This advertisement is featured toward the back of "How to Converse with Spirit Friends," a small staplebound publication from the 1910s that I picked up for $3 Saturday at the awesome twice-a-year York Book and Paper Fair.1
The advertised book apparently featured all sorts of supernatural silliness, including:
- Clairvoyant psychometry
- Distant clairvoyance
- Past clairvoyance
- Future clairvoyance
- Astral-body traveling3
- Astral-plane phenomena
William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932). And, apparently, it was one of his least-successful pseudonyms. Atkinson published just three titles under that name: "The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms" in 1912; "The Astral Plane: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena" in 1915; and "Clairvoyance and Occult Powers" in 1916.
Atkinson was much better known for his writings as William Walker, W.W. Atkinson, Yogi Ramacharaka, Swami Bhakta Vishita and Theron Q. Dumont.
Here are some details about his life, from his Wikipedia biography:
- He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1862.
- While working as a lawyer in Pennsylvania in the 1890s, "the stress and over-strain eventually took its toll, and ... he experienced a complete physical and mental breakdown, and financial disaster."
- As part of his healing and recovery, he discovered and became part of the New Thought movement.
- He moved to Chicago sometime around the turn of the century and worked as editor and publisher of various New Thought magazines.
- He also became interested in Hinduism and, according to Wikipedia, "was not alone in embracing a vaguely exotic 'orientalism' as a running theme in his writing, nor in crediting Hindus, Buddhists, or Sikhs with the possession of special knowledge and secret techniques of clairvoyance, spiritual development, sexual energy, health, or longevity."
- When he wrote as Yogi Ramacharaka, he claimed to be a Hindu. There was a full fictitious biography for Yogi Ramacharaka. It was claimed that he was born in India in 1799 and spent the first half of his life traveling the world by foot and visiting great libraries located within monasteries and royal palaces.
For a little more about the tangled publishing web that Atkinson left behind, check out this post about "Yogi Ramacharaka" on Ananda's Website.
1. We were in "small ticket item" mode this time around, which is painful, because this event is always filled with great vendors, many of whom have exquisite items to tempt bibliophiles. One of the neatest items we came across was a set of 50+ personal journals that spanned both Abraham Lincoln's 1865 assassination and the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The price tag was $2,200. I did, however, snag a couple other small items that I'll be sharing in future posts.
2. What do you call people from Denmark with ESP? Clair Danes.
3. Speaking of astral-body traveling, remember Philadelphia Phillies catcher Darren Daulton? He wrote a book titled "If Only They Knew" in 2007. Here are some excerpts:
- “Talking about my Wrigley Field experience [in 1997] and metaphysics, along with countless media reports about my problems, brought a lot of attention. Over the last few years there has been much talk about what has happened to Dutch. Is he O.K.? The things he talks about are really out there. Has he lost his mind? Somebody said that he believes in aliens and that he enters other dimensions. The guy is obviously on drugs or drinking way too much of Grand Pappy’s cough syrup. … Not to worry, I haven’t lost any sleep over it, but have always felt impelled to tell the world exactly what is going on and what I personally have experienced.” (Pages 14-15)
- “Once we are able to open up our chakras and allow energy into and through us, which enables kundalini, we are able to form our human light bodies called Mer-Ka-Ba.” (Page 63)
- “Within our physical bodies our consciousness is affected by the numbers — the numeric patterns or specific numbers — we encounter. Our DNA can be activated with repetitive numbers such as a countdown from 10 to 0 or the pattern of the Fibonacci Theorem, or through the master numbers of 11 and 22. Numbers with two digits are believed to have greater power in our awakening than those with only one digit. These digital codes spark our mind to awaken and return to a higher and expanded consciousness and level of awareness.” (Page 67)
- “I will voice my opinion from a multi-dimensional being living in a multi-dimensional world that the souls that were taken in the 9/11 tragedy were a part of the reincarnation process (more on this topic later) and were to be a part of that event prior to reincarnating. In no way do I mean to lessen the seriousness of the tragedy or to diminish the devastation of the loss of lives, or offend the grieving friends and families of the souls taken. These souls didn’t die; they passed on to higher realms, a higher way of being. This has to be, this is Universal Law in the 3rd density. We live in duality, polarity, black and white, good and evil, positive and negative.” (Page 73)
- “I have experienced what we would term as demonic encounters just like in the movie The Exorcist. Why? I believe it was for my spiritual growth and more importantly I was ready for it when it happened. It can be a very frightening experience. You will also realize these energies and spiritual laws that must be adhered to concerning what we perceive to be demonic possession.” (Page 73)
- “When we were created it was forever. Eternal doesn’t die. … We don’t die folks; we just pass on to another realm. … How do I know? Because I’ve consciously been in these other realms — astral travel while in a sleeping state and conscious experiences during the day, while awake. At first it was very strange because I wasn’t privy to how or why this new world opened up to me. I wanted to tell people but I wasn’t well versed in how it all worked.” (Page 77)
- “When I first went public with my experiences of traveling in other dimensions, people looked at me, and talked about me, as if I came from outer space. I guess the most difficult part of it all for me has been figuring out a way to explain to them what they are and what each are capable of because some people are in serious denial. Your just have to connect the dots of what myself and others are trying to convey to you concerning entering these realms. … After a few years of my being awakened and experiencing these higher realms on a daily basis, things are really awesome.” (Page 78)
- “If this book flies and people start to awaken I will probably be led to write another book. Next time around I will take up some other so-called myths and mysteries such as controlling the weather around you. This is a wonderful phenomenon that can be realized and manifested in your conscious reality.” (page 168)