First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

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First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by steved on Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:30 pm

I am a very new entrant into the world of spiritualism. I attended my first divine service last Sunday, and found the whole thing very uplifting (and was pleased and surprised to receive a message myself).
Last night I attended a different church's event, a demonstration of physical mediumship by a supposedly well-respected physical medium, accompanied by his wife, supposedly a mental medium herself. I will not divulge their identities. I was accompanied by my (reluctant) wife, and a friend who has been exploring spiritualism for around 3 months.
I'm sad to say that I found the whole thing laughably unconvincing. The event was held in very dim red light. He apparently managed to go into a trance almost immediately, then we had over an hour of different "spirit guests" - apparently most of them are regular visitors, together with a lot of face-pulling and bad accents. It was interspersed with bouts of apparent hand enlargements and facial transformations which seemed to me to be simply caused by tricks of the light. No-one present received any personal messages at all. His wife chipped-in with various bits of mumbo-jumbo throughout.
We were sat right at the front and had an excellent view (albeit in the very low red light).
I just didn't get it at all - and discovered afterwards that both my companions felt exactly the same. To me the whole thing was just an unconvincing stage act.
I felt angry, confused, and cheated at the time and money (£20 each) wasted. However I am too polite to actually tackle anyone about it, so we left immediately the lights went up.
To be fair, other members of the audience seemed to be far more accepting of it than I. I got the impression that we might have been the only people who "saw through" the whole scam. It reminded me of the "Emperor's New Clothes" story from my childhood.
I can't begin to explain how confused I now am. After Sunday I was so thrilled and excited about the start of a new journey, but last night's experience has just made me question the validity of the whole thing. My wife thinks I must be bonkers to even consider continuing.
I wonder if anyone can help me to reaffirm my "faith", and advise on next steps.
Many thanks, SteveD.

steved


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by Wes on Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:07 am

Hi Steve, welcome to the forum.

It may feel like you've taken a step forward and a couple of steps back in your spiritual journey, though I would say the opposite has happened. You have have applied your knowledge and reason to a situation and decided to reject it, and that is just the sort of approach that spiritualism encourages.

To quote Silver Birch "It's good to have an open mind, not an empty one" which means keeping your wits about you at all times in your spiritual journey as it will contain dead ends and time wasters. The unfortunate truth is that good quality evidential mediumship is hard to find, and good quality physical mediumship.... well, on this forum you'll find various opinions on that subject, which can get very heated.

I'd encourage you to shop around and attend some different churches and join a meditation group or open circle, and see if anything resonates with you. Be patient though, as part of the spiritual journey involves a fair bit of unlearning, and it can be hard to let go of things that you used to find support and comfort in.

In any case feel free to look around and ask questions, after all that's what we're here on earth for, to look around and ask questions :-)


Wes
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Wes


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by mac on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:33 am

Hear, hear to what Wes has written.

mac


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by steved on Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:26 pm

Thank you for your time and thoughts Mac and particularly Wes. It seems to me that we are so keen to experience such (literally) life-changing incidents, that it is all too easy to let this desire over-ride our natural instincts. We see what we want to see, not necessarily what is there - a criticism which can be levelled at sceptics and believers alike!
I will continue my journey with curiosity and care in equal measure.
SteveD

steved


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by hiorta on Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:37 pm

Hi steveD and welcome to 'here' and the new world now opening to you.
Like mac, I'd agree entirely with Wes.
There is much evidence that the 'Spirit World' (of which we are a part) is an existing reality just slightly beyond our grasp at the moment. This reality would seem to grow as we grow, learn and expand.
For many, it is best experienced non-visually as the range of vibrations are not so easily seen physically.Takes time, too.
The Medium whose work you experienced could well be totally genuine - many factors beyond his control come into it.
i'm glad your initial enquiry was positive.
Meditation gently assists our 'opening' as will reading and 'being in the uplifting energy' of Meetings.
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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by obiwan on Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:41 pm

steved wrote:Thank you for your time and thoughts Mac and particularly Wes. It seems to me that we are so keen to experience such (literally) life-changing incidents, that it is all too easy to let this desire over-ride our natural instincts. We see what we want to see, not necessarily what is there - a criticism which can be levelled at sceptics and believers alike!
I will continue my journey with curiosity and care in equal measure.
SteveD

Hi Steved

I am curious to hear how you first became interested enough to visit a spiritualist church.

There’s plenty of good advice in the above comments however I'd like to chip in my two penn’orth, if I may.

I guess the first observation I'd make is that you were lucky to receive what I presume was an evidential message on your first visit. I have visited quite a few churches and mediums and have never received a message that I would consider to be evidential of survival (though I have had a couple of messages which were interesting for other reasons). In addition,  I have seldom heard messages passed to other people that I could envisage might be even slightly evidential. As you’d probably agree, it is important to understand what constitutes good evidence, given that this can vary from one person to another.

What one considers good evidence on the face of it, might collapse under analysis by someone with a more rigorous approach. If my own view of the likelihood of there being an afterlife were to be based on my personal experience with mediums and particularly spiritualist churches, I’d have to say it would be that survival was highly unlikely, or even that there was no evidence for it.

My own approach is to tackle it from three directions:

The first was to read as much as I could about mediums who have been tested by third parties who themselves, on the face of it, have no motive to endorse clear fraud or even unconscious self-deception. There is a vast amount of this type of evidence and whilst, on its own, I wouldn't expect it to  fully convince a person of survival,  it does seem to me to support the idea that something is definitely going on, that survival is a possibility  and that there may be genuine phenomena of one kind or another.

This approach has also helped me to appreciate both the volume of good evidence that is available and the range of phenomena that have apparently been demonstrated. It also means that coming across a fraudulent medium or someone deluding themselves, doesn't put me off my research.

The second element is to talk to people who are not simply believers in survival but who have thought about the subject themselves and maybe even had personal experiences which, for them at least, are evidential. Get to know them a little. Understand their rationale. Form a personal view as to how much weight to give their reports and opinions. The more sceptical the person (in the genuine sense), the better. This can be a useful channel as, unlike reports in print, these individuals can be questioned and it is possible to gain some view as to their reliability (and sanity in some cases), also as to whether they have any motive to ‘gild the lily’ or simply fabricate stories.

The third element is to seek personal evidence, as you are doing now. This may take some time, and in fact you may never receive evidence that you consider to be incontrovertible, but the journey itself sharpens one’s analytical skills and may make real evidence, if and when it comes, easier to validate.

Having had a positive initial experience, it is  perhaps inevitable that it will be followed by experiences which cause you to doubt your initial assessment. Don’t be put off your investigation of the subject but I’d be inclined to be slow to judgement either way.

This is quite a good place to ask questions. I have learned a lot from discussing questions with members here and in other similar forums.

Above all, maintain a sense of humour, don't take it too seriously (although it is of course a serious subject) and be prepared to abandon things that you may be convinced are facts. Maintaining an open mind is easier I find, when I haven't made a final decision and closed it. Smile

obiwan


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by steved on Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:27 pm

Thank you Hiorta and Obiwan for your input. Obiwan was curious about why I went to the spiritualist church.
Whilst not a regular churchgoer, I do believe in God, and that there is some kind of afterlife. I have always had in interest in all things "paranormal", though I have always considered such things as separate from any "religious" beliefs.
I never really thought about any difference between a Psychic and a Medium, and I thank this Forum for helping to clarify that for me. I consider myself to have better than average intuition and perception, but until last year have never really experienced anything unusual or paranormal. Two things happened last year, one very trivial, one less so, and these have reawakened my curiosity in this area.

   The trivial incident:- I awoke suddenly one morning with a word in my head. My first thought was the word "luxuriate", then my brain corrected it to "luxuriant". I thought it was a bit odd but forgot about it for the rest of the day. The next day, I was sitting in a waiting area whilst my car was being serviced, and was flicking through that day's newspaper they had provided. The puzzle page contained a 9 letter anagram which was indeed the word luxuriant.

   The not-so-trivial incident was around 18 months ago. I had a very intensive dream that the phone was ringing, and in the dream someone shouting at me to answer the phone because Jim (my father in law) was dying. I awoke suddenly, extremely agitated, and got up to check the house phones and mobile phones. None had been ringing, and there were no missed calls. I went back to bed, still feeling very anxious, and eventually fell back to sleep. I had another very intensive dream, this time picturing Jim dressed all in black, sat on a toilet. Again I awoke suddenly, and couldn't get back to sleep. At around 7:00 the next morning, the phone rang; it was a call from the convalescent home, informing us that Jim had died in the night. He was found by the staff in the toilet. I have thought alot about that incident since, without being any nearer to explaining it.

About 3 months ago, one of my work colleagues mentioned that she had started to going to a spritualist church, and each week we would have a brief chat about what she had experienced. I had previously told her about my incident with Jim, and last Sunday she persuaded me to go with her to a divine service at a different church where a local medium called Eddie Peace would be in attendance. There were probably around 16 people there, and he gave messages to 7, including me. His message to me purported to come from someone on my mother's side, and gave me information about my current state of mind, and about incidents in my past. Whilst none of it was sufficiently detailed to be considered "irrefutable evidence", it was very accurate. This was the first time we had met, there is no way he could have known anything about me, and until his message, I had not even spoken to him during the evening.

It is only when incidents like this happen to you, that you can know for sure that there are things which science just can't explain. However, whether this is "spirits" or something else I still remain very unsure. Psychic/paranormal occurences could be just the result of "energies" which science hasn't yet found a way to capture and measure. The existence of a spiritual world or worlds, which coexists with our material one, is a different prospect entirely, and one which would throw science and existing religion into huge turmoil.

So, apologies if my comments are incoherent or inarticulate, but I hope I have at least given a flavour of why my journey into "my" unknown started this week. Whether it is a spiritual one remains to be seen (or maybe not seen!).

Kind regards, SteveD

steved


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Re: First experience of physical mediumship - not impressed!

Post by obiwan on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Hi Steved

Interesting experiences and thanks for explaining. I don't think your comments are either inarticulate or incoherent Smile

You're at the start of a process that could change your view of life and will almost certainly mean learning a great deal - I know it has for me.

Being 'unsure' is a virtue in my book. That is because it makes me continue to think about my experiences and what I read and hear.

obiwan


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