The medium Henry Slade was caught in fraud many times throughout his career. In a séance in 1876 in London Ray Lankester and Bryan Donkin snatched his slate before the "spirit" message was supposed to be written, and found the writing already there. Slade also played an accordion with one hand under the table and claimed spirits would play it. The magician Chung Ling Soo revealed how Slade had performed the trick.
Mediums obtain messages from the spirit world in different ways. Some receive intuitive information, in which images and words appear as mental impressions that are then relayed along to the living. In other cases, a medium may hear actual auditory messages or see actual images of these messages. Many people who do spirit communication regularly find that the dead can be quite a chatty bunch sometimes. If they've got something to tell you, they're going to make sure you get told. What you choose to do with the information is up to you, but a lot of mediums, it can feel like they've got someone's dead granny screaming in their ears, and if they don't pass that message along to you, she's not going to shut up.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.
King Saul of Israel sought counsel from a medium called the Witch of Endor. The armies of Israel were about to be attacked by the Philistines. Saul was in rebellion against God and in desperation sought the services of the spiritist. "So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.” (1 Samuel 28:8 NKJV). Saul then asked the medium to conjure up the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel, to ask his counsel regarding the pending Philistine attack. "And the king said to her, 'Do not be afraid. What did you see?' And the woman said to Saul, 'I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.' So he said to her, 'What is his form?' And she said, 'An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.' And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.'" (1 Samuel 28:13-14. NKJV)
Psychologists and researchers who studied Pearl Curran's automatic writings in the 1930s came to the conclusion Patience Worth was a fictitious creation of Curran. In 1931 George Valiantine was exposed as a fraud in the séance room as it was discovered that he produced fraudulent "spirit" fingerprints in wax. The "spirit" thumbprint that Valiantine claimed belonged to Arthur Conan Doyle was revealed to be the print of his big toe on his right foot. It was also revealed that Valiantine made some of the prints with his elbow.
The "passage" here is made by an older Englishwoman, Mrs. Moore, traveling to India to see her son, a British civil servant. She heads East in search of a larger view, but initially she encounters fragmentation. Hindu, Muslim, and British India are not merely different worldviews but virtually parallel worlds. Most of the English keep to themselves, but Mrs. Moore ventures out into a teeming world in which the natural is always deeply infused with the supernatural, where "to realize what God is seems more important than to do what God wants." Forster portrays her spiritual journey so authoritatively that we find ourselves, like Mrs. Moore, enlightened and overwhelmed by her new world, as she tentatively feels her way toward a comprehensive nonattachment which is finally more Hindu than British.