Why Spirit Communication?
By Rev. Simeon Stefanidakis
Physical 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 hear them.
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:
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 mediumship?
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
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
If 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
"On Saturday 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
"When 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.
"A 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.
"After 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.
"As 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
"It 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
"She briefly stated her
impressions, but said they were not sufficiently clear, and that the
interpretation would be fully given at another time.
"The 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 greater power.
"He 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 life. Amen.'
"The 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
Since physical mediumship
generally involves the medium's going into a state of trance, you may wish
to read our article on trance communication.
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