Manuscript about the Spiritualism Movement (1926)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

This manuscript written by Arthur Conan Doyle circa 1926 on The Psychic Bookshop stationery, is a statement outlining his conception of spiritualism and the current state and direction of the movement.


The movement is making great strides in England. England now leads the world in psychic matters.

The last victory was the report of the morning Post. It is our oldest and most solid paper. It appointed two commissioners to examine the whole subject. They both reported very sympathetically both upon the physic & more particularly upon the religious aspects.

It is the religious philosophy which is really most important It is a new explanation of all those things which had perplexed the human brain & this it comes from the other side it seems to us the most rational & satisfying knowledge that has ever come to us.

The first step is to satisfy ourselves that we speak with external intelligences. These are many difficulties & even dangers but making every allowance for those one experience in that we do. Then if we do we should surely ask them as to the Conditions of life beyond & that they explain that Death makes no change in our appearance or forsaking save that instead of being matter in a material environment we are Ether in an Etheric environment. From our point of view we can see no change.

Then instead of hopeless hell or an ecstatic heaven we find there is a rational life with a society which give us opportunity for [..] those powers & enjoying those pleasures which are natural to us in the Company of those whom we love. It is all paded in strata from dark to light. Each soul being drawn to the stratum for which his spiritual development fits him, but with the every [probe] of worship upwards so that all in time reach the highest that we can conceive. Every allowance made for our circumstances. Olympical sin to be avoided but not nearly so serious as sins of the spirit such as bigotry, which we carry on with us. If any one really believes that god is the patron of one creed rather than of another then by that very belief he condemns himself to a lower sphere from which he will rise when he learns to take a broader view.

This is rational & it comes with all the authority of hundreds and thousands of messages from the beyond, supported by these signs of supernatural power which give them face.

Those who stop at ectoplasm & never get to the religious implications are as hindered as physiologists would be who stopped at protoplasm & and never got to life.

It all opens up a glorious future of hope & happiness for our race.

A. Conan Doyle