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He is remembered in particular for his controversial attempts to provide tangible proof, in the form of plaster moulds of ectoplasmic limbs. Born in Montceau-les-Mines, Gustave Geley completed his medical studies in Lyon with distinction and then practised medicine in Annecy until , gaining a good reputation. Both were published under the pseudonym of E Gyel. Then, in , he published under his own name a new model of the living: Les Preuves du Transformisme et Les Enseignements de la Doctrine Evolutionniste , a new view on Darwinism.
However, this did not happen during its early years, to the disappointment of psi research proponents, and funds intended for this purpose were diverted towards conventional psychology. Geley followed his intellectual path for some years in isolation.
In the summer of , when Italy entered the Allies' side during First World War, Santoliquido was appointed to head a sanitary commission based in Paris, and asked Geley to become his secretary.
The two men had hitherto only exchanged letters, and this was the beginning of a close professional relationship. He also became the physician of Gabriel Delanne, who represented the scientific aspect of French Kardecian spiritism. With Jean Meyer, a wealthy Kardecian spiritualist and wine merchant, as financial sponsor, they founded a modest laboratory for the scientific study of psi phenomena in Avenue Suffren in Paris in The three then founded the IMI in April , with Geley as its first director and Santoliquido as its first president.
Geley led further sessions from December to March Drawing on photography 24 photos , he sought to demonstrate that materialization phenomena are genuine and obey certain laws, which he conceived as a type of physiology that allows ideoplasty.
While ideodynamism refers to the physiological realization of an idea such as a hypnotic suggestion, ideoplasty extends this process to matter itself. The idea is no longer a product of matter, but on the contrary, the model that gives it form and attributes.
In , Geley published De L'Inconscient au Conscient 8 proposing a theory of evolution that incorporates and supports the existence of ectoplasmic materialization. Geley 11 described ectoplasm as a two-step process. First, a pre-existing substance externalizes from the medium.
This substrate initially has the appearance of a white veil or sort of saliva but gradually adopts a variety of forms, principally those of more or less complex human organs. The superior dynamism which models ectoplasms is generalized by Geley to the whole organism, in order to explain some biological anomalies. Ectoplasm will be the extreme end of ideoplasty, but another kind of passive ideoplasty will be involved in conventional embryogenesis and physiological functions of the organism.
Geley assigned to the subliminal Self the role of organizer of the psychic and the organic. He did not completely reject the possibility of involvement by external entities, 14 but he did not need them for his thesis. Geley recognized Carl du Prel as an influence in forming his ideas, and also acknowledged Frederic Myers, the British psychical researcher and author, as having provided documented examples. Sympathetic critics pointed to an imbalance between synthesis and analysis.
Although no mystic, his philosophy derived from a moral position. His comprehensive moral and scientific philosophy, based as it was on a few strong ideas, left little room for analytical precision or for an adequate report of crucial facts cited. In experiments with Kluski, moulds of ectoplasmic limbs were made through the use of hot paraffin and special control conditions. However, the reports were received with much skepticism in the press. At the end of , Geley started a counter-offensive, devoting a full year to demonstrating the phenomena to as many observers as possible.
Of these, thirty-five signed a document formally stating that they had witnessed the phenomena. These opinions were widely repeated in the press and exacerbated the bad reputation of psi research. For Geley this activity proved to be a time-consuming distraction from his earlier project of testing his hypotheses on paranormal physiology. He was killed in a plane crash on July 15, while returning from Warsaw with new moulds of ectoplasmic materializations by Franek Kluski.
The circumstances are worth noting. A second pilot also declined. But Geley was under pressure to leave for Paris, as days later he had an appointment in London with William Hope, a medium who claimed the ability to impress thoughts onto photographic plates and whom Geley had been trying to study for five years, suspecting him of being fraudulent.
The plane crashed at take off in the Warsaw suburbs. When his body was recovered, he was found still clutching the little suitcase containing the results of his last experiments. Brower, M. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Evrard, R. Geley, G. Paris: Institut Physiologique. From the Unconscious to the Conscious.
Clairvoyance and Materialization: A Record of Experiments. London: Kessinger Publishing. Gutierez, G. Une Histoire de la Parapsychologie. Gyel, E. Paris: Alcan. Lambert, R. Geley, Vom Unbewussten zum Bewussten pp. Stuttgart: Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft. Myers, F. London: Longmans, Green. Parot, F. Rosen-Dufaure, S. Skip to main content. Gustave Geley. This page was last updated on: April 06,
Gustave Geley was born in Montceau-les-Mines, France, in He became a physician, though he was interested in the unconscious and in psychical research. His first book was concerned with the origin of species. Between and , he had twice-weekly sittings with Beraud at her home in Paris. When she arrived for a sitting, Beraud was undressed in his presence as a doctor, he was allowed to see her unclothed , and then was literally sewn into a tight-fitting garment something like a body stocking.
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Gustav Geley 13 April — 15 July was a French physician , psychical researcher and director of the Institute Metapsychique International from to Geley was born in at Montceau-les-Mines , France. He studied medicine in Annecy. Argamasilla managed to fool Geley and Charles Richet into believing he had genuine psychic powers. Argamasilla peeked through his simple blindfold and lifted up the edge of the box so he could look inside it without others noticing. The discovery was never published by Geley.