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Eileen Garrett the Medium is the Message

Eileen Garrett the Medium is the Message

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12/03/2014

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Eileen Garrett: The Medium is the Message | The Theosophical Society in America
Printed in the Fall 2013issue of Quest magazine.Citation: Chambers, John."Eileen Garrett: The Medium is the Message" Quest 101.4(Fall 2013): pg. 136-140.
 
By John Chambers
 Do mediums channel spirits and spirit messages from other planes of reality? No one can really say. But today, when mediums are often TV performers as much as they are communicatorswith the beyond, hawk their wares like merchants selling medicine, and refuse to submit toscientific testing, it's illuminating to look at the life of Eileen Garrett. This vibrant, red-hairedIrishwoman, who lived from 1893 to 1970, is remembered today mainly for founding New York'sesteemed Parapsychology Foundation. But she was certainly the greatest medium of thetwentieth century, and she helped numerous people in numerous ways while willingly submittingherself to every sort of scientific investigation. In her autobiography, Eileen reveals her defining characteristic: a "quality of doing as I wantedto in spite of everything . . . [which] had no elements of active defiance, resistance or animus.And I lived as I was made."
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Eileen Garrett: The Medium is the Message | The Theosophical Society in America
 Her nature was loving, but also independent and imperious. She refused to blindly follow thedictates of consensus reality; instead, she bent reality, she forged reality, she created it. Eileen Garrett never knew her parents. She was born in Beauparc, County Meath, Ireland, onMarch 17, 1893. Her mother, raised a strict Presbyterian, eloped with her father, a SpanishRoman Catholic, while she was on a school tour to Morocco. The bride was ostracized by herfamily, except for her oldest sister, on whose property Anna and Anthony, the parents, lived untilEileen was born. The young mother drowned herself a few days after Eileen's birth; she hadbeen told her parents would never accept her, or her husband, into the family. Her father fatallyshot himself six weeks later; he had been informed that he couldn't take his daughter back withhim to his family in Spain. Recent research has suggested that this story is apocryphal and thateither Eileen's aunt, who told her the story, misled her, or Eileen understandablymisremembered what she had been told as a child. In any event Eileen was certainly an orphan, and her upbringing was difficult enough. She wasraised by her aunt and uncle on a farmhouse in one of the most isolated, if beautiful, areas ofIreland. As a child she felt closer to nature and the cosmos than she did to individual humanbeings. She wrote that she saw people "not merely as physical bodies, but as if each were setwithin a nebulous egg-shaped covering of his own. This
surround,
as I called it for want of abetter name, consisted of transparent changing colors, or could become dense and heavy incharacter—for these coverings changed according to the variations in people's moods." Eileenlater learned of "the positive importance of the
surround 
as a protection to the physical body, receiving and condensing the impacts of sound, light andmovement, and diminishing their violence." She was constantly scolded by her harsh aunt, but discovered as a child that "I couldinvoluntarily shut away the sound and sense of her harshness." Years later, she wondered ifacquiring this skill had been "the beginning of that cleavage which later developed into myhaving more than one personality to live with." From the age of four, Eileen had imaginary playmates—two girls and a boy. She called them"The Children" and communicated with them telepathically. The Children never changed asEileen grew up. She wrote, "Their bodies were soft and warm. Yet they were different. I saw allbodies surrounded by a nimbus of light, but The Children were gauze-like. Light permeated theirsubstance . . . They possessed a hidden dignity that commanded respect. The Children loved
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Eileen Garrett: The Medium is the Message | The Theosophical Society in America
everything that grew and flowered, and they helped develop my already acute sense of
knowin 
things." From an early age Eileen had developed a sense of what sounds very much like the
plenum—a 
classicalterm, often used by C.J. Jung, that defines space not as a quantum vacuum that is empty but asan overflowing fullness. "Thus, from the beginning, space has never been empty for me. Therewas both sound and movement in the 'space' of every area, and I could discriminate amongenvironments by the impressions of this tremendous 'vitality' that I appear to gather otherwisethan by means of my five senses." While still a child, she found she could watch a being's spirit leave its body. In revenge for heraunt's acts of cruelty, she strangled all the ducks on the farm. She wrote, "The little dead bodieswere quiet, but a strange movement was occurring all about them. A gray, smoke-likesubstance rose up from each small form." Eileen would have three sons, one dying just afterbirth, the other two dying in infancy. In all three deaths, she watched heartbroken as the spiritrose from the body. As a young woman the red-haired Eileen was bosomy and lissome, with a pretty face that oftenshone with beauty. She would many three times, each time with a kind of lofty detachment, andwas able to disengage herself with only a little heartache from two of these marriages. Theexception was her second husband, an army officer. When she married him in London at theheight of World War I, he was about to leave for the front, and Eileen had a horrible premonitionthat he would be killed in just days or weeks. Not long after his departure, at a dinner party, shesuddenly lost all sense of personal identity and found herself "caught in the shatteringconcussion of a terrible explosion.
I
saw my gentle, golden-haired husband blown to pieces. Ifloated out on a sea of terrific sound. When I came to myself, I knew that my husband had beenkilled.” He had indeed been killed, and at the time that she was having this experience. During her first marriage Eileen had discovered she could see "more easily and clearly throughmy fingertips and the nape of my neck than through my eyes; and hearing and knowing, forinstance, came through my feet and knees." This "knowing," gained through her paranormalsenses, would always be more meaningful than the knowledge she acquired with her normalsenses. 
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