December 2, 1936.
Dec 2 - Dec 17
Robert L. Stevenson:
To me, most of the missionaries were fighting a forlorn battle in their pathetic hope of imposing a made-to-measure religion and civilization upon a people so utterly barbaric and so far removed from any appreciation of Christian ideals. To say the least of it, missionaries are the best intentioned people in the world, but they invariably approach the Savage without remembering to reduce their mentality to the black man's level, and when they have explained a point lucidly enough to please themselves they are content that the matter stands equally clear in the mind of the pupil; whereas he has probably not even grasped at the fringe of the explanation before some new point is thrust down his throat. All he can claim in the long run is to have collected a head full of un-assimilated facts and a hopelessly garbled version of Western ideas. A heathen half taught is a heathen distraught. Better to leave him in his natural state of ignorance than to evolve him into a very poor copy of the European, for whom, after all, he cherishes the heartiest contempt while submitting to be tutored in his ways, provided such ways do not interfere too seriously with his natural indolence. I have the heartiest contempt myself for the European who devotes himself to such a display of misdirected energy. A coating of veneer on two or three generations will not serve to smother the inherited instincts of centuries. Whether the continued application of a veneer will have the anticipated results in the end is extremely problematical.
December 17, 1936.
Of course, there are cases here and there, where brilliant success is achieved in an isolated instance, and these cases shed a radiance over the whole field of missionary work which does much to obscure, except to the very discerning, the amount of real harm done by these well-intentioned individuals. I do not agree, however, that the many should be spoiled for the enhancement of the few. On many occasions I have had under my observation specimens of tutored and untutored savages; and while there was much to admire in the latter, there was everything to deplore in the former. You sitting at ease in your civilized homes think pityingly of the black man, his crudeness, his ignorance, and his lack of every comfort dear to the heart of the European, and of your charity you spare a shilling, when you can, for his enlightenment. But the real kindness would be to leave him to the cults and rough arts of his forefathers, whose rudimentary notions of diet, conduct, and hygiene kept him healthier, happier, and saner, and less menacing than all our vaunted civilization will ever keep his descendants. So leave your shilling in your pocket, those of you who have our dear black brothers' welfare truly at heart.
[Letter from Mrs. Hamilton to Margaret:]
"... Here we are - three of us - Jim, Isabella and myself, having a little siesta at this old stand. It's still a charming spot - green, quiet and refreshing in every sense of the word. I plan to stay a week but may return on Saturday. Jim and Louise are busy getting their Martin Avenue home fixed up, and will, I expect, be in it by the time Jim gets here.
"... Sterge is looking forward to seeing you again very much. When he talks of you he actually grows lyrical. There was a little face in the exposure - caught by my camera only. But, oh! so out of focus. It has the Glendinning mouth, chin and nose. We can all see that.
"... It will be lovely to see you both again."
[P.S. I'm starting to read Myers - my main job while I'm here]
(Late summer - because fresh cauliflower)
[Letter from Mrs. Hamilton to Margaret:]
Mentions Glen playing the bagpipes upstairs.
"... Well, Ada and Harold and Jack have just left - here for lunch - and did we talk! Jack just got back from Florida a few days ago - rested and tanned and very fit. He enjoyed it to the full. We had roast veal, new cauliflower with cream sauce, browned potatoes, Christmas pudding with "slumy" sauce - coffee in the living room with cheese wafers and cigarettes. After still more talk had a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
"They are dear people and I enjoyed having them. The four boys vied in telling jokes and, as usual, making puns.
"Tonight Isabella and I are going to church - after a sitting -present - Isabella (our newest medium), Mercedes, Bessie, Lu, Harold and Ian. Bessie is also developing quite rapidly. Yes, Daddy was present on the Sunday he told you he was - made himself known to me through Izzie - as Jim calls her. She is our greatest find in some years, I think. R. L. Stevenson uses her, also Walter, also Poole - and all are distinct personalities. They are using her in the big group which meets Wednesdays, to replace Poole - they say she has the same kind of energy and gifts of clairvoyance. She writes, speaks and sees already in trance. Besides, she is a dear little girl - pure and sweet and well-balanced - full of fun and very unselfish. If we can keep her in the family we will have a medium of our own for some years to come.
"... In the matter of the manuscripts - hold everything, for I have rewritten part of the first chapter -I will have it typed here and send it along for you to replace what you have on hand. Hold anything from the lady at MacMillans until I have the whole thing OK'd by critics here. As soon as Jim is through his exams he is going to give me some time - examining and criticizing and discussing it with me. All of Poole's work is now well in hand - chapter and divisions at last that I think can stay "put" - the analysis and grouping are hard to come by; there is so much of it - and it must be boiled down, I feel, considerably, so I am going to do some cutting presently. The main body of the early chapters, however, still stands.
"...About going down to see you in June? I would love to but cannot say yet - I must get this book off - and there is the money end of it and so on. But I'll keep it in mind and try to make it. But do not count on it.
"...Glen and Margaret Matheson out last night - Beth Kennedy the night before - so it looks as if the Phyllis case would soon be over. I do hope he will keep himself free now for awhile - at least until he really grows up and know what he wants. No word from England yet about his application so we are beginning to think that probably he did not get it through lack of pull - no Honorable Sirs on his list. He is quite happy about it, however, whichever way it goes.
"... I must away and get Glen some tea - bread and butter and some cold meat on a tray will do, I think, after such a big lunch."
Repeat of above. [ Note from Mrs. Hamilton to Margaret:]
"... It seems to me that I have forgotten each time I wrote to tell you about Isabella's boby: Margaret Allisin - or do you know it - she had your address - likely she sent you a card also.
"...More personalities came through Isabella and reminded me again of the "cubby hole" (excellent) and our own Arthur came and gave her a vision of two "little wheelbarrows" - You remember - the last X-mas - each from me.
"... The fairies came again - six of them this time - one on my arm - one on some anemones in a vase beside the couch, others on the chair. One is named Tinker - (page Barrie) - They seem very timid but are gradually gaining confidence, so Isabella thinks. Little elves.
"... And then - my dear - visions of Christ nearly every night - still no memory of them. (She is washing today, busy as a bee and as happy as a lark). Again the message: "I will walk and talk unto men again - soon. The Gates are open! For you and all men. Ask of me and I will come." Vision of angel Friday - and of a man with a light in His hand. Stevenson and David Livingstone always nearby. Do you suppose they are giving Isabella mental pictures that represent ideas regarding the possible second advent? It may be so.
[This must be part of a letter from the Cape Town Psychic Club.]
"... Regarding our Psychic Club, it began in a very small way. My father, on arriving in this country in 1936, found that the Spiritualists were all scattered and in little groups and he tried to get them together to discuss their circles by having an evening social once a month at a restaurant where everyone had tea and talked about their experiences and difficulties. Then one of their number invited everyone to come to his residence for a little talk or lecture on the subject; and then he was given a great number of Spiritualist and psychic books that had been left at the death of a keen reader on the subject. In order to house the books as a library this gentleman, Mr. Williamson, started the society which had its headquarters in a small room, and voluntary workers acted as librarians, each member of the society being entitled to take out two books at a time. From that the Club has grown,. We had to move to larger quarters when the numbers became too great to have meetings in a private house. If there was anyone who had time (and money) to start little "get-together" meetings in Winnipeg so that all the people interested in the subject could meet and bring their friends it would soon grow into something like the Cape Town Psychic Club. Unfortunately, it has to be done by someone who has time to devote to it and the money to run it until it becomes organized.
"... It was the little "get-together" meetings started by my father that formed the nucleus of the Cape Town Psychic Club. Some years later a society was formed in Johannesburg on similar lines to ours and using ours as a pattern. It shows how big things come from little beginnings, and how these things spread."
1935 - 1937.
In the fall of 1935, Dr. Bruce Chown, with Dawn as medium, conducted some experiments resulting in photographs of two more extrusions of amorphous teleplasm.