The birth of Modern Spiritualism...
The Fox family had moved to a homestead in Hydesville, New York State, USA where they started to be disturbed by noises, knockings, movements of objects and other unusual phenomena. The two children Catherine and Margareta discovered that if they spoke out then the mysterious noises seemed to respond and it became clear that the phenomena were not just random manifestations of energy but were under the control of some invisible intelligence. In a world where such happenings were feared and where religion labelled them as evil, these happenings soon gained the attention of neighbours and family friends. The news of these happenings spread far and wide; at times many bystanders came to marvel at the unexplained knockings and noises.
On March 31, 1848, the two sisters, Margareta and Catherine Fox, established intelligent, two way communication with a spirit person who was responsible for producing the phenomena.
A committee of investigation was formed and communicated with the spirit who had been harassing the Fox family. The committee listened out for the response signal knocks and they established that the communicator was Charles Rosna, who had been murdered and buried beneath the cellar of the homestead. An excavation of the cellar later proved that there were indeed the remains of a body buried there.
The publicity which these events aroused and the investigations carried out at the time led to mediumship being discussed openly. The Fox family suffered scorn, ridicule, and persecution but because of them advice came from spirit people as to how to encourage spirit communication. The printing press, cheaper newspapers and books, the improved literacy amongst the people, the rail road and improved postal service meant that many learned about this new spiritual phenomena and how it could be achieved. In many homes, groups of people met and, following the advice, were successful in obtaining spirit communication for themselves. And, once communication was established, the spirit people could direct the process and give specific guidance to further help the process.
It became clear that certain people were naturally mediumistic and the new forms of communication enabled strikingly accurate and detailed information to be communicated. Spiritual phenomena flowed from the many Spiritualist groups which provided, time after time, personal joyful evidence confirming the existence of a spirit world that could communicate with those still on earth. In just a few years many groups of Spiritualists formed in America to seek psychic phenomena and to consider the religious implications which lay behind the teaching received from spirit.
In time, both the phenomena and the teachings attracted the attention of eminent scientists and intellectuals in America and Britain. A Mrs Hayden brought the new knowledge to England and openly demonstrated mediumship here. She was persecuted and insulted by the press and by some in the established Christian church; however her mediumship was defended by public figures, such as Robert Owen, who embraced Spiritualism after witnessing successful spirit communications with her.
The Formation SNU...
The first Spiritualist church opened in 1853 in Keighley in Yorkshire. Spiritualism then spread throughout Britain. Various gifted mediums became well known and written about, they helped to spread the knowledge of Spiritualism further. Significant among these was Emma Hardinge Britten who had spread the word extensively in America. In 1865, Emma returned to England and demonstrated her gift of mediumship, and gave inspired talks on the subject of the Philosophy of Spiritualism.
In 1869, an influential committee appointed by the Christian 'Dialectical Society' investigated Spiritualism and published a most positive report. Two years later Sir William Crookes reported on Spiritualism to the prestigious Royal Society and published his findings in the Quarterly Journal of Science.
The British National Association of Spiritualists (now known as the College of Psychic Science) was founded in London in 1873, and the Society for Psychical Research founded in 1882.
In 1887, the 'Two Worlds' Spiritualist weekly newspaper was founded by Mrs Emma Hardinge Britten. It was through Emma's mediumship that the Seven Principles of SNU Spiritualism were attained, which were later to be adopted by the Spiritualists’ National Union as the basis of its religious philosophy.
Attempts were made to bring together the various individuals, Spiritualist churches, groups and societies and the concept of a national federation of Spiritualist churches was discussed and written about in 1889 by Emma in the ‘Two Worlds’ magazine. Emma arranged a meeting and in July 1890 the first national conference of Spiritualists was held in Manchester. At this Conference Emma advocated her concept for the fundamental basis of Spiritualist philosophy, which later became the Seven Principles of SNU Spiritualism. Other resolutions were carried unanimously establishing the concept of a Spiritualists' National Federation.
The Spiritualists' National Federation held annual conferences where delegates from Spiritualist societies and individual Spiritualists could discuss issues of common interest. It soon became clear that obtaining the status of a limited company would be beneficial as then asset and property could be legally owned. Therefore, in October 1901 the Spiritualists’ National Union Limited was registered as a company within the UK, and in July 1902 it took over the property, rights and obligations of the Spiritualists’ National Federation. The primary object of the new company was to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the religion and religious philosophy of Spiritualism on the basis of the Seven Principles.
In 1966, the Spiritualist educational college based at Stansted Hall, Essex, ‘The Arthur Findlay College’ was opened. Today, as well as the college on this site, there is the headquarters of the Spiritualists’ National Union.
The word Psychic is a Greek word meaning 'The Soul Mind'. We all have the potential to be psychic and it is well understood that children are more psychic that adults, mainly because they have recently come from the world of spirit and their soul still carries the sensitivity into the physical world. As children grow up they absorb the ideas of their parents and their peers and the overriding pressure is towards gaining material advantages, at least in this western world. This reduces the potential to be aware of their spiritual pathway; however there are many young people drawn to spirituality in some way and this interest can open up the psychic senses. The psychic ability has many facelets, a psychic has the ability to read vibrations, whether it is material objects, their surroundings or the ability to connect with the energy field of a person. Your energy field is the energy that surrounds the body, or aura, which contains the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a person, and contains all the information and events in their life. The information may be available from the psychic's own spirits knowledge or as Karl Young called it 'The collective unconscious'. Psychics have also been known to predict events in the future, however, when a psychic predicts, they are only looking at the potential that is contained in the soul. Nothing is ever concrete because we all have the power of freedom of choice and we are, therefore, masters of our own destiny. However, Psychics will often use certain aids and props such as tarot cards, crystal balls, runes etc. which provides them with a focus for their sensitivity, enabling them to enter a heightened state of awareness.
A Medium, however, stretches their psychic ability much further, connecting their awareness and consciousness through their sensitivity to connect with a soul that has passed from this world. This is achieved by the spirit communicator lowering their rate of vibration and the Medium heightening their vibration so that they can meet in the middle and communication can be established. This is aided by the Mediums Guides and helpers who have a greater understanding of the ethics and mechanics of mediumistic communications and have a greater spiritual understanding. Without their help, communication is unlikely to take place.
The basis of Mediumship is telepathy from the mind of the spirit communicator to the mind of the medium. From spirit, through spirit, to spirit. The Medium's awareness and sensitivity is contained within the etheric body which is connected to the nervous and emotional system of the Medium. This enables the Medium to feel the spirit through the ability of clairsentients, to see the spirit through the ability of clairvoyance and to hear the spirit through the ability of clairaudience. There are some Mediums that only develop one particular ability, but in my opinion, it all comes through the clairsentient ability that is relayed through the subconscious part of the Medium and enables you see, hear and feel the spirit. Basically, it's the ability to communicate with another person without the ability of speech or sign language.
The existence of this phenomenon was demonstrated by Dr J B Rhine and his wife Louisa Rhine at Duke University, North Carolina, in the 1930’s. Although it is not universally accepted by the scientific world, it is interesting that sceptics often claim that mediums are not receiving information from the Spirit world but are obtaining the information telepathically from the sitter! If they believe that is possible then they should be able to take the next step and at least give some credence to the possibility that at death the personality of a person continues in a different form and is able to communicate with those that they loved.
It is often said that mediums are born, not made, but I believe this is not correct. We all have the potential to develop our latent psychic ability, and I feel it must be possible to develop mediumship from such ability. This adds weight to the saying that all mediums are psychic but not all psychics are mediums, and this is because mediums have the motivation and tenacity to develop their potential.
The main aim of mediumship is to provide evidence of survival of the human personality beyond physical death and through this to comfort the bereaved and awaken the consciousness of humankind. Bearing in mind that the evidence may come through different kinds of mediumship, much will depend on the circumstances of the communication. To the slightly or very sceptical, all factors which could provide alternative explanations of how the information could be known by the medium must be excluded. This means that the medium should not know the recipient, should have had no opportunity to research any of their background before the communication takes place and provide specific information known preferably only to the recipient.
The important thing is that the communicator’s identity is established as any message related will have no or very little significance. Proof of ongoing intelligence and knowledge may be given by the communication of events of significance which have occurred since the passing of the communicator.
This indicates that the person in spirit lives on and is still taking an interest in the lives of their loved-ones. The evidence can be said to be satisfactory if the recipient can feel the personality of the communicator is present with them through the description and information provided. This is far better than giving streams of information that, even if accepted, bears no relation to one particular individual.
The confirmed sceptic will not accept that any evidence of survival is received from a discarnate person, since their basic premise is that people do not survive death, and they will find all sorts of fantastic ways in which the information could have been obtained.