FIRST SPIRITUAL TEMPLE
Founded in 1883
Why People Seek Spirit Communication
By Rev. Simeon Stefanidakis
Why would someone wish to communicate with their spirit loved ones? What does this accomplish for them and for the loved ones in Spirit? Why would Spirit wish to “come back” and communicate to their earthly loved ones? What type of information does Spirit seek to impart to those of us on the Earth plane?
These are just a few of the questions which people ask when they consider mediumship and spirit communication. It all boils down to one basic question: Why? Why should spirit in the body seek to establish communication with spirit out of the body, and vice versa?
Let’s examine some of these questions.
First: why seek spirit communication through a medium? Spirit communication helps bring together that which seems to have become separated and lost through death: love and interaction with our loved ones. We seek spirit communication because we want to know: do our loved ones survive death; if so, where are they and are they the same people that we knew and loved while together on earth?
Mediumship addresses both concerns with a resounding YES. YES, our loved ones survive death. They go to a place not separated by distance, but by dimension. And YES, they survive as we knew them on earth. All they leave behind through death is the physical body and earthly treasures; everything else goes with them. In other words: who we are goes with us; what we possess remains behind.
This gives tremendous comfort to the grieving. As wonderful as this revelation is, there is one even more wonderful: we, too, shall survive this elusive experience which we call death.
Our work with mediumship has shown us that communicating with spirit loved ones can be a tremendous source of resolve, closure, and healing. How often have we seen loved ones, reaching across the doorway of life to express how sorry they are for the errors of the past. This applies not only to those in the body, but in Spirit as well. The opportunity to say “I’m sorry” can bring with it amazing healing for all concerned. Although death does not suddenly give us insight into all of life’s wonders and mysteries, it does change things. Spirit sees things from a different perspective. The fact that an individual awakens in Spirit, alive and well, can be a life-changing revelation in itself. Thus, Spirit is anxious to relate to their earthly loved ones what they have come to see and how they have changed since crossing the threshold of life.
In many ways, death can be likened to a journey. If you take a trip to a foreign land, or move away from those whom you love, what would be your first order of business upon arriving at your destination? Most of us would want to call home and let our loved ones know that we arrived safely. Thus, it is with death. Spirit wishes to convey to us that they have made the journey safely. Mediumship can be the telephone line through which this communication takes place. The caller is the spirit loved one; the recipient of the call is the earthly loved one; the transmitting line for the call is the medium.
Finally, what would spirit wish to communicate? Obviously, no one can make categorical statements here, but just think about it for a while. Some mediums pride themselves at being able to give names, addresses, telephone numbers, license plate numbers, and other such trivial information. As interesting as all this may be to the observer, what does it actually prove or demonstrate? Certainly, it is impressive. Certainly, it proves that some type of psychic link has been established between the medium and the sitter. But, does it really prove survival? Does it really prove that the medium is in contact with your spirit loved one? Not necessarily.
In order to explain our reasons here, let’s consider this question: If you were to die and were suddenly given the opportunity – perhaps the only one – to communicate to your earthly loved ones, what do you think you would want to say to them? Would you really want to given them your old address or telephone number? Would you really want to talk about money and romance? Would you not rather wish to convey who you REALLY are: the nature of your personality; what you looked like while on earth; your likes and dislikes; what motivated you in life; memories of things you did with your loved ones while on earth? In other words, would you not prefer to convey: “It’s really me; I am here with you; I am OK”?
This is precisely the difference between a medium and a psychic. A psychic can give names and addresses. But, only a medium – one who has touched and linked with the soul of your loved one – can convey the true essence, love, and nature of that person. And that bears with it the greatest evidence and comfort to one who is grieving.
Thus, we have one of the most profound reasons why people seek spirit communication and one of the greatest sources of disappointment for those who visit mediums.
It’s the difference between looking at a picture of your loved one and actually having your loved one there, sharing the experience of that picture with you. Mediums must come to understand this. They must nurture sensitivity: not only to the vibrations of those in Spirit, but to the reasons why spirit seeks to communicate. Thus, it is with evidential mediumship.
For thousands of years, Spirit has come forward, through a variety of channels, and communicated to us regarding the wonders and mysteries of life, death, birth, and Creation. They have also come forward and warned us to be weary of the times and to change our ways of thinking and behaving. Psychic researchers have alluded to such communications – especially those having passed through the mouths of mediums during the last 150 or so years – as platitudinous, trite, and of relatively little value.
Let us look at what one of this century’s foremost researchers, Harry Price, had to say about mental inspirational mediumship:
Mental mediums, often women, appear to have no qualities, intellectual or physiological, which distinguish them from their fellow. On the contrary, they often emerge from the semi-educated class of society. Their utterances are often puerile, platitudinous, or nonsensical. The trance addresses one hears at the typical spiritualist service have been called “a farrago of stale platitudes and twaddling ethico-religious uplift,” with little spirituality in them. And after nearly a hundred years of intensive experimentation, we have learnt absolutely nothing from the spirits. And the many recorded conversations with the dead, such as can be found in “Raymond”, are often so mundane that they are usually received with skepticism, if not ridicule. Some of these messages may be true. But if true, why so silly? Are our dead relatives and friends incapable of giving us information that so vitally concerns us, and of which we are so badly in need? Are they incapable of giving us one new fact concerning this world — to say nothing of the next — not already known to us? Or one proof — absolute and scientific — that our souls ‘survive’ if our bodies do not? It rather looks like it.
So, we ask: why seek inspirational mediumship; of what value is it to us to have Spirit come and share with us through inspirational mediumship?
First and foremost, like evidential communication, inspirational mediumship seeks to bring together two seemingly separate worlds into one universal kingdom of Spirit; God’s Kingdom and Spirit, as manifested through us, the spirits – that’s you; that’s me; that’s our loved ones who have passed through the portals of death.
Through the wonder of inspirational mediumship, amazing works of literature, stunning portrayals in art, awe-inspiring sermons and lectures, even more awe-inspiring holy books and Scriptures, incredible advances in science and technology, and an amazing catechism of life, death, and Creation have all been given to us.
Many would disagree, here, suggesting that all these wonders originate from nothing further than our own intellect and creativity. But, the truth speaks for itself: Spirit out of body continuously seeks to inspire Spirit within the body, and we are all the beneficiaries of this inspiration, regardless of what our personal views may be concerning mediumship and channeling.
However, the question which plagues so many people – especially researchers such as Harry Price – is legitimate: if all this wonder and mystery is, in fact, often Spirit-inspired, why is there also so much trite communication; furthermore, why is there disagreement, amongst those in Spirit, concerning such profound issues as reincarnation; life in Spirit; salvation; God, etc.?
First of all, let us keep in mind: all communication from Spirit must pass through the consciousness of the channel; therefore, it will be influenced, to one degree or another, by the medium’s mind and personal prejudices. Secondly, and probably more challenging to the student, is this simple truth: not every spirit sees life through the same set of “eyes”. There is disagreement on some important issues amongst those of us on the Earth plane; likewise, there is disagreement on some important issues amongst those of us not on the Earth plane.
To some, this may seem disturbing, for they would like to believe that somewhere in Creation there is ultimate and universal truth. Indeed, there is! That’s what the journey of the Soul is all about; cutting through and shedding layers and layers of unreality to reveal Truth and Reality. Ultimate Reality and Universal Truth concern matters of the Spirit, not of the earth. Ultimate truth resides within the Spirit, and it often gets distorted when it filters down to the level of earthly matters and conditions. That of the earth comes and goes with the winds of time, but the truth of the Spirit remains constant, steadfast, and eternal.
Therefore, all inspirational communication which has come to us, over the centuries, from the deeper level of the Spirit has lead Humanity to one basic set of truths. The images and symbols of those truths differ from age to age and from culture to culture, but the basic message of Spirit has, indeed, been steadfast and consistent. This should give us hope and promise that God’s Truth does, in fact, reside within the Spirit.
There is but one Kingdom and one Life, and we are all part of that Kingdom, even though some of us happen to be in different areas within that Kingdom at different points in time. This is what Christ meant when he referred to God’s Kingdom as a mansion with many rooms.
Inspirational mediumship seeks to convey this universal truth to all spirit. And, yes, while there may be much twaddle and trite communication coming through some ill-informed channels, for the most part, some mighty amazing revelation has come forward through inspirational mediumship. Thus, Scripture tells us that, when it comes to matters of the Spirit, we must be discerning!
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.
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.
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 the overall conditions in the séance room are, 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 suitable to becoming 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:
“A 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.”
But, why should spirit out of body wish to produce all this phenomena? What does it demonstrate? What are the implications behind physical mediumship?
The implications of physical mediumship are even more profound than the phenomena themselves; actually, this is true of all forms of mediumship.
Physical mediumship clearly demonstrates the power of the human mind and the ability of thought to make an impact upon physical matter; in other words, physical mediumship sheds light upon the mystery of “Mind Over Matter”.
Physical mediumship shows us that, with directed thought, the human mind is capable of achieving amazing results; results and 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 can’t 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 all about, and the healing implications behind this are staggering.
Having said this, I would like to close by sharing an 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:
“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 view.
“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 feet.
“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 his garments.
“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.”
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