Adventures of a Student Medium

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Adventures of a Student Medium


I thought it might interest you to read about some of my experiences learning mediumship at a Spiritualist church. Since I've learned through a systematic process, it seems to me that anyone could do the same thing. This is different from a lot of what has been written on the subject which is usually about people who are very psychic to begin with. I think it's important for people to understand that these abilities are natural and anyone can learn to develop their innate abilities.

Also, many people who are strongly psychic feel "different" from others. They might find it a relief to meet people with the same abilities and also rewarding to find meaning and a purpose in their gift by using it to help others through a Spiritualist church.

(I'm not trying to push religion or church attendance on anyone, I just have had some different types of experiences than what I've read about and I think other people might find them interesting and helpful to read.)

I should probably start with some odd coincidences I experienced which made me want to learn about psychic phenomena and eventually led me to a Spiritualist church for that reason...


Preliminary Experiences

Once, when I was living in an apartment building, I was going downstairs to take the garbage out to the dumpster and I absentmindedly went all the way down to the basement instead of going outside. (I never did that before or after that one time.) As I realized my mistake, I looked up and saw someone come out of his basement apartment. He looked at me with a worried expression and asked if I knew how to turn off the water. His bathtub faucet was broken and would not shut off and the tub was about to overflow. I was able to show him an access panel with shut-off valves - all the apartments were similar and I knew from my own apartment where they would be in his.

Another time, when I was having problems with my job, I began to take long walks over to the next town. I like to take walks for exercise but these were unsually long and at the time I didn't know why I was going so far. After a few days of this I saw on a poster that the other town was going to have a fair with booths for community organizations to raise money. I had been living in that area for ten years and had not gone to any of the local events like that before (or after) but I decided to walk all the way over for that one. When the day came around and I went there, I wandered around for a while and then sat down on a bench. After a few minutes, I looked up and noticed a gap in the crowd on the sidewalk. Alone, in the middle of that gap was someone wearing a bright yellow sports coat. I thought to myself, "Who's that in the yellow jacket? Wait, that's ...." It was someone who I used to work for who was dressed like that because of the fair. I said, "Hi" as he got near and during the ensuing conversation I mentioned that I was thinking of changing jobs. He had an opening and I went to work for him shortly thereafter.

At one point, after many coincidences like those above, I started wondering what was going on and tried looking on the internet for information on psychic abilities. I saw a local psychic was having a book signing at a bookstore in my area. I’m mostly a homebody so I normally wouldn't have gone to the signing especially since it was in a town I'd never been to. However, when I checked the map, I saw it was right next to a town I was going to on the same day to have lunch with a friend. The bookstore was just down the road from the restaurant. That's an interesting coincidence but I also unexpectedly received a gift card for that bookstore a few days before the signing. I have never had a gift card for that store before or since. I went to the signing, bought the book with the gift card, and afterwards I asked the author how one can develop their psychic abilities. The author recommended a Spiritualist church near where I lived that had classes.

I started going to the Spiritualist church and I took classes there.


Spiritualist Church

The first time I tried to do mediumship in class I was astonished with the results. I did exactly what the teacher said and it seemed to work. After a short period of meditation, I looked around the class (we were sitting with the chairs in a circle) and when I got to one particular person it seemed like I was looking at him through a zoom lens. He stood out from the other students in my field of vision. I tried looking around again and the same thing happened when I got to him. Then I closed my eyes and in my mind's eye there appeared a tall man in a uniform. When my turn came to describe my experiences, this person said that his grandfather had been tall and wore a uniform on his job. The teacher of the class encouraged me to try to get more information and I tried again and saw a scene of the sea shore. It turned out the grandfather had also lived near the water. I had never experienced anything like this before in my life. I was in shock for a couple of days afterwards.

As the classes continued I had many other experiences. Once I gave a reading to a woman in the class and I saw, in my mind's eye, her and another woman sitting drinking coffee. I described what I saw but she said there was more than one person who fit the description. Then I saw the other woman smoking a cigarette and there were very unusual little square framed pictures on the wall behind them. With that information the other student knew exactly who the spirit was.

Once, early in the morning I was lying in bed at home and the image of a woman popped into my head. I saw her in profile and she had a very distinctive profile because of the shape of her nose. I had never seen her before, but later that day, this woman (living, not a spirit this time) with the distinctive profile showed up at church for the first time. It was shortly after I had started going there and we ended up in many of the same classes and became good friends.

Another time I was at home lying in bed awake very early in the morning, and the image of a man appeared in my mind's eye. I somehow knew he had been a veteran. At the same time, I thought of something I had read the day before and understood it in a new way. It was the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and that insight would have made a great Memorial Day talk at church. However, I wasn't planning to give a talk during the service. After the service, though, there was a mediumship class. When I took my turn in class I started to give a reading to a woman, and the image of the man came into my mind's eye again. I described him and she recognized him as her father who was also a veteran. I explained that I had a message from him for the group and I spoke about the insight I had already received from the spirit. The woman said that that it was characteristic of the type of messages her father gave through other mediums.

In another reading I brought through a family member of a woman in the class and I saw a church, a fishing pier, and a box truck. It turned out the spirit was a deacon at the church, they used to go fishing at the pier, and he drove one of those larger square shaped ambulances.

Sometimes the mistakes are the most convincing part of a reading. Once during a reading I saw a swimming pool and I said, "You went swimming together". The person said, "no that's not right." I went on and continued the reading with other evidence but the pool came back. When I asked, "Why do I keep seeing the swimming pool?", the person said, "Well, she [the spirit] had a swimming pool in her back yard, but we never swam in it together". Skeptics will say mediums get their information from the person getting the reading but in this case it seemed to me that I was contradicting what the person was saying and sticking with what I was perceiving, and the information was eventually validated.

In one reading, I saw buildings in a foreign country I have never been to. I was able to find the same buildings on the internet in a photograph of the city.

I have also heard amazingly accurate information from fellow students when getting readings in the mediumship classes. One student was able to tell that when I was a child, my grandmother used to wrap snacks in a plastic bag and drop them out of her apartment window to me while I would stand on the walkway below. Another student saw a vision of a snowy field when bringing through my uncle. He had lived in a town called White Plains.

One time in class, a student brought through one of my spirit guides. Since we usually have not met our spirit guides in life, we usually don't recognize them from a description of what they looked like. However, spirits can identify themselves as guides because they are around us in during the day and can tell the medium things about us that a stranger wouldn't know. During this class, while giving me a reading, the student saw a flashlight with a propeller on top. I had no idea what this was meant. Later, as the class ended, some other people in the building were also leaving and they turned out the lights without realizing they had left us in the dark. I automatically reached into my pocket and pulled out my key chain on which I have a small flashlight. This flashlight is turned on by twisting the top. It is amazing that the spirit was not only able to tell the student about a flashlight that I completely forgotten about, but that they were also able remind me about it by arranging to have us left sitting in the dark.


Spiritual Healing

The Spiritualist church also teaches spiritual healing. This form of healing is commonly misunderstood by the public. In Spiritualist churches it is never advocated as a substitute for mainstream medicine - it is used in conjunction with mainstream medicine or when mainstream medicine is unable to help. Spiritualism does not promise specific results from healing, it is simply a way of praying for healing for the highest good of the recipient. Spiritual healing is not "faith healing" the recipient doesn't need faith, it is used on infants and animals who don't even know they are receiving healing.

I have had positive reports from people I've given healing to including healing while talking on the phone, and I've also had some success healing myself. When doing spiritual healing many people feel an odd tingling or numbness and often a lot of heat. I've tried many different types of meditation and the experience of giving healing is not like anything else I've tried. Most people can experience this for themselves and give healings to friends and family members even if they are not developing other psychic abilities.


Concluding Remarks

Despite all of these experiences, I don't consider myself very psychic. I don't really feel that I have control over these events. I hypothesize that spirits are able to influence me when and if they want to. For this reason I don't consider that I am any different from anyone else and I think that this is a very important point. I think everyone can learn to experience the same things I have. If I am slightly more sensitive it might be because I practice meditation - which anyone can do. When the mind is calm and one is familiar with the normal activity of the mind through introspection, that person might be more aware of the faint influence of spirits.

I find the same types of exercises that help people to unleash creativity also help to access information communicated by spirits. I hypothesize that this is because spirit communication often isn't strong enough to reach consciousness but remains subliminal. Therefore anything that helps us to get in contact with subconscious thoughts also helps to get in contact with spirit influences.

It's sort of odd that in the mainstream culture of the US, psychic abilities are considered either non-existent or rare and unusual, while at the same time Spiritualists have been quietly going about their daily lives living with and experiencing psychic phenomena as a normal everyday thing as certain and natural as the sunrise or the changing seasons.

Spiritualist churches can be a good place to learn about practical aspects of psychic phenomena and to meet other psychics. However, one has to be careful because church politics can get heated at times. You'd think spiritual people were above that but, no, they are not much different from everyone else. Also psychic abilities do not indicate a person is an "advanced soul" or "holy", all types of people have these abilities. When you see a minister in front of a congregation or a teacher in front of a class, their pubic persona may give you the impression that they are extraordinary. Then when you find that, behind the scenes, they have the same combination of strengths and weaknesses that all people have, you can become disappointed (which is, actually, a bit unfair to them). So, I would encourage readers to investigate any Spiritualist churches in their area but not to be over awed at the same time.

Before going to a medium, or a spiritualist church, you should also read this book review that discusses fraud.

Another thing to be aware of if you decide to attend a Spiritualist church is that sometimes the sermons are not particularly spiritual. Some churches are more interested in bringing in entertaining speakers rather than spiritual teachers. Such speakers are often more interested in creating dramatic situations with themselves as the center of attention and this degrades their mediumship when they use a reading to attract attention to themselves rather than to the miracle of communication with spirits in the afterlife.

My philosophical leaning is towards the ideals of love, forgiveness, tolerance, selflessness, and humility as taught by Jesus and Buddha. I am far from perfect and would love to find a place to go to receive encouragement in the pursuit of those ideals. However the sermons preached at the few Spiritualist churches I've attended are more often about how to use the power of thought to get what you want. While this is not exactly unspiritual, there are many voices in our society that advocate the pursuit of materialistic ambitions and very few advocating more spiritual pursuits. One of the important roles of a church is to be a place to go once a week to be reminded of spiritual values and to be reminded that there are other people who share those values. In my experience, the Spiritualist churches I've been to could do more in this regard.

Another minor complaint I have is with some of the principles of the religion that many Spiritualist churches in the US read during the weekly service. One of these principles says, "... we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature's physical and spiritual laws". There is a grain of truth in this. For example the law of karma states that good actions have good consequences and bad actions have bad consequences. Positive thinking as explained in the chapter on The Power of Thought can help you maintain a better outlook in life. Also, any effective principles of psychotherapy can be considered physical laws. However the principle as stated is misleading. Most people would interpret it to mean that if someone is unhappy it is their fault for being ignorant of or living out of harmony with natural law. This is not just absurd it is harmful. Many people are drawn to spiritualist churches because they are suffering from grief over the death of a loved one. They seek solace in the knowledge that they can be reunited with them in the afterlife and they may hope to receive messages from them through mediums. Psychologists will tell you that grief is necessary and healthy and failure to grieve is not a sign of someone living in harmony with natural law but a source of psychological problems. There are other people who may be suffering from depression due to biological causes or people suffering from difficult lives and experiences that are not their fault and not a result of any bad actions on their part. To make these people think that their unhappiness is due to ignorance of natural law is wrong. Psychologists have been pursuing their science for many years now and they don't have a magic solution for people with deep seated difficulties. When they do find an effective treatment it is generally not anything that can be learned by studying a simplistic statement of natural law. To blame unhappiness on living in discord with natural law is foolish.

Another principle many Spiritualist churches in the US read during the weekly service is the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It can be helpful to put yourself in the place of the other person when trying to understand why people do what they do. It can also be helpful to ask yourself, "how would I like it if someone did that to me" before you do something that affects other people. However in the real world you find many different people from different cultures with different opinions on what is right and what is wrong and how people should be treated in different situations and therefore the golden rule isn't always the best guide.

The Spiritualist churches in England use a different set of principles which are superior to those use commonly used in the US and it is these principles which are explained in the chapter Principles of Spiritualism

However, on the whole, Spiritualist churches provide valuable services to the community. Many people with strong psychic abilities feel "different" from others, and have to keep quiet about their experiences for fear of being made fun of, being shunned, or being labeled "weird". They might find it a relief to meet people with the same interests, experiences and abilities at a Spiritualist church. They might also find it rewarding to find meaning and a purpose in their gift by using it to help others through spiritual healing and mediumship at the church. Mediumship is helpful for people suffering from grief, and to resolve any personal issues left unfinished by a death, and to prove that existence continues after the body dies.


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