)

I think there is little doubt that it is the individual's susceptibility that makes such things happen.

But if you think I am politely alluding to so-called "hallucinations", you couldn't be more wrong. Apparently, there can be shared visions of things normally unseen (this blog is full of such accounts; I would especially recommend reading the entries about
Jung, the Andersons and, of course, about the legendary Misses Moberly and Jourdain) - and not all of them can be satisfactorily explained away as either lies or "folie a deux".

So, judging by such accounts, it would be relatively safe to assume that, at certain locations and under certain (undetermined) influences, an external local force (or interplay of forces) is capable of inducing or triggering perception of otherwise unobservable realities external to the observer - and judging by the accounts of odd or uncharacteristic receptivity accompanying these visions, it would be safe to surmise that the mind is perhaps on a Theta-like "wavelength" at the time of the experience.
More on that on a future occasion.

If you want to report a perceived dimensional anomaly, please do, but read this first.

* Unfortunately, it is not entirely clear who the author of the text(s) is. According to the Credits, it could be either W. H. Johnson or John Haverson (or both).
** I have yet to unearth the original source of this account.

No comments: