Much research has been done since the 1800 hundred’s on Spiritualism
Spiritualism is the belief that the spirits from the “spirit world” have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. The afterlife, or the “spirit world”, is seen by spiritualists, not as a static place, but as one in which spirits continue to evolve. These two beliefs: that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits are more advanced than humans, lead spiritualists to a third belief, that spirits are capable of providing useful knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about the nature of God. Some spiritualists will speak of a concept which they refer to as “spirit guides“—specific spirits, often contacted, who are relied upon for spiritual guidance.
One well known name was such man called Allan Karec, Allan Karec was the pen name of the French educator, translator and author Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail 3 October 1804 – 31 March 1869). He is the author of the five books known as the Spiritist Codification, and is the founder of Spiritism.
Spiritualism developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-speaking countries.By 1897, spiritualism was said to have more than eight million followers throughout the world mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes.
Spiritualism flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion through periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums. Many prominent spiritualists were women, and like most spiritualists, supported good causes such as the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage. By the late 1880s the credibility of the informal movement had weakened due to accusations of fraud perpetrated by mediums, and formal spiritualist organizations began to appear. Spiritualism is currently practiced primarily through various denominational spiritualist churches in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and now in Europe.
As a result of these influences, Rivail began his own investigation of psychic phenomena, mainly mediumship. During his initial investigation, he stated that before accepting a spiritual or paranormal cause for some phenomena, it would be necessary first to test if ordinary material causes could explain them. He proposed that fraud, hallucination and unconscious mental activity might explain many phenomena regarded as mediumistic, and also proposed that telepathy and clairvoyance may be responsible.Rivail was in his early 50s when he became interested in séances, which were a popular entertainment at the time. Strange phenomena attributed to the action of spirits were considered a novelty, featuring objects that moved or “tapped”, purportedly under the control of ‘spirits’. In some cases, this was alleged to be a type of communication: the supposed spirits answered questions by controlling the movements of objects so as to pick out letters to form words, or simply indicate “yes” or “no”. At the time, Franz Mesmer‘s theory of animal magnetism had become popular. When confronted with the phenomena described, some researchers, including Rivail, pointed out that animal magnetism might explain them. Rivail, however, after seeing a demonstration, dismissed animal magnetism as insufficient to explain his observations.
He compiled over one thousand questions concerning the nature and mechanisms of spirit communications, the reasons for human life on earth, and aspects of the spiritual realm. He asked those questions to ten mediums, all purportedly unknown to each other, and documented their responses. From these, he concluded that the best explanation was that personalities that had survived death were the source of at least some mediumistic communications. He became convinced that the mediums should.
- provided accurate information unknown to themselves or others present (e.g. personal information about deceased individuals);
- demonstrated unlearned skills such as writing by illiterate mediums, handwriting similar to the alleged communicating personality, and speaking or writing in a language unknown to the medium
- accurately portrayed a range of personality characteristics of deceased individuals.
- After his death caused by aneurysm, Kardec was buried at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Mediumship is the practice of certain people —known as mediums— to purportedly mediate communication between spirits world and living human beings.There are different types of mediumship including spirit channeling.
Humans have been fascinated with contacting the dead since the beginning of human existence. Cave paintings by indigenous Australians date back 28,000 years, some depicting skulls, bones, spirits and the afterlife.
Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years. Mediumship gained popularity during the nineteenth century, when ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice began to lose credibility.
Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.
Today “demonstration of mediumship” is part of the church service at all churches affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) and the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU). Demonstration links to NSAC’s Declaration of Principal #9. “We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.”
Main article: Séance
“Mental mediumship” is communication of spirits with a medium by telepathy. The medium mentally “hears” (clairaudience), “sees” (clairvoyance), and/or feels (clairsentience) messages from spirits. Directly or with the help of a spirit guide, the medium passes the information on to the message’s recipient(s). When a medium is doing a “reading” for a particular person, that person is known as the “sitter”.
“Trance mediumship” is often seen as a form of mental mediumship.
Most trance mediums remain conscious during a communication period, wherein a spirit uses the medium’s mind to communicate. The spirit or spirits using the medium’s mind influences the mind with the thoughts being conveyed. The medium allows the ego to step aside for the message to be delivered. At the same time, one has awareness of the thoughts coming through and may even influence the message with one’s own bias. Such a trance is not to be confused with sleepwalking, as the patterns are entirely different.
Trance phenomena result from the behaviour of intense focusing of attention, which is the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are ‘tuned’ into neural networks in the brain.
In spiritualism, psychic senses used by mental mediums are sometimes defined differently from in other paranormal fields. A medium is said to have psychic abilities but not all psychics function as mediums. The term clairvoyance, for instance, may be used by Spiritualists to include seeing spirits and visions instilled by spirits. The Parapsychological Association defines “clairvoyance” as information derived directly from an external physical source.
Clairvoyance or “clear seeing”, is the ability to see anything that is not physically present, such as objects, animals or people. This sight occurs “in the mind’s eye”. Some mediums say that this is their normal vision state. Others say that they must train their minds with such practices as meditation in order to achieve this ability, and that assistance from spiritual helpers is often necessary. Some clairvoyant mediums can see a spirit as though the spirit has a physical body. They see the bodily form as if it were physically present. Other mediums see the spirit in their mind’s eye, or it appears as a film or a television programme or a still picture like a photograph in their mind.
Clairaudience or “clear hearing”, is usually defined as the ability to hear the voices or thoughts of spirits. Some mediums hear as though they are listening to a person talking to them on the outside of their head, as though the Spirit is next to or near to the medium, and other mediums hear the voices in their minds as a verbal thought.
Clairsentience or “clear sensing”, is the ability to have an impression of what a spirit wants to communicate, or to feel sensations instilled by a spirit.
Clairsentinence or “clear feeling” is a condition in which the medium takes on the ailments of a spirit, feeling the same physical problem which the spirit person had before death.
Clairalience or “clear smelling” is the ability to smell a spirit. For example, a medium may smell the pipe tobacco of a person who smoked during life.
Clairgustance or “clear tasting” is the ability to receive taste impressions from a spirit.
Claircognizance or “clear knowing”, is the ability to know something without receiving it through normal or psychic senses. It is a feeling of “just knowing”. Often, a medium will claim to have the feeling that a message or situation is “right” or “wrong.”
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