Talk:Automatic writing

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Hi; it's my first article in Wikipedia. Hope it's good enough to stay in here; if i made any errors, correct me please. If i'll have more time, i'll try to extend this article.

Greetings, Rotor

hey, your first article made Behemoth quote your writing lol. from their new album "the apostasy" check it out if you can! its on the song "Libertheme" pages. just like to let you know. METALFREAK04 11:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Free vs Automatic writing[edit]

comments moved from User talk:Alex S and User talk:Finlay McWalter:

Hi. I saw you wrote Automatic writing, and I wanted your opinion as to whether it is really the same thing as free writing (which I was considering writing until I found Automatic writing). If you have a few moments, could you take a gander at [1] and [2] - it sounds pretty much the same as Automatic Writing (only without the martians!). If you think the two are the same (sounds like it to me) then I'll make free writing a redirect to automatic writing, and I'll add some more info to the page. Thanks for your time. -- Finlay McWalter 17:20, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hello. I looked at the pages and it definately seems as if free and automatic writing are the same thing. I make a redirect and added free writing as a synonym on the automatic writing page - please contribute what you know about it, since, as you can tell from the article, my perspective on the subject it extremely limited! --Alex S 00:26, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I've integrated the changes, and added some more stuff. I'll see if I can dig up some more authors who've used it (I only know of comic book author Grant Morrison so far). -- Finlay McWalter 00:55, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Argument for Separation of freewriting[edit]

Sorry, but free writing and automatic writing is not really the same! I will try to point out the differences:

  1. In free writing, the writer uses his free will to do the writing.
  2. In automatic writing, the message is being written automatically by the hand.
  1. Everyone who can write, can perform free writing, at any time.
  2. Not all people can get perform automatic writing, and not on command.
  1. In free writing, the handwriting stays the same.
  2. In automatic writing, the handwriting sometimes (or always?) changes.

For this reason, I have changed the article. Could someone restore the Free Writing article?

It seems a bit in family with Alien Hand, even though it doesn't require a brain damage. Gift of tongues and sleepwalkers could also get a mention.

I have also heard about a female writer who wrote a entire book with automatic writing. But I can't find the source.

My sources are Harald Schjelderup's "Det skjulte menneske" and Alfred Lehmann "Overtro og trolddom". --Kasper Hviid 19:30, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Who are these sceptics?[edit]

Skeptics believe that automatic writing claimed to be of supernatural origins is a parlor game. They claim, as with other paranormal phenomena, that the subconscious of those performing the writing is the only thing influencing their actions and that there is no solid evidence that any messages are coming from anywhere other than the minds of the person holding the pencil. This is referred to as the ideomotor effect.

To many skeptics, the use of automatic writing in therapy is suspect as well, asserting that while unconscious ideas are expressed in automatic writing, it is unlikely that they are any more profound than the writer's conscioius thoughts. Skeptics argue that there is no evidence that the "true self" lies in the unconscious any more than it does in normal consciousness. [Unsigned]

Can we name some names? Sam Spade 16:11, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Scroll down to the References section. Two prominent skeptics are named there. Pat Berry 18:47, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
What happened to this skeptics-section? This article should definitely include more critisism. Benito (talk) 18:59, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Stairway to Heaven reference?[edit]

The following paragraph was recently added:

Robert plant, along with Jimmy page, worked on stairway to heaven in Aleister Crowley's old english home. According to Robert plant, One night Jimmey was playing his guitar in front of the fire and Robert Plant held a pen and paper, and he didn't know why. He was in a considerable bad mood when he began to write, he has mentioned. He says that he just watched his hand write out the song. Some skeptics of this situation however are shown the backwards messages in the song (see backmasking) where some say that the song it self was written by not Robert Plant, but a demon or other spirit supporting satan, which is a reason for the appearent messages in the song.

This paragraph strikes me as highly dubious for several reasons:

  1. It cites no sources whatsoever. When and where is Robert Plant supposed to have told this story? Who are the skeptics referred to in the last sentence? Who are the "some" who claim that the song was written by a Satanic spirit, and when and where did they assert this?
  2. I performed a Google search on "stairway to heaven" and was unable to find any corroboration. In fact, the story doesn't even seem to be repeated anywhere else.
  3. In particular, the Straight Dope column titled "What's the story behind Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'?" makes no mention of this story. Neither does the Wikipedia article on Stairway to Heaven. lists four urban legends that mention "Stairway to Heaven", but none of them resemble this paragraph at all. If this story had any kind of factual basis, it would be addressed in at least some of these places.
  4. The writing of this paragraph is very unsophisticated -- it's riddled with errors of spelling, capitalization, and grammar. That doesn't mean that the information in the paragraph is false, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I think the whole paragraph is bogus, and I'm going to delete it. If someone disagrees with this assessment and decides to restore it, I have some recommendations:

  1. If this story belongs in Wikipedia at all, the Stairway to Heaven article is a far more logical place for it (with a cross-reference in Automatic writing).
  2. Citation of published sources is absolutely mandatory for a story that makes extraordinary claims like this. In particular, the story describes events that, if they occurred at all, were witnessed only by Plant and Page. It even tries to tell us what was going on inside Plant's head (he was in a bad mood; he didn't know why he was holding pen and paper; he "watched his hand write out the song "). The only possible sources for this information are Plant and Page themselves. If they told this story, when and where did they do so?
  3. Before being restored to Wikipedia, the paragraph should be copy-edited to clean up the errors and vagueness.

Pat Berry 18:47, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Disputed concept[edit]

The article treats this purported phenomenon as real, yet the provided sources dispute it. Will somebody rewrite this properly or should we BJAODN it? Zocky 07:06, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

  • My understanding is that this is a description of a phenomonon: people do this stuff and call it automatic writing; like dowsing. I suggest you just make a few edits and see if anyone objects. Tom Harrison (talk) 15:17, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The provided sources are really only for the "Criticism" section as a responce to a user's comments on this page above, under the "Who are these sceptics?" section. The critical information was removed and claimed that it was unsourced. I added the two references and now, in reality, the remainder of this page is unsourced. -- Krash 15:22, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • ...and so I changed the tag to {{unreferenced|date=August 2006}} . -- Krash 18:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • a big difference between dowsing and automatic writing is that dowsing is never referred to as a valid artistic medium —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

True Self[edit]

Regarding the concept of true self, this article has serious shortcomings. In fact, the true self Wikipedia article used to redirect to self-realization. Hackwrench 20:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

  • "Unfortunately such skeptics are unclear as to the concept of "true self", as it is not an unreasonable or untestable theory that the unconscous is freer from corruption by the everyday world than the conscous." [Poster unclear]
Is this your opinion? -- Krash (Talk) 20:46, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Two concepts are expressed a bit unclearly,(I feel understandably given the the unclearness of the topic in general)
  1. such skeptics are unclear as to the concept of "true self"
  2. It is not an unreasonable or untestable theory that the unconscious is freer from corruption by the everyday world than the conscous."
Based on my limited studies of concopts related to true self, one might say that as one gets closer to the real world, one gets further away from the real self if one is to say that one is distinquishable from one's true self at all. This is the corruption model, and it is concepts in this model that are drawn upon to say that the unconsious is
The second model is the "all knowing" model, which says that the true-self reflects what you would do if you were all-knowing, in which case the conscious mind might be more reflective of the true self.
Both models rely on roughly the same testable variable or variable set for the relationship, differing mainly on the interpretation of that data. The existence of both models is evidence for the ability to determine the distances between the conscious self, the unconscious self, and the true self. Thus anyone making assertions that there is no evidence as to the orientation of these "selves" simply does not understand the concept of the "true self". Hackwrench 21:27, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not here to debate the validity of your theories. When it comes to Wikipedia articles, there are certain guidelines that should be followed concerning referencing verifiable sources. Please see WP:CITE, WP:V, WP:NOR. -- Krash (Talk) 21:45, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


I will be clarifying the information on this page. I will most likely be separating free writing and automatic writing in separate articles as I do not think them to be the same process. Please address comments to my desk. Alphabeter 01:05 24 April 2006 (UTC)


In the statements about the woman that can compose music without thinking, it says "though not very well" I think this is an opinion ans does not have any factal basis and should be removed from the article.

Just another guy trying to be a Chemical Engineer, Nanobiotechnologist, and Mathematician 03:21, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


I don't know if this article should simply cite as a source, or if the article needs to be rewritten altogether...either way much of what is on this page is simply copied and pasted from this site. it is the first site that comes up (on yahoo anyways) when one does a search for "automatic writing." large portions of the wiki have been taken without reference as far as i can tell. Strawberryfire 18:32, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. It is almost a word-for-word copy of the link above. It should at least be cited. Daveoh (talk) 03:28, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Not him again[edit]

When I browse wiki there's so much attributed to Randi that I'm wondering if he himself is just a self-promoter and doesn't believe enough of anything to matter. So, what is his opinion worth? Bored now. What do real skeptics think, or is it just another conditioned point of view?Julia Rossi 01:06, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

If it is really copied and pasted, just delete it, per Wikipedia policy. If anyone reverts you, take it to an admin, with proof it is palagerized. As to real skeptics, I don't think any of them bother, because it isn't a really big field. But maybe they do. There lots of good sources for this subject, if they aren't used, we just need to cut the article to a stub and wait till someone wants to bother. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 06:07, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Free writing redirect[edit]

I have disabled the redirect and put up a proper article on free-writing. There should be no any kind of confusion between the two. It falls under different categories as well. Wikidās ॐ 16:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Concerning Encyclopedia Britannica[edit]

Remove the references to Encyclopedia Britannica or I will.

Encyclopedia Britannica is not a valid citation! (talk) 13:15, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

This is true, as it isn't about automatic writing, but about spiritualism and mediums. I removed it for that reason. Not only that, upon further inspection, it was being used in a completely disingenuous manner. Here is the full quote:

Those who placed their hopes in physical phenomena, however, were destined for disappointment. One by one, the mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud, sometimes employing the techniques of stage magicians in their attempts to convince people of their clairvoyant powers. Professional magicians such as Harry Houdini joined efforts to expose the fraudulent practices of mediums, and in the 20th century the magicians Milbourne Christopher and James Randi became known as much for their efforts to debunk fake mediumship as for their stage work. The exposure of widespread fraud within the spiritualist movement severely damaged its reputation and pushed it to the fringes of society in the United States.

Facilitated communication reference off-topic[edit]

The "Criticisms" section contains a reference to an article from Psychological Science (vol. 9, no. 1, "Facilitated Communication as an Ideomotor Response") that actually concerns Facilitated communication. Although FC has similarities with automatic writing they are still distinct phenomenon. The description of this study should be moved into the Facilitated communication article. --Smcg8374 (talk) 11:54, 3 February 2012 (UTC)--

Surrealism, Psychology etc.[edit]

This article is mainly about spiritualist automatic writing but there should be a section about automatic writing as mentioned in the Surrealist Manifesto, and used to create texts like 'Les Champs magnétiques' by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. More recently, Bernard Werber has used the method and it's also been used in psychology by people like Pierre Janet. (talk) 10:47, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Spiritist view of psychography[edit]

This unreferenced section was removed, and I agree it is not sourced and also lacking in encyclopedic style. However, automatic writing is used as a "channeling" medium, and we should mention this, with proper sources of course. I glue the removed section here in the talk page, in case anybody feels like writing such a section and would like to get inspiration from this section. Lova Falk talk 08:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Psychography is a technique for "channeling" written messages from what is believed to be a disembodied spirit. The usual approach to psychography is to relate it to a special ability, innate or developed, called medianimity. The most extensive treatise on psychography is Allan Kardec's Mediums' Book, one of the works comprised in the Spiritist Codification. Kardec recognises two basic types of psychography: indirect and direct.

Indirect psychography[edit]

This type of psychography depends on a material device, like an Ouija board, operated by one or more persons. This type is cumbersome and not useful for large communications, frequently producing gibberish.

Direct psychography[edit]

Direct psychography is the most conventional type, in which a person, the medium, writes under the alleged influence of the spirit. It is called "direct" because the relationship between the medium(s) and the spirit is not by means of any mechanical device. This type depends on medianimity alone and is subdivided into five subtypes, depending on how the spirit's message is committed to paper:

Mechanical psychography[edit]

In which the spirit takes control of the medium's arm and writes independently from his awareness (the medium may pass the time paying attention to something else while his arm writes autonomously). Considered to be the most reliable and extraordinary type. Communications thus obtained are thought to be completely free from the interference of the medium's conscience.

Semi-mechanical psychography[edit]

In which the medium writes keeps relative control of his limb, but still feels a foreign influence on its movement. Unlike mechanical psychography, the medium knows all that is being written and can stop to rest or to turn the page whenever he sees fit. Reliability is almost as high as in mechanical psychography. Chico Xavier was purportedly this type of medium.

Intuitive psychography[edit]

In which the spirit communicates with the inner self of the medium (subconscious), resulting in him writing what is on his mind, though it is something different from what the medium would normally think. Sentences come formed, but the medium can amend them with richer vocabulary or a better syntax before writing them down. This is the most common type, but is less reliable and is usually marred by the interference of the medium's conscience.

Inspirational psychography[edit]

In which the medium receives vague notions in his mind, which he will write in his own words. This type of psychography is very difficult to tell apart from the regular thinking process, especially in people with a literary talent (a careless analysis would have most writers fall into this category).


A thoughtful, deeply personal book which delves somewhat extensively into Automatic Writing is the memoir The Rooms of Heaven, by Mary Allen

Can anybody translate this?[edit]

Well for this image, it is obviously written in Chinese:

Mina Crandon automatic writing.png

But I recognize some of those characters, but I need a proper translation. Can anybody can translate the lines for me?

EDIT: Also for translation, please render the original text into Unicode.
--Famitsuu (talk) 00:32, 30 October 2017 (UTC)