Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

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Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Left Behind on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:27 pm

We often use the term Modern Spiritualism to denote the changes in spirit contact following the Fox Sisters communications in 1848. But I think that modern-day Spiritualism (NOT the same thing as Modern Spiritualism) has gotten itself so mucked-up with the New Age, Theosophy, Eastern religions, reincarnationist beliefs, crystals, paganism, and all the rest of the Psychic Faire stuff, that it's starting to bear little relationship to the Spiritualism of, say, the 1850's through the 1930's.

What do you think? Is it time for Modern Spiritualism to get back to its roots? Can it be done?

Left Behind


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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:46 pm

A very good question and one I have thought about a lot. I agree that it needs to go back to basics but its going to be a very tough job. So many who come into our centres have arrived not as bereaved wishing contact with their loved ones but throudh their exposure to all of those New Age Ideas (which of course encompass survival after death). So some years ago I had youngsters who just wanted psychic, fortune telling and channelling because they just knew people survived death.

I think the centres do not, generally, handle this well because you are under pressure to get people through the doors, indeed it can be disheartening when numbers are low, so some bend to become all encompassing centres where anything goes, a situation which many enjoy but is not truly eithr Modern Spiritualism, or even anything like it.

However, particularly in this State of Australia the failure of the last wannabe Asencion with the Mayan Calander caused a move away from psychic and our centres (link this with the relative toughness of daily life ,decreased leisure linhed with the simpleness of using alternatives to fill avoid reality TV, "fake"news etc). There had been a huge oversupply of "psychics" and "alternative healing methodologies"  good, bad, indifferent and downright dangerous. Wannabe asencion channellers."teachers" workshops etc. The number has crashed now e.g. of the maybe 8 bookshops with readers and crystals 3 or 4 are left. For a time people tried to feed off a declining market but it seems the number of practioners is declining.

If people are discerning they soon notice the weaknesses in some claims and I think that is telling in the decline in interest, with even Spiritualist Centres being lumped in the New Age basket because of the inconsistency in presentation. What does it mean for Modern Spiritualism. Initially lesser numbers but then an opportunity to focus oh our own teachings with good mediumship. I also believe we have to re engage with psychical research and somehow bring thinkers and intellectuals back into our centres.


Last edited by Admin on Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by hiorta on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:32 am

As is said 'time marches on'.
The world and its passengers has moved along, the ideas of yesterday receded being replaced by 'the latest' - often not a patch on the older version. Again, time will smooth things out.
It was largely the wars and the casualties that brought Spiritualism to the fore, offering answers about the deeper things in Life.
The consumer worlds of today see no need to go deeper into themselves, all their surface needs are adequately catered for. At a price, of course.
For the moment at least.
A people deeply asleep. Hypnotised by the wonders of ego.
In the fullness of time understanding will come.

Those pioneers of earlier times have laid a great foundation for enquiring minds which is not wasted but merely awaiting its time. An end to consumerism is in sight, in the UK at least.
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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Left Behind on Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:44 pm

Interesting observations, Jim and Hiorta.

As far as people not needing Spiritualism because they already believe in life after death: this is not a good thing for Spiritualism, but it is, in my opinion, a good thing in itself. Mediumship provides evidence for the skeptically minded or the unconvinced: the modern day doubting Thomases. A person doesn't need to be convinced of what he already believes. I think that has always been the strength of Spiritualism: the personal validation that comes from evidential mediumship: the information received from one's one deceased loved ones.

I agree that the days of the consumer culture are numbered. Those of us who were born in any of the Western democracies during the middle of the 20th century have had the privilege -- dubious, perhaps -- of living during the height of history's freedom and material prosperity. Things are starting to unravel now, and I don't think these heights will ever be reached again: planet earth just has too many mouths to feed. Tougher earthly times will turn more people's thoughts to the hereafter, I believe.

Related to that, I think that reincarnation is going to become a less attractive doctrine. Who is going to want to be reborn into a declining world?

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:02 am

Again some good points from you Jim, I have to agree with you. Of course there are many ways ro visit the view of survival after death and some seem more suited to thinkers than that which they may see and here if they do not choose their Spiritualist Centre with some forethought.

I have never felt that reincanation is a very credible possibility, algeit I think some may choose to return. It bemuses me why because it may be like joining teh foriegn Legion, although you come here with a purpose the reality of rejoining physical life makes you forget what you came here for (as opposed to coming here to forhet of course).

Hiorta war and casualties did bring more peopel to Spiritualism but teh numbers show that the biggesy growth was not necessarily in war years and some of the best intellectuals were drawn for very different reasons. Additionally the early 1980's were the high mark for SNU membership and the level of mediumship (mental mediumship) was almost at a peak in the UK. This did of course match to the hippy era, the Age of Aquarious. Interesting to also note that one of the first Psychic Fairs around the  late 70's or early 80's was run by an SNU area to draw people in (hmm as it may seem allow the trojan horse in).

Many reasons for that period, people were not expected to work overtime all the time. shops were only open late one night not continuously) Few channels of TV not wall to wall with streaming mind numbing instant void filling programmes. Oh and still good mediums running closed development groups and circles in churches that were about philosophy and mediumship

I am pleased that I am now slowly retiring from a work force at a time when I woukd hate to be joining it. I doubt whether I would have been allowed the freedom to do what I have by the demads of modern day employment.
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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by hiorta on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:57 pm

Jim you are a consistent shining beacon for those who sought answers to those questions that reach far beyond the physical life span. There are no quick-fixes, no new paths, although spiritual limits and mind boundaries might suggest differently.
We can only move at the pace of the slowest one.
I shouldn't worry about labels.
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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by mac on Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:30 pm

I didn't use to feel this way but I'm relieved to find that the survival of the movement of Modern Spiritualism is no longer important to me. I wasn't ever evangelical in my approach but I did want Spiritualism to matter. Now I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter much what happens to the movement because it's not doing what it used to and my personal view is that it won't in the future.

The truth about survival is 'out there', the evidence our loved ones return to show us that is available in abundance. Isn't that what the emergence of modern-day Spiritualism was intended to do?

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by hiorta on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:10 pm

"The truth about survival is 'out there'. mac.

This is all there is to it.
In that sublime moment when realisation dawns, your world changes forever, your understanding begins to steadily deepen and widen. You see Life anew with a fuller grasp of what is and what is not important in the longer and shorter term.
You are grateful to those Unknowns who had gone before, risking imprisonment and social ridicule to speak their Truth simply in the hope that others too, may receive as they did.

Perhaps best of all the seed of knowledge can germinate and slowly grow and develop, quietly transmitting its simple, powerful message that Life is truly eternal.

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Left Behind on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:44 pm

Beautifully expressed, Hiorta.

Mac, the problem is that the information that's out there will always be someone-else's alleged experience. Only when someone sees the evidence that his OWN loved ones have survived does he experience that life-change that Hiorta speaks of so well. And that's why we must keep evidential mediumship alive and thriving.

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by mac on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:04 pm

Left Behind wrote:Beautifully expressed, Hiorta.

Mac, the problem is that the information that's out there will always be someone-else's alleged experience. Only when someone sees the evidence that his OWN loved ones have survived does he experience that life-change that Hiorta speaks of so well. And that's why we must keep evidential mediumship alive and thriving.

How can we keep it alive, Jim? Only those who are mediums and those who directly support them, incarnate and discarnate alike, can do that. I'd certainly like to see it continue and flourish in the way it once did but I wonder if that's likely - the world has changed and moved on. Mediumship as we Spiritualists understand the term may have less a role in future than it did.

I don't need to be convinced about the value of evidential mediumship even though, incidentally, I've never experienced it myself. Yet I am totally persuaded of survival even without it. Others' accounts have played their part in my persuasion along with certain personal experiences and through research. So it's not totally the case that life-change only comes about via personal evidence. But that's a side issue.

Some of my cyber contacts express interest in mediumship but others seek something different to be persuaded of life beyond the veil. How representative they are of folk nowadays I have no way of judging but when they speak about mediumship it may be very dissimilar to the mediumship I know about.

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by obiwan on Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:41 pm

Very interesting discussion. As someone who has not received any evidence of survival from mediums, it occurs to me that, although an unequivocal experience would be very useful to me personally, it probably wouldn't help anyone else much.

On the plus side, the lack of a definitive personal experience so far has meant that I have had to research and properly consider the body of evidence to form any sort of conclusion. There are a number of advantages to that: firstly, I am aware that there is a vast body of evidence, of admittedly varying quality, available. I might not have been if I'd had conclusive personal proof earlier in my life. Secondly, the body of evidence is open to anyone as it's not based on my own subjective experience and therefore it can be shown to anyone who is genuinely interested. Thirdly, it has helped to sharpen my thinking processes about how we judge evidence and testimony.

I don't think Spiritualism as a religion has much more (or less) to offer than any of the other religions around the world save for one element: evidence. There is already a body of evidence available, much of it nothing to do with Spiritualism as a religion. If Spiritualism cannot provide evidential mediumship, what is the benefit in it beyond any other religion?

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by Left Behind on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:48 pm

It's interesting, Mac and Hiorta, that both of you find evidential mediumship convincing even though neither of you seem to have received direct, personal evidence -- from people you knew in incarnate life, who are now in the spirit world. For me, this personal evidence was what moved me immediately from believing that life after the death of the body is probably true, to KNOWING that it is so.

   Mac, I think we all have a part to play in the maintenance and growth of Spiritualism. We all aren't mediums, but we can help out in other ways: attending Spiritualist churches, subscribing to Spiritualist publications, sending them letters and articles, talking about Spiritualism to people who might be interested.

   Hiorta, I complete agree that evidential mediumship is the heart and soul of Spiritualism: without the confirmation it provides of spirit survival, Spiritualism becomes just another of a host of competing belief systems: no better and no worse than many others.


Last edited by Left Behind on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by mac on Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:55 pm

Left Behind wrote:     It's interesting, Mac and Hiorta, that both of you find evidential mediumship convincing even though neither of you seem to have received direct, personal evidence -- from people you knew in incarnate life, who are now in the spirit world. For me, this personal evidence was what moved me immediately from believing that life after the death of the body is probably true, to KNOWING that it is so.

We each seem to experience a personal 'awakening' that leads us wherever it leads us.....


Left Behind wrote: Mac, I think we all have a part to play in the maintenance and growth of Spiritualism. We all aren't mediums, but we can help out in others ways: attending Spiritualist churches, subscribing to Spiritualist publications, sending them letters and articles, talking about Spiritualism to people who might be interested.

I don't feel I now have any such part to carry out in maintaining or supporting Spiritualism yet I do it when I feel someone might benefit from what it can offer them.  I readily acknowledge what its teachings did, and still do, for me, however, but rarely does anyone respond positively to what I say.  Perhaps I don't do my job well enough.

 I need no persuasion about survival, I have no need for further reassurance about anything, but what Spiritualism did for me in my earlier days it no longer does.  That's down to me changing, not Spiritualism.  But maybe Spiritualism needs to change?

 
Left Behind wrote: Hiorta, I complete agree that evidential mediumship is the hear and soul of Spiritualism: without the confirmation it provides of spirit survival, Spiritualism becomes just another of a host of competing belief systems: no better and no worse than many others.

Evidential mediumship is indeed the linchpin because without it there would be no evidence of what Spiritualism teaches.

mac


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Re: Time for a return to traditional Spiritualism?

Post by mac on Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:40 pm

I was going to write a further response here but decided to start a new thread. http://www.spiritualismlink.com/t2401-spiritualism-what-next

mac


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