Spirits Speaking from the Heart at Tranquil Spirit
Channeling Spirit Communication through Trance Mediumship
Spiritual Mediumship and Channeling - Introduction
We are regularly receiving questions both via email and from visitors to our home about spiritual mediumship / channeling, their development and about our own experiences in relation to trance mediumship. Therefore we have decided to place some further information about spiritual mediumship and channeling on the web site. This page will be the first of a number on the subject. The following introduction will provide an overview of some of the key issues/questions. It will be followed by other pages which will focus upon specific aspects such as the different forms of spiritual mediumship / channeling and approaches to development.
During the coming year (2005) we also intend to publish our second book "Unfolding the Lotus" which will be devoted to the communications on spiritual mediumship / channeling which we have received from the members of our Spirit Group, particularly Jacob who has been designated to act as our main mentor in such matters.
Throughout the following we have included frequent use of the term channeling as a term which overlaps in meaning with spiritual mediumship. We have done so because of the widespread use of this term in other parts of the world. There are of course varying definitions of the term in existence. We have used the American spelling of the term throughout.
What is Spiritual Mediumship / Channeling?
For as long as there have been human beings on the earth there have been many who have believed that life continues beyond the transition of the death of the physical body. What could be more natural then than to seek contact with the the life beyond, our future. Many civilisations and peoples down the ages have done precisely this and indeed at many times in history the activity has been viewed as perfectly normal and even incorporated into some religions. People would seek to contact their relatives who had passed to the life beyond in order to reduce the feeling of separation and grief or they would seek guidance from more enlightened spirits/guides in the Spirit Realms.
As the term implies spiritual mediumship has come to signify a person acting as an intermediary, a go between, who has the ability to communicate with those in the Spirit World and to relay that communication to others in the physical world. This term has often particularly been applied to those who can relay messages from relatives/friends/associates who have passed beyond though there is nothing inherent in the term to require that meaning be restricted in this narrow sense.
Channeling is a more recent term at least in terms of its common usage in everyday language. It has perhaps been a more popular term in the USA and some other countries rather than in Europe for instance, though its usage has been growing world wide. It has often been used to embrace not only the idea of conveying the communications of spirit entities in a similar way to mediumship, but in some usages has come to include the possibility of conveying the communications of alien beings on other planets or of enlightened beings still living in physical form on the earth.
Is Mediumship / Channeling "Real"?
I would suggest that there is no easy answer to this question which will satisfy everyone who reads this page. I could personally say that I am convinced of its reality, but that conviction has come not only from my own experience of mediumship but also as a result of other personal experiences.
One of the most amazing experiences of my life was to have the vision of a spirit boy, apparently of around eight years of age. The vision was very concrete and I saw him as with my physical eye. The experience not only convinced me that we survive physical death but that spirits who have gone through the transition can actively seek communication with those in the physical world. As I watched him I saw that the spirit boy was trying to do communicate with others not just myself. The experience also further conveyed to me the difficulties involved in such communication.
There are of course many reports of fraudulent mediums motivated by their own egos or monetary gain who have deceived their clients into thinking that they could provide genuine communication with the Spirit World. There are others who believe in all honesty that they have the ability but unfortunately do not. Even those who do have outstanding ability cannot guarantee success on every occasion. Some mediums , for instance the famous Scottish medium, Gordon Smith, can be extraordinarily accurate and detailed on a frequent basis, but on a particular day with a particular person may not have success. There are many factors which can affect this.
Not everyone can secure a meeting with a well known medium. Therefore if you wish to seek the services of a medium it is probably best to choose someone on the basis of personal recommendation. However, it is important to remember that any sitting involves at least three participants: the medium, the sitter and the spirit(s) who are attempting communication. A successful sitting requires that a harmonious rapport be established between all on the given day.
In some quarters much emphasis is put upon mediumship providing evidence of survival after physical death. After having quite a number of sittings with a variety of mediums over many years I would say that good evidence of this has been a rarity. However, on occasion it has been there. Part of the difficulty in obtaining good survival evidence on a regular basis is again likely to be down to the difficulties involved in the process of communication. Once again, in my own experience it has been very direct personal experiences that have provided the best evidence for survival rather than anything that I have been given by a medium. Some people, however, will have been fortunate enough to obtain good detailed evidence of survival through mediumship.
Sometimes people point to the contradictions and inconsistencies between communications from the Spirit World as evidence to doubt its veracity. However, criticism on this count fails to take into account the difficulties inherent in the process of communication. It is not a straight forward relay of information. It is rather an exchange of energies which must also be interpreted by the medium's mind which can of course get it wrong. The other factor is that the medium's belief systems, values and other factors in her/his mental makeup can intrude on the communication and this can happen even with "deep trance mediumship" where the medium is not consciously aware of the content of the communication. Hence the likely explanation for the conflicting spirit communications regarding the reality of reincarnation/rebirth.
There have been increasing attempts to provide evidence of life after death through research and the application of the scientific method, the most recent perhaps being the findings of those who researched the Scole Experiment. Such research is valuable, but I feel sure that no amount of such research is likely to convince anyone who has not been personally involved in the experience. It may be that science and the understandings/techniques available to it in the future will evolve to the point that convincing evidence can be produced which will be beyond question. For the moment, however, personal experience is likely to remain the key determinant as to belief in the after life and the possibility of communication with those in the Spirit World.
If future research is to prove fruitful it will be important for scientists to be truly open to the possibility of life after death and communication with the Spirit World. Many scientists do approach their studies in an unbiased way. However, there are others who lose their objectivity in an adopted mission to disprove the possibility of life after death. One thing we can be sure of is that in spite of all the advances in our knowledge we still know very little about the nature of reality and to ring fence possibilities in this way isn't helpful to anyone.
Can Mediumship and Channeling be Harmful?
As indicated earlier mediumship and channeling have been an integral part of some religions. In the case of others it has been a prohibited and persecuted activity. It can be argued that the reasons for the latter response are many. One undoubted reason is that religion as with every other human activity falls foul of the contamination of the human ego. Pride, conceit, ignorance, bullying, abuse and other such traits have expressed themselves no less frequently in religious institutions and activity than in other areas of human life.
Some of the backlash against mediumship has been on the grounds that the scriptures of the established religion prohibits it or that it is potentially dangerous to seek contact with spirits. The more one reads the scriptures and prophesies of the world religions the more one is struck by similarities with mediumship and channeling in the processes involved. The difference would mainly seem to be that at some point an arbitrary moratorium has been placed on who can channel or mediate and in the view of some religions the line of permitted mediators or channelers died out thousands of years ago.
As to fears of alleged dangers there appears to have been a failure of faith of the potential for good to prevail. There seems to have been rather a belief that any contact with spirits will inevitably be contact with evil spirits. The evidence simply does not justify this. The vast majority of spirit communications which come through mediumship and channeling exort us to further our love and compassion for each other. I have come across some religious fundamentalists who have argued that such spirits put on a guise of lovingness in order to entrap us. Such people unfortunately have abandonned all reason and have fallen prey to their own superstitions. With that kind of logic all the religious scriptures of all the World Religions would be suspect.
This is not to say that I do not believe that there are some potential dangers in mediumship and channeling both from the point of view of the potential medium/channeler and from the potential recipient of the communication. The potential difficulties are in many cases inter-related. I would not encourage anyone who has a significant mental/emotional disorder, anyone of a very nervous disposition, or who is very prone to superstition, to take up mediumship or channeling. (There are also plenty of other activities that may not be in their interest.) Equally I would suggest that it may not be in their best interests to participate in activities involving mediumship and channeling. Whether a medium/channeler or a participant emotional stability and a balanced approach are essential. Even though I am convinced of the veracity of the communications that we receive in our own group I am still very aware of the difficulties involved in communication and therefore at the end of the day can adopt the attitude of taking things with a "pinch of salt" especially when it comes to details. Our main Spirit Guide, Hai, has always told us to test everything, including his own utterances, and judge whether they have "the ring of truth".
The backgrounds, experience, education and training of mediums and channelers is as varied as in any other sphere of life. All of these can affect the manner in which the medium or channeler works. Somtimes you come across an attitude in some mediums and channelers along the lines: "I have been given it by spirit so I must give it to the recipient". I have known such a view to sometimes lead them to then give a message forecasting a realtive's death or an illness (which did not subsequently occur), some other future event or to give detailed guidance regarding some decision. There are a number of problems with such a view.
In the first place many communications come from relatives and friends who have passed into the Spirit World. There is no particular reason to suppose that they are any more enlightened or wise than they were when they were on the earth plane. Secondly, there is again the problem of the difficulties inherent in communication. There are too many possibilities for the medium / channeler to get it wrong or misinterpret the communication. In view of the risks of error and the very real distress which can be caused to recipients I feel that mediums should be very hesitant about giving such details especially anything which involves future predictions.
It is my personal view therefore that the medium or channeler has a responsibility to monitor and edit the "supposed" communication in the interests of the recipient's well being. We cannot avoid this responsibility with the excuse that we do not want to interfere with the content of the spirit's message. Unfortunately the very process of communication involves interference. The spirit communicators have to work in part through the processes of our physical brains and this inevitably involves some contamination of the communication to a greater or lesser degree. The other factor in this is that spirit communicators are well aware that at the end of the day they must work within the context of the moral and ethical code of the medium / channeler. This area of ethical responsibility is one that perhaps needs substantial further development in relation to mediumship / channeling.
Can Anyone be a Spiritual Medium or Channeler?
Many mediums and channelers demonstrate this potential from an early age and it seems to be an ability that develops naturally and spontaneously. However, I would take the view that the majority of people can probably develop some degree of mediumship or channeling in the broadest sense of these terms, if they are prepared to devote time and effort to this.
You may then ask why there are not more people who can act as mediums or channelers. To an extent we have already touched upon some of the answers to this in the discussion above. Religious indoctrination or prohibition explains why some people would not even consider entering into such an enterprise. The dominant belief system of our age, the scientific world view, when applied in a narrow dogmatic way also implicitly discourages involvement in such activities, at least if we wish to be judged sound and rational by our peers.
There are perhaps though also more mundane reasons why mediumship and channeling are less prominent in our modern society. Mediumship and channeling require us to enter an altered state of consciousness. Perhaps one factor in the case of mediums and channelers who demonstrate this capacity early in life may be that they are able to enter this state more easily and readily. For many of us it is a state that requires some active encouragement through, for instance, meditational practices. Our modern hectic life with its pre-occupation on the immediate preference for quick returns and a need at times, it would seem, for never ending stimulation and entertainment, does not create the ideal conditions for the development of mediumship and channeling. Rather their development requires significant investment of time, patience, no expectation of quick results, and an ability to allow the mind to be quiet.
Nevertheless, I consider that the majority of people can display mediumistic or channeling ability if they are prepared to devote the necessary development time to it. It may not be that they achieve or even want to achieve a point at which they can consistently relay communications to others, but they may in all probability be able to establish awareness of spiritual energies for themselves.
Recent research which would seem to support this proposition is that which has been undertaken by Dr Raymond Moody, famous for his earlier research into near death experiences which he documented in his book "Life after Life".
Intrigued by the history of various forms of mirror gazing and documented accounts of this practice throughout history and across civilisations Raymond Moody decided to undertake his own research to see what would occur. Basing his approach particularly on the Ancient Greek Psychomanteum he set up equipment in a special room at his centre in Alabama in the USA. He found that half of his subjects experienced an apparitional vision of a "dead" relative/friend through gazing in the mirror. Most of the subjects were adamant that the "apparition" was real in the sense that they believed that the person was really there with them.
Raymond Moody himself had an even more astounding experience when he eventually became so intrigued by the consistent results that he felt that he had to try the mirror gazing for himself. He saw nothing while he was actually gazing into the mirror. However, when he finished his gazing session and moved away he saw and interacted with a full "physical" apparition of his paternal grandmother, though this was not the person whom he had originally intended to contact. Raymond Moody documents the results of this research in the book "Reunions - Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones". The research provides a further indication that such awareness of spiritual energies can be a more common experience than is sometimes supposed.