THE SPIRIT IN SPIRITUALISM BY GORDON HIGGINSON
As I see it, the spirit has gone out of Spiritualism; it is all too often just not there. Once inspiration goes out, then the Spirit cannot stay. With trance mediumship, we get such a close contact with the Spirit and are moved by their power. Not all mediums will be deep trance, but a true medium can develop some level of this type of work. We need to get our mediums more in contact with the Spirit and our congregations to be spiritualised.
If we can get the movement more aware of the presence of Spirit, then I think we will be able to get in contact with higher powers. Until we do that, we are just people who have found something wonderful, but not using it intelligently.
I am sure that Spirit are guiding us gently back to this realisation. In the past, we had wonderful guides like Red Cloud, Silver Birch and White Eagle who were able to share their wisdom with us. We need to be looking to developing mediums once again who can act as channels for these sorts of guides. We need to bring that back; there has never been anything written like the teachings of Silver Birch. He was a personality so very different from his medium, Maurice Barbanell.
Mediumship is not of the same standard as fifty years ago, but I do not believe it is because we do not have the mediums. I think that it is in the training that the problem arises. It is in the churches where people go for training that there is a lack of teachers; people with ability, who know the subject and exactly what to do.
We have to realise that, in days gone by, there were lots more mediums, people who seemed to be born with the gift. Today, we do not seem to have these people available.
I think that before people go into training classes, they should have a study course where they can be taught the mechanics of mediumship and certainly they themselves are. We need to know what we ourselves comprise of, the various vehicles of expression within ourselves; the difference between our physical body the etheric body and the many other bodies which are all together and bound by the powers of Spirit.
We need to take people aside, begin to teach them and give them instruction on how we are made up, what our makeup is. That the Spirit World is around us, that we are living in worlds within worlds.
When they have completed their study, then their teacher should be capable of taking them into the next step, which I believe to be a spiritual one, of learning how to blend with God. A link with God and Spirit can be achieved through periods of meditation. Potential mediums need a teacher who has learned about meditation, who can take them through the next stage.
Of course, it may be that there is no person close to them who will be able to do this. This makes development very difficult. There are very few books which are useful for training in this way. These must be brought up to date.
First students must become aware, making effort to acquire knowledge. This is a vital basis for expansion of the self. then they move on to the initial practical stages before moving on to the more intense development and advanced courses that are being offered.
Once people are aware of their real self, they talk about God and Spirit and Love, but few really know the true meaning of what they are saying. They can learn about mediumship when they have this understanding. If we could only teach people that God is Spirit and power, and that we must blend with God because mediumship is, in my opinion, a calling. We cannot develop it properly unless we feel this urge within ourself, something that makes is vital that we go forward. That calling must be from God and Spirit.
Before we begin our development, we should look at our spiritual self first. We move away from the intellectual to knowledge and wisdom. We need to have the psychic ability, but the Spirit must be paramount, the realisation that we are of God. Mediums must be prepared for development so that they can move away from this material world and onto a higher level to be able to understand the spiritual as separate from the material. This is why it is so important that they first feel the call within themselves. How else will they find strength and determination needed for development?
I believe that in the early stages of development, there must be a medium available who has vision. When we have good people who are to be trained, they must first have set out on a journey, to have learned about the spiritual. It is only then that a good medium will be able to see where they should be encouraged to engage their attentions. It is only then that a good medium will be able to see where they should be encouraged to engage their attentions. It is at this stage there must be a sorting out.
There are some who will not be able to get far – and the teacher should be honest. They must discern the purpose of why people want to develop. I was very lucky, you see. When I was a child, I saw Spirit quite clearly and listened to their voices. I was already a medium. I communicated. I listened to people who I didn’t believe had passed over. I believed they were very real people. I had a very wonderful mother who knew I would play my part. She taught me from a very early age that I must be willing to give and not to take. She made me aware that it was a question of developing my work to serve mankind, not putting the material side first, but the spiritual.
When I see a potential medium, I look to see whether they are willing to put serving of mankind first. Once I know they have this in their hearts, I also know that God can call them to any level, to any standard.
Many people complain that Spiritualism and mediumship are not as good as they were once. They do not see that we have learned from and expanded upon the past, that life is different now. Families were more closely linked. There was not the noise, bustle and speed there is now. I also believe that Spirit was breaking through then: it knew the need for Spirit to be “felt” and so mediums were born to play their part when the conditions were right for their development as Spirit wanted it.
People were together more. There seemed to be a greater comradeship, and a stronger friendship. Spiritualism and mediumship are different now, but that is right as we are living in a different age. We have lost some things, but gained others.
I don’t believe the circles they held 50 or 60 years ago were as advanced as they are today; I don’t think we should be teaching people to pray and link in advanced classes. I believe this must be done in the early stages. If we want to talk to God, then this is something very private and should be practised daily. A good medium is perceptive and will learn by observation and experience how to pray in public. When you go to a development class, all the time that is available should be devoted to the training of your mediumship and the ability to use the right vehicle for your mediumship. A mediums life is prayer. No one can be a first-class medium until he or she has experienced the deep silence and felt the presence of God through prayer.
I think materialism is very strong because of the way the whole world has become imprisoned by it over the years. It has become a way of life. Spiritualism is really the balancing of that; it is dealing with the spiritual side of man’s nature, encouraging people to understand that there are worlds within worlds. That this material world will vanish away; that the body, too, will vanish.
The things that are visible are illusion: the real things are the invisible. Spiritualism must teach that above all things. We seem to have lost this. We are more involved in the materialism. I think that this is a pity. We must teach people to develop not for gain but for the spiritual. I think that is where the whole idea of development lies.
This article is from Two Worlds July 2002 and it was also included in his Biography ‘On the Side of Angels’