Cross Correspondence

Cross Correspondence

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Across correspondence occurs when spirit communication received through one medium is connected to communication received through another, different, medium or mediums. The two or more mediums are usually located at some considerable distance apart and frequently unaware of the connecting message(s). Discovering that connecting message involves a great deal of research on the part of a facilitator, or coordinator, who has to sift through all of the received information and has to be able to recognize the connections between the messages.

For example, two separate groups (“A” and “B”) might use talking boards (such as the Ouija® board) to communicate with spirits. There is an unbiased Coordinator. Each group starts by advising its particular spirit contact of what they wish to do. This may be done in the following fashion:

Spokesperson: “We want to do a cross-correspondence with our other group. They are meeting at 115 Main Street, tomorrow night at 9:00 pm. During our sitting here tonight please start a message that you will continue with them.”

Somewhere within the material that each group receives will be part of a message, though it may not be obvious. On the face of it there will be nothing unusual; the particular message may blend in with whatever else is received. Each group sends the records of its sitting to the Coordinator. He or she should be an intelligent, fairly learned person. The Coordinator’s job is to search through both sets of material and find a total message. Here is an example of such a cross correspondence. Among the many pages of Group A’s material the Coordinator finds this:

“What sort of place are you in now?”

IT IS VERY PLEASANT, AS THOUGH THE WINTER IS PAST, THE RAIN IS OVER AND GONE, AND EVERYTHING IS NICE AND FRESH AGAIN. ALMOST A REBIRTH.

Something may strike the Coordinator as sounding vaguely familiar. Very carefully going through Group B’s equally lengthy material, this is discovered:

“Was there anything you knew on this level that you miss?”

NO

“Can everything be experienced where you are, then?”

YES

“The different seasons?”

YES. EVEN WHEN THE FLOWERS APPEAR ON THE EARTH, THE TIME OF THE SINGING OF BIRDS, GAMBOLING OF LAMBS—EVERYTHING REALLY.

The Coordinator may then recognize the whole phrase as a quotation from the Bible, The Song of Solomon (ii. 11,12): “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” The first part was received by Group A and the second part by Group B. Such a cross-correspondence could be continued for a number of sessions. The main point is that neither group would see the other’s notes and neither know what quotation to expect.

Arthur Conan Doyle explained, “The cross correspondence of the SPR is in the main of a much more complicated character. In this, one script is not a mere reproduction of statements made in another; the scripts seem rather designed to represent different aspects of the same idea, and often the information in one is explanatory and complementary of that in another.”

Sometimes when experimenting, the Coordinator will select a quotation beforehand, which will make his or her job that much easier. The Spokespersons would then ask that “the continuing message be the one being thought of by our Coordinator.” However, in this case it rather defeats the object for there is always the possibility of unconscious extrasensory perception between the Coordinator and someone in each of the groups, rather than it being actual spirit contact. To have no one know what the quotation will be beforehand, although much tougher on the Coordinator, is much more convincing.

Cross correspondence was first discovered in 1876 by Alice Johnson, Research Officer of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). The spirit of then-deceased Frederick W. H. Myers suggested that cross correspondence was originated by spirit to demonstrate that there was no human telepathy at play. Hundreds of pages of the SPR Proceedings were devoted to the subject and aroused great controversy. Cross correspondences were found in groups as far apart as New York, London, and Bombay. After the eminent Greek scholar and psychical researcher Professor A. W. Verrall passed over, an intricate Greek mosaic and literary puzzle called “The Ear of Dionysius” was transmitted as a cross correspondence. It has been considered one of the most striking evidences of survival yet obtained.

Sources:

Buckland, Raymond: Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 2004
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933