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War and the Weird   By: (1884-1958)

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WAR AND THE WEIRD

BY FORBES PHILLIPS AND R. THURSTON HOPKINS

LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & CO., LTD.

Copyright All rights reserved 1916

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Punctuation has been normalised. Dialect spellings have been retained. The oe ligature is shown as [oe].

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PAGE

I. THE UNCANNY UNDER FIRE 11

II. WAR THE REVEALER 17

III. THE SOUL'S BOUNDARY LINE 21

IV. THE SPIRITUAL ENTITY 27

V. ANGELS 31

VI. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNSEEN 35

VII. THE WHITE COMRADE 39

FIVE SKETCHES

I. OMBOS 49

II. THE DE GAMELYN TRADITIONS 101

III. THE MILLS OF GOD 127

IV. THE STORY OF A SPY 137

V. THROUGH THE FURNACE 161

INTRODUCTION

BY FORBES PHILLIPS

I

THE UNCANNY UNDER FIRE

"Do you think there is anything in it?" He was a clean set six foot specimen of English manhood, an officer of the R.F.A. wounded at Mons, who spoke. "I mean I haven't studied these subjects much in fact, I haven't studied them at all. Sport is more in my line than spiritualism and that kind of thing, but when you have experiences brought under your very nose again and again, you cannot help thinking there must be something in such things." He had just told me that in the last few minutes' sleep he managed to get on the march to Mons he dreamt that he was unable to sit his horse. The next day he was wounded inside his right knee, not seriously, but sufficient to stop him riding for a week or two. "I should never have thought anything more of it I mean, connecting the dream with the ill luck but in the South African campaign there were quite remarkable instances. You see, at such times when you are playing hide and seek with shrapnel, officers and men get very chummy when we do get a spell for a talk. The Tommies give us their confidences, and ask us all kinds of strange questions about religious and super natural things."

Take premonitions, for example. How shall we account for the British soldier's actual versions of the matter? There are countless stories in this war, in every war, of men having a warning, a sub conscious certainty of death. The battlefield is armed with a full battery of shot, which thrill with human interest and have around them a halo of something uncanny, supernormal. It may be that in the stress and shock of battle the strings some of the strings of the human instrument get broken; that poor Tommy, gazing into the night of the long silence, becomes a prey to morbid fancies, which presently are worked up into premonitions. There may be something in this, but the men of inaction are more prone to fancies than men on active service. Another theory suggests that the same power within which questions, supplies an answer. It may be so; but no one is anxious for the answer Death brings. One can only smile at the crass stupidity of most of the explanations given by those who deny the existence of super natural agencies and powers. The region of spiritual dynamics is destined to be the science of the future.

In a somewhat sceptical age it is worth while noticing that from the earliest dawn of history, under varying forms of government and civilisation with which we are acquainted, the belief in premonitions was unchallenged. The old Greeks and Latins were the keenest thinkers the world so far has seen; yet they believed in ghosts, omens, and premonitions. (They would smile in lofty scorn at some of the superstitions to day taught under the Elementary Education Act of 1870.) Unbelief in such things super natural, therefore, cannot be accepted as a sign of lofty mentality... Continue reading book >>




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