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The Boy Who Saw True is based on the diary entries of a young Victorian boy whose extraordinary supernatural talent reveals itself within these pages. By turns naive, insightful, funny and moving, it is an extremely convincing account of a precocious paranormal talent, and all the more persuasive because the young diarist never sets out to win over his readers. Born with incredible clairvoyant powers, the anonymous author could see auras and spirits, yet failed to realise that other people were not similarly gifted. This remarkable book has become a paranormal classic.
“Seeing true” is the capacity to see clairvoyantly, and this delightful book is the actual diary of a small boy with clairvoyant gifts growing up in Victorian England. Published anonymously in 1953 twenty years after the author's death as an adult, The Boy Who Saw True records the tribulations of growing up psychic in a family with absolutely no appreciation for psychic abilities.
“I was too in the dumps to write my diary last night,” the lad records on Feb. 19, 1885. “When Mildred and I came back from Arnold’s where we’d been asked to tea, we went to speak to mamma in the morning room, and I saw Uncle Willie sitting in papa’s chair and smiling at us. And just then papa came back from bizzness, and after he had kissed us all, was going to sit down, when I cried, ‘Don't sit there, Uncle Willie is sitting in that chair.’ And mamma looked all funny, and said, '‘I rarely don’t know what we’re going to do with that child,’ and papa said, very cross, ‘What are you talking about, boy? Why, your Uncle Willie has been dead these two years.’ Then he told Mildred to take me upstairs at once.”
Only slowly does the boy come to learn that not everyone can see spirits, auras, gnomes, fairies, and other psychic realities as he can—in fact, almost no one can. He also learns not to talk about what he sees clairvoyantly with his family members—especially his mother—who only ridicule or punish him for it. Instead, he pours his observations into his diary. The result is a truly remarkable chronicle of genuine psychic gifts and their development.
The entries were edited by the author shortly before his death, but have been left in their original form, complete with the spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and innocent gaffes a small boy would make. This also preserves the full spirit, charm, and humanity with which they were written. And this is one of the great features of the book: it is not a dry textbook on psychic realities or the spiritual life, but a vivid, living account of life as seen through penetrating, clear seeing eyes. It is both entertaining to read and profoundly insightful—a rare combination indeed.
As the boy realizes that no one in his family can understand him, he builds a strong bond with his grandfather, who, like Uncle Willie, is in spirit. He comforts him in his bewilderment, guides him through several crises, and introduces him to basic ideas about the inner planes.
At one point, for example, the boy asks his grandfather why his grandmother never comes to visit as he does. “And he said something about spirits getting thought-bound like birds getting egg-bound, and made us laugh because it seemed such a funny thing to say. He told us that while the grandmater was still on earth, she reckoned, same as a lot of people do, that she and a few others who thought exactly as she did were the only people what were going to be saved. ‘And now,’ said grandpa, ‘she lives in a world of thoughts which she and others have created with their own fallacious convictions.’ ”
Slowly, the boy's world expands. He is assigned a tutor who is impressed by his psychic abilities and begins to study them with an open mind. He encourages the boy to conduct various experiments psychically, and this provides some of the most interesting material in the book. Later, the boy makes the acquaintance, psychically, of an “Elder Brother” and a Lama, who teach the lad about his psychic gifts and the spiritual life. These teachings are also recorded in the diary, providing an unusual glimpse into the support and instruction given by a Master to a spiritual aspirant.
Perhaps most significantly, however, this book is a candid account of the problems closed-mindedness can create, especially in raising children. Talented children often have a difficult time in growing up, because their talents separate them from other children and many adults. This is particularly true when the talents are psychic gifts. Many people are so sure of their own opinions that they instantly reject all evidence to the contrary, even when the evidence comes from the observations of an honest little boy.
The diary entries cover the years 1885 through 1887, starting when the lad was six. Subsequent entries, recorded in other diaries, were lost when the author absent-mindedly left the diaries on a train. The final quarter of the book consists of excerpts from letters he wrote as a young man to the woman who was to become his second wife. It was she who, with the help of Cyril Scott—who wrote a preface, and afterword, and notes—secured the publication of the diary.