This document is for the use of serious students of the art of communicating with spirits of those who have passed to the great beyond.
You have doubtless heard of many spiritual demonstrations, where a medium will evoke the spirit of a person in the great beyond and through his words pass on messages to those of the faithful who spend time at the seances where these demonstrations are manifested.
It is not our province at this time to explain how you may become a medium and conduct seances and the like. It is rather our intention to bring to your knowledge how others have managed to make contact with the departed and how, if you follow their methods, you may attain the same results. However, at the outset, let us say that there is no guarantee that you will be able to do what those others have done.
We have been asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Modern religion has answered this question by insisting that there is no such thing as death. That which we call death does not mean the end of life in the spiritual sense.
We are told that life never ceases. That our spirit will ascend to the source from which it came, and there purified it will continue through all time. Various religions give us various means as to how this stage of existence is attained. We will not go into that at this time.
There are many who believe that Jesus, the Great Teacher, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, the Father. St. Paul tells us of six appearances of Jesus. However, every different religion has its own record of the reappearance of individuals in various conditions, stages or places.
Spiritualists believe that they have definite proof of the return through physical manifestation and through vocal demonstration that there is no such thing as death. That the spirit lives on and on; that it can be brought into contact with the living; that it can bring messages from other spirits to those who have faith.
This document is prepared in the hope that it will help those who have faith in making that contact with the spirits of those they knew and loved and who now are living in that spiritual house, not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.
PREPARING TO MAKE CONTACT
Needless to say, before one can talk to the spirits, one must have attained a state of development as a medium, wherein one is able to make contact with those who have passed on.
No one can guarantee that you will become a medium, or that you will ever be able to make the contact. That requires much work and preparation. Don’t think that a mere reading of this document is going to give you the immediate power and ability to attain a successful demonstration.
An adept must put in time and effort before the condition of success can be attained. The requirements for successful mediumship are great as for those of attainment in any of the varied arts and sciences. All things come to you in the proportion that you make the effort to succeed. Of course some people develop much quicker than others. It is all dependant on the individual.
If you intend to master this science in the hope of making it earn money for you, I regret to say that you are doomed to disillusionment. These abilities are given to individuals to use for the benefit of all mankind and not as a means for personal enrichment.
Few of us realize the ultimate potential of our natural powers. Few of us understand the ability that lies latent within us. It is up to us to take full advantage of the talents, powers, and abilities that were given to us. While it is impossible for everybody to become a medium just as it is impossible for each of us to become great authors, artists, or scientists. However if you possess mediumistic talents they will quickly become evident to yourself and you will then be able to develop them with work and study.
WHAT IS A MEDIUM?
The term ‘medium’ is someone who is between this life and the future life. A medium is the channel through whom messages come from the eternal world to this present world of ours. Mediumship is the art of performing the function of a medium.
In order to make your path to mediumship clearer, it must be understood that you are unswerving to believe in the immortality of the soul or in ‘life after death’. For without this belief you will not be mentally prepared to attempt a demonstration. You must believe that the human soul lives on after the body decomposes and returns to the dust from which it sprung. You must believe that these souls can, under proper circumstances, make contact with the in habitants of our world who are prepared to receive and understand them.
Without faith you will not be in a position to understand the messages that might otherwise come through you.
ACCEPTING THE CALL
How many times have you had sudden thoughts come into your mind. You have no idea where they come from. You may have been thinking of something far removed from the thought that comes into your mind. It may be a simple thing like, ‘Close the window’, or ‘Don’t cross the street.’ or something equally trivial. I say ‘trivial’ advisedly for these thoughts are far from trivial. They may be the beginning of a message of great importance to you.
Very often we are prone to brush them aside, think no more of them, pay no attention to them whatsoever. They rarely make an impression on the untrained or unprepared mind. But, to the person who understands, to the person who is ready to accept and follow through, these are important messages.
How often, in your own life, after something has happened, can you look back and remember that a fleeting thought came into your mind forewarning you of the coming event, or telling you to do something that would have prepared you for the occurrence?
These are the little things that you must watch for. These are the things that you must develop in your everyday life. These are the things that you must pay particular heed to. These are the beginnings of your messages.
You have accepted the fact that there is a life after death. Therefore you must accept the fact that our friends in the Spirit World are anxious to help us. We must accept that they have a wisdom and an understanding that is beyond ours. We must further accept that these fleeting thoughts have their origins outside of our minds. They come to us from some deeper psychic understanding. They come to minds that are prepared to receive them.
Follow through on these thoughts that come to you from seemingly nowhere. Remember them after things happen and think back to see if you had been forewarned. That will help you to recognize all future messages.
If you follow this system you will develop and understanding within yourself of whatever impressions or thoughts may come your way. In this way your progress will become clearer and more definite.
Then comes the Second Step.
You must now begin to develop the power of concentration to the highest degree possible. In this way you will clear the mind of unimportant matters that might block the passage of the messages that are ready to come to you.
You must learn to passively allow yourself to speak and act, more or less unconsciously, under the guidance, direction, and control of the communication spirit.
THE ACTUAL MESSAGE
You must understand that spirit influence and messages do not come only to mediums. They some to all of us. Unfortunately so few of us are trained to understand them when they come. Unfortunately too many people are unwilling to accept the possibility of messages coming to us from beyond. For that reason those of us who understand and accept are often accused of pretending that messages come through us.
It is actually possible that most people who are spiritually sensitive and open to impressions and messages are indebted to spirit friends and helpers for help, guidance, and advice, whether they are aware of it or not. There is undoubtedly a greater degree of communication from the spirit world that even the most sensitive of us are aware.
Many people are indebted to spirit friends and loved ones for spontaneous impulses, which, while they act upon them and reap the beneficial consequences, they can neither explain or trace to their source. Spirits frequently associate with and serve and assist their earth friends although these friends are totally unaware of the fact.
There would be much more of this kind of help, advice, and guidance from the unseen, if, instead of being frightened, or antagonistic in their mental attitude toward the spirits, the great majority of people would be prepared to accept such assistance from the other life as if it were something that was absolutely natural and something to be expected.
A medium who is giving messages to another person is not speaking for himself. He is in every sense a ‘medium’ through which the message is brought. He is speaking with the tongue of another. The voice may be his but the words are the words of another. It is for this reason that often it is possible to hear messages of great scientific detail come through the mouth of one who is untrained in the specific science that is being detailed.
This is the result of the cooperation between the medium and the spirit. The medium does not suffer any loss of strength or character or individuality through his exercise of his mediumistic power. On the contrary, this exposure to contact with the wiser spirit friends is more likely to develop the intellectual and spiritual power of the medium. The proper method of communing with the spirits of the unseen world is conducive to good, and not evil, to the medium.
The person who dabbles in mediumship out of curiosity, or as the means of a new sensation, or for the gratification of personal vanity, is to be discouraged. I can only advise my readers that unless they desire to do so for serious use, and within proper limits, and not for monetary reasons, not to seek its development at all. This work is far too serious for triflers.
If in the midst of a simple conversation, you should feel suddenly compelled to say something that is foreign or outside the present conversation, or to say something that might seem to be a ridiculous piece of advice, do not feel bashful, but give voice to words that come to you through this sudden inspiration. You may not be able to understand the reason for it, you may not be able to even understand the message. That is beside the point. One of your friends, spirit guides or dear ones may be the force behind your words. It may often prove to be a very timely warning or message. It may be the means of helping to avoid a serious mistake.
Do not hesitate to practice upon your friends, family or relatives. Some of them may laugh at you at first, but it will not be long before they will realize that you could be a great help to them, particularly after they find things turning out as you said. Then they will be impressed. So do not hesitate to take advantage of every opportunity to practice on this plane of endeavor that may present itself to you.
When you have developed this receptivity to a greater degree you will find your capacity for reception and your power of transference will develop in proportion. Your voice will be directed to say the proper things and your consciousness will be directed to plan and carry out the proper things for you, or those connected with you. It will give you marvelous feeling of security to know that once you have unfolded this receptivity you can have guidance in whatever you may attempt in your life. You will just begin to really live, instead of groping around in the dark, trusting to luck or your better judgement which could often prove to be bad or at fault, you will find that guidance and advice can come to you practically at will.
Do not permit others to discourage you. Many people will consider your efforts in this regard to be foolish or wasteful. Remember that they are judging something that they know nothing about, something that they may never understand for it is a part of life that is only understood and appreciated by those who have made a serious attempt to study it.
Until you have thoroughly mastered these inspirational moments it is wise to use moderation in your experiments. It never pays to go to the extreme in anything. But proceed slowly, carefully, and sensibly; responding to the inspiration that you will develop into an interesting phase of mediumship. A phase that will be useful to you throughout your life:
A seance is a sitting for the purpose of obtaining supernormal manifestations or for the purpose of establishing communication with the dead. It is also called a circle or a developing class for Psychic unfoldment. It is actually a group of people gathered together for the purpose of instruction and added knowledge in Spiritual matters.
For the greatest success the presence of a medium is required. The sitters need not have psychic powers, but the phenomena are stronger if they have. Their number should be limited and well chosen. It should not exceed six or eight. The two sexes should be equally represented. The majority of the sitters should not be too old. Young sitters provide more favorable conditions. Those in ill-health, preoccupied or worried should withdraw. Excitement and fatigue before the sitting should be avoided. The medium should not take any stimulants. He should be comfortable and kept in a genial frame of mind. Persons of doubtful morality should not be admitted to the circle. Skepticism does not prevent success but the effect of a hostile or suspicious mind is bad. The establishment of a favorable environment is the essential condition of experimentation. Both the medium and the experimenters have an equal share in success or failure. Mediumistic experiments belong to the class of ‘collective experiments’ for the phenomena are the result of subconscious psycho-physiological collaboration between the medium and the experimenter.
There is much reason to think that the state of mind of the inquirer has something to do with the power of the phenomena to manifest themselves.
Strangers should not be frequently introduced in the circle. A series of at least six sittings should be held without changing the group. New sitters should be admitted one by one at intervals of three or four sittings. No more than two or three sittings should be held in any one week. The abase of experimentation may have a serious effect on the medium.
The order of the sitting appears to be a matter of consequence. The controls often make changes to produce a better combination of the psychic currents. After a chain or circle has been formed by holding hands or placing them on a table with fingertips touching, the sitters are requested to engage in general conversation or sing. It is said that speech or singing creates vibrations which are helpful to the production of the phenomena. For the same purpose a phonograph can be introduced.
A number of mediums insist upon opening their meetings or seances with a prayer. They feel that this opens the way to an aura of better receptivity. You must decide for yourself how you will open your own experimental circle.
It is believed that the chief merit of music in the seance room is its oothing effect. It harmonizes conditions. One famous medium seldom used music in his communications. The harmonizing effect was produced by means of perfumes and waves of cool scented air. Nor was singing introduced. Indeed, any noise, even loud conversation, was checked at once and the participants were asked to keep very still.
The danger of the use of general conversation, free and easy chatter, is that it presents too much concentration on the part of the sitters. Tension, solemnity, eagerness and depression are obstructive. With an expert medium it often happens that strong attention prevents phenomena.
Natural, easy, relaxed attitudes are best conducives to phenomers. Fear or terror may have an effect of breaking the manifestation. A table partly levitated may drop, a phantom may disappear at a scream. During his manifestations a famous medium always asked the sitters not to get excited and talk of something else as any undue movement or excitement on the part of the persons present appeared to have the effect of checking the force at work.
The medium should be carefully guarded from sudden emotions.
Dr. Frederick L.H. Willis, Professor of the New York Medical College, described his experience with a musical medium in THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE: “Scarcely had the medium struck the first note upon the piano when the tambourine and the bells seem to leap from the floor and join in unison. Carefully and noiselessly I stole into the room and for several seconds it was my privilege to witness a rare and wonderful sight. I saw the bells and the tambourine in motion. I saw the bells lifted as by invisible hands and chimed, each in its turn, accurately and beautifully with the piano. I saw the tambourine dexterously and scientifically manipulated with no mortal hand near it. But suddenly....the medium became aware of my presence....instantly everything ceased.... a wave of mental emotion passed over her mind, which was in itself sufficient to stop the phenomena at once.”
In exemplification of the detrimental effect of any strong emotion on phenomena, Mrs. Emma Hardinge, in testifying before the London Dialectical Committee, narrated the case of the medium Conklin, who was invited to hold a number of seances in Washington with five or six gentlemen who were desirous not to be known. “The manifestations were very marked and decisive until Mr. Conklin discovered that one of the gentlemen present was none other than President Lincoln, when his anxiety and surprise became so great as entirely to stop the manifestations which were not again renewed till a mutual explanation had restored him to his normal state of mind.
The medium should not be made eager to produce the phenomena. He should be impressed that it is of decisive importance to have results. Speaking of D.D. Hume, Crookes wrote: “I used to say, let us sit round the fire and have a quiet chat and see if our friends are here and will do anything for us; we won’t have any tests or precautions. On these occasions, when only my own family were present, some of the most convincing phenomena took place.”
Atmospheric conditions have an important bearing. Dry climates are more favorable than wet ones. A thunderstorm is inimical. Maxwell observed that dry cold is helpful and rain and wind are often followed by failure. He found better phenomena when outside conditions favored the production of numerous sparks under the wheels of electric trains.
William Eglinton kept a careful record of the atmospheric conditions during his seances. He found that of the 170 total failures in two years, the weather was either very wet, damp or depressing in the majority of instances.
The locality, the furniture of the seance room is also of importance. A place saturated with historic atmosphere facilitates manifestations. With the Marquis Centurione Scotto, much better results were obtained in the mediaeval Millesimo Castle than in Genoa. Harry Price had striking clairvoyant descriptions of the life of St. Agnes in a seance held in the Roman Catacombs. The seance room should be plainly furnished. The table should be, if possible, entirely of wood, the chairs plain and wooden. Carpets, cushions, heavy hangings should be dispensed with. They appear to absorb the psychic force, whereas a wooden table stores it up. If possible the same room should be used on subsequent occasions and in the interval it should not to disturbed.
The advent of manifestations is usually heralded by a current of cold air passing through the hands of the sitters or by a chilling of the atmosphere. The psychic force which the phenomena necessitate is furnished by both the medium and the sitters. The sitters feel the drain in great fatigue and weakness afterwards. It is also demonstrable in loss of weight. The occurrence of phenomena in itself is no proof of spirit agency. The important thing is that their supernormal character should be established, that fraud, chance, unconscious muscular action, the play of imagination, or other effecting methods should be ruled out and, in the case of mental phenomena, the possibilities of subconscious acting should be duly examined. It is advisable to introduce instruments to register the objectivity of the manifestations. A camera cannot hallucinate. The influence of suggestion should be tested. If things do not happen in accordance with the desire of the medium and of the sitters and the phenomena are intelligent, the presence of an extraneous will gains added probability.
Some seances of Home, according to the late Earl of Dunraven, were very touching and beautiful. A pure, lofty, and religious tone more or less pervaded them. The solemnity which was always manifested at the name of God was remarkable.
The degree of perception among the sitters varies. It often happens at a seance, writes Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, ‘that some will see distinct light of which they will describe the form, appearance, and position, while others will see nothing at all. If only one or two persons see the lights, the rest will naturally impute it to their own imaginations; but there are cases in which only one or two of those present are unable to see them. There are cases in which each person can see them; but, in very different degrees of distinctness; yet that they see the same object is proved by their all agreeing as to the position and movement of the lights. Again, what some see as merely luminous clouds, others will see as distinct human forms, either partial or entire.
As a rule seances should be held with a single medium. Another powerful medium introduces another control and the ensuing conflict between the controls often ruins the seance.
Often some members of the group after a few meetings will begin to see or hear things before the others do. Whatever is seen or heard, or experienced should be voiced and discussed to keep up the interest and encourage the others.
Remember that in the development of any phase of mediumship, a slight readjustment of the body might take place before perfection is attained; therefore, if you should feel peculiar sensations either mentally or physically, such as chills, hot blasts, cool breaths, passing over you, extreme joy or sadness, etc., you can then know that you are developing nicely and it will not be long before you will get actual demonstrations of psychic phenomena yourself. Tell these things out loud to the others present and continue your meetings regularly without interruptions, with the same people in your group if possible, and you will be interested to see how much progress is being made.
About one hour should be the limit of time that a developing class should sit during any one evening. With persistence and faith some of the class are sure to have some interesting and exciting experiences. Then at the close of your sittings it is often customary to offer a short prayer of thanks for the phenomena received and then to sing together a cheerful song.
A great number of people who are interested in spiritualism are under the impression that it is necessary for a medium to go into a trance condition in order to manifest physical or psychical mediumistic phenomena . This is not always the case. While it is true that a great number of mediums do lapse into various trance conditions at the opening of a seance, it is also true that many of our greatest mediums produce some of the most striking manifestations while in a perfectly normal waking condition.
One writer in speaking of a well known medium says; “She constantly receives evidences of the presence of her spirit friends while she is perfectly normal. We have heard rappings and witnessed movements of physical objects in her presence while holding friendly conversations with her, when we have been in a good light. Frequently at meal times the spirits announce their presence by raps, and respond to salutations of their medium and other members of the family.”
Professor Loveland says: “Many of the best mediums in the world were never entranced in the sense of being in an unconscious sleep. And it is doubted whether that condition is desirable. The Fox girls, and most, if not all of the original rapping mediums, were never in the deep sleep trance. It is not necessary for any of the physical manifestations, and that includes a very large percentage of all the spirit phenomena. The rappings, tippings, movings, slate writings. Materializations, automatic writings, paintings, telegraphing, voices, etc., can all occur without the deep trance, the reason for which is very apparent, as in the production of such phenomena the spirits simply use the surplus radiated nerve-force of the medium.”
SHOULD THE ROOM BE DARK?
“Home always refused to sit in the dark. He said that, with firmness and perseverance the phenomena could be got just as well in the light and even if some of the things were not so strong the evidence of one’s eyesight was worth making some sacrifices for.”
From the above it is seen that not only is the trance condition not absolutely necessary for the production of striking mediumistic phenomena, but that, also, there is no absolute necessity for the condition of darkness to be maintained as an essential feature of such phenomena. While many mediums insist upon the condition of darkness at seances, it is thought by some careful thinkers that this arises from the fact that such mediums have been accustomed to such conditions from their earliest days of mediumship, and have grown to believe that the darkness is absolutely necessary. If such mediums would begin over again, practicing in full light in the company of a few sympathetic friends, they would before long become accustomed to the new conditions and would then be able to reproduce all their important phenomena in full light.
The person who is anxious to develop into an expert medium and who has read the foregoing pages, had doubtless a great many more questions to ask concerning various phases of mediumship and spirituality.
Unfortunately in so short and concise a booklet, you must realize that it is impossible to cover this great and practically limitless subject. Each year more and more books on this subject appear. They are the work of people who are devoted to this phase of phenomena, and as a result they each have something to contribute to the advancement of this science.
Therefore, we suggest that you read as many books as you can on this subject. One can never know everything about any one subject, and the more one studies the more expert one is bound to become.
One word of advice. Do not try to do everything at once. Patience is a great virtue, learn to practice it.
If you feel discouraged because you have not been able to do all the things that you feel you should be able to accomplish, that you have been unable to make definite demonstrations and manifestations, you must remember that Rome was not built in one day, nor are experts developed full grown. Everything takes time.
Once you have proven to yourself that you have the power to demonstrate you must realize that you have been given a great power. You must be careful how you use it. You must not use it for any one selfish purpose. The power is given to you in order to use to help others. And as you use it to this end, you will find it develop even further within you.