By Rev. Simeon
mediumship is, perhaps, the most amazing demonstration of what spirit
out of the body can do through a medium. Yet, it is the most mistrusted
and least understood form of spirit communication and interaction.
Basically, physical mediumship is the process whereby someone, in
Spirit, usually known as a spirit operator (as compared to a spirit
communicator), works or operates through the mental AND physical
energies of the medium and causes something physically to happen
on the Earth plane. Physical mediumship is objective in nature;
that is, when the phenomena occur, everyone is able to see and/or
In this article, I am not going to discuss the mechanics of physical
mediumship, other than to say that a physical medium is a person
who has an abundance of vital, magnetic, etheric energy. While in
a state of deep trance (although trance is not an absolute necessity
here), the spirit operators are able to exude this etheric energy
and substance from the medium's body (generally through some orifice),
condense it, manipulate it, and direct it, through the power of
their mind and intelligence, for a variety of purposes.
It should be noted that, although the medium is the primary source
of the vital energy needed for the production of the phenomena,
energy from the sitters is also used during a demonstration of physical
mediumship. The more harmonious are the overall conditions in the
seance room, the stronger will be the energy available to the operators
and the more remarkable will be the phenomena.
Once the spirit operator is given control of the medium -- through
the process of trance -- the phenomena can begin. The mind of the
operator is, now, in control of the energies of the medium, and,
through the directed use of thought, he or she is able to work with
and manipulate these energies on the Earth plane. This is done via
a most astonishing substance known as ectoplasm. Through the use
of ectoplasm, an almost limitless array of phenomena can occur.
Ectoplasm is a material which comes from the body of the physical
medium. It originates from the material of the medium's own etheric
vehicle. Etheric matter is quasi-physical in that it has physical
characteristics, yet is invisible and more easily subject to mental
influences. What makes a person able to become a physical medium
is an abundance of this etheric substance within his or her etheric
vehicle, along with the fact that it tends to be more loosely attached
or bound to the physical body than in most people.
Nandor Fodor, in his Encyclopedia of Psychic Science, describes
ectoplasm as follows:
mysterious protoplasmic substance streaming out of the body of
the medium by the manipulation of which, either by the subconscious
self or by discarnate intelligences, phenomena of a super-physical
order, including partial and complete materialization, are produced.
The word was originated by Professor Richet . . . The first thing
that has been definitely established is that ectoplasm is matter,
invisible and intangible in its primary state but assuming vaporous,
liquid or solid condition in various stages of condensation. It
emits a smell which reminds one of ozone."
There seems to be no limit to what spirit can do through physical
mediumship, provided proper conditions prevail within the seance
room. The phenomena range from raps and taps, to full levitation
of objects and people, to the production of lights, to genuine automatic
writing and painting, to direct voice, to partial and full materialization
of the spirit people. All in all, it really is quite amazing what
can happen when proper conditions prevail.
But, why should spirit out of body wish to produce all this phenomena?
What does it demonstrate? What are the implications behind physical
Well, it really is quite simple, and the implications of physical
mediumship are even more profound than the phenomena themselves;
actually, this is true of all forms of mediumship.
Physical mediumship demonstrates, clearly, the power of the human
mind and the ability of thought to make an impact on physical matter;
in other words, physical mediumship sheds great light upon the mystery
of "Mind Over Matter".
Physical mediumship shows us that, with directed thought, the human
mind is capable of doing some amazing things; things which transcend
the realm of psychology and fall clearly within the domain of physics.
If spirit can move a table, then are mountains far behind? If spirit
can manipulate matter and mold it, why cannot that same intelligence
manipulate matter within a body and shrink a tumor, mend a fractured
bone, or heal a diseased body?
Mind over matter: that's what physical mediumship is really all
about. And the healing implications behind this are staggering.
We plan to follow up on this article with a more lengthy feature
article on the various ways in which spirit uses physical mediumship.
In this, we shall discuss a very important question:
spirit out of body can produce these phenomena,
can spirit in the body do likewise?
From there, we will look at: why physical mediumship has been subject
to so much fraud and deception; why physical mediumship is so rare
today; and a few examples of physical phenomena in the Bible.
Finally, we will look at some of the phenomena which have taken
place within our Church, from the early days of the 1880's, up to
more recent times, specifically in our classes and presentations
on physical mediumship and through Rev. Fulton's mediumship.
Having said this, we would like to close this article by sharing
a most amazing demonstration of physical mediumship; Spirit's Dedication
of our original House of Worship, in Boston. The event took place
on September 26, 1885, before a large group of guests, specifically
invited by Spirit and our founder, for this one aspect of the three-day
Temple Dedication. This comes directly from our Church Records:
evening, September 26th, a large company of people, specially
invited by the spirits interested in the structure, assembled
in the large sanctuary of the Temple. These persons had been selected
on account of their known familiarity with and belief in the power
of spirits to render themselves visible, under appropriate conditions,
and hence their freedom from either excessive curiosity or incredulity
on the subject, which might interfere with the object of the occasion;
also, because their unconscious emanations or atmospheres were
such as it was believed would aid in the purpose had in view.
all were in readiness, it was announced by Mrs. Dyar, under control
of the spirit known as Dr. Edgarton, that an Astral Spirit, known
as Star, had expressed the desire and intention, on this occasion,
of reassuming a visible form for the purpose of making a special
or spirit-consecration of this Temple, prior to the public dedication
which was to take place on the morrow. To afford this exalted
spiritual being an opportunity to accomplish this design, was
the object of the present gathering.
small curtained apartment or "cabinet" had been provided upon
the platform, with temporary steps leading from the platform to
the floor of the auditorium. When these had been placed in position,
Dr. D. E. Caswell, a well known medium for materialization, took
a seat within the curtained enclosure, and the gas lights were
extinguished, leaving the room in total darkness, except for the
dim rays of the rising moon which entered the windows.
a brief interval occupied by music from the organ and singing
by the assembly, an appearance like a column of phosphorescent
light was seen standing by the altar. This for a time appeared
to alternately expand and diminish, gradually advancing towards
the steps, till at length the outlines of a human form, arrayed
in a peculiar luminous robe, with a tall head-dress or mitre,
also luminous, were dimly visible. The form repeatedly advanced,
and then retreated toward the cabinet as if to gain increased
strength, till at length it reached the steps, and slowly descended
to the floor of the auditorium.
he came near the audience his extended robe was seen to be composed
of the finest lace, possessing a singular luminosity, while an
undergarment resembling velvet of a rich royal purple color, on
which were figures of apparently symbolic character, was observable.
After reaching the floor the spirit, silently waving his hands
and arms over the assembly, as if dispensing beneficent influence,
passed up the nearer isle to the rear of the room, then crossed
to the other aisle and through it returned to the front, and partly
re-ascended the steps, having passed in all a distance of over
two hundred feet.
was observed as the spirit left the platform, that his arms appeared
of the ordinary size of human arms, but on his return they looked
no larger than the bones of a skeleton, while the whole figure
seemed considerably diminished in size. (It was subsequently explained,
that this shrinkage resulted from the partial dissipation of the
material gathered chiefly from the medium's body to constitute
the visible form.) Having regained and partly ascended the steps,
the spirit paused, and in low whispers, inaudible except to those
nearest at hand, requested successively several person from the
assembly to come forward, when each was in turn addressed in a
few appropriate words unheard by others. Among those present was
Mrs. Fales, a medium often used to interpret symbolic and occult
writings: she was called upon by the "strange visitor" to note
and explain the symbols inscribed on his garments.
briefly stated her impressions, but said they were not sufficiently
clear, and that the interpretation would be fully given at another
visitor now requested in whisper a gentleman present (Dr. Lang)
to come forward and "lend to him the power of voice," and to strongly
exercise his will in so doing. The gentleman designated took a
position near the spirit, and soon the latter began to speak in
audible tones, at first low and with apparent difficulty, but
afterward sufficiently loud to be distinctly heard throughout
the auditorium. He first expressed great gratification that he
had at length been able, for the first time since he had thrown
off the garb of mortality in the long ago, to assume a visible
and independent form, and to speak with an independent voice to
the people of earth. Though as yet he could do this but imperfectly,
in the near future he would be able to speak more freely and with
proceeded to say, in substance, that he esteemed it a great privilege
to be permitted to be visibly present, and take a prominent part
in the dedication of this Temple, a structure in which he and
his spirit associates had taken the deepest interest from its
first projection, and which had been planned and erected under
their prompting and guidance. It was to be the starting-point
and centre of a work of vast importance to the human race on earth.
After speaking in this strain for some moments, he advanced to
the altar, and with great earnestness and solemnity gave utterance
substantially as follows:
'I consecrate this Temple to holy living, -- to universal brotherhood,
-- to the cultivation of that spirit which the Divine Master brought
with him, in his life and teachings when on earth, -- to unity
of the spiritual life with that of earth, that there may be but
one life, one brotherhood, one God and Father of us all; that
from this place may be taught that wisdom which shall recognize
more than teachings from the intellect, even the development and
wisdom of the heart-life; that here the hearts of people may be
awakened to do, as well as their heads to think, for only through
the wisdom that comes from both heart and head can God be brought
near to help us in all our endeavors. And may all who come to
listen have receptive hearts to be taught how to live the divine
radiant spirit then retired toward the cabinet and disappeared,
and the assembly soon after dispersed, to ponder the significance
of what had been seen and heard on this extraordinary occasion."
We invite you to read another article on physical
mediumship. This article gives a bit more detail of how Spirit
works with this most amazing form of mediumship.
Since physical mediumship generally involves the medium's going
into a state of trance, you may wish to read our article on
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First Spiritual Temple
The Ayer Institute
16 Monmouth Street, Brookline, MA, 02446-5605 USA
Telephone 617 566-7639
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