Dear Readers, Wendy Stokes, Lightworker, Channeler, and Author of The Lightworkers Circle Guide—a Workbook for Spiritual Groups, wrote a very interesting guest column about channeling for us in January 2013. I loved her column so much that I invited her to come back and visit again; and fortunately, she took me up on my offer! Without any further ado, let’s get right to the information that Wendy has researched for us about spirit contact:
- Contact with spirits, angels and demons are mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament. Most religious movements began with a medium receiving a message from an angel or spirit of some kind.
- The founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley (1703-1791), reported poltergeist activity at his childhood home, the Epworth Vicarage.
- William Blake (1757-1827), inspirational poet and artist saw angels sitting in a tree when he was a child.
- Inventor and scientist, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) devoted his later life to writing a huge corpus of work detailing spirit based messages about this world and the afterlife.
- Several great thinkers were influenced by Anton Mesmer, a Vienna born doctor (1734-1815). His work on spiritual healing was a revolutionary discovery. It was called ‘magnetic healing’. ‘Passes’ (hand gestures) were made over an unwell patient and recovery would frequently take place, sometimes with reports from patients that they had made contact with supernatural beings. He introduced ‘induced somnambulism’ into his practise and this was met with great excitement. Later, in Paris, he developed his practise further and this discovery branched out in several directions.
- In the early 1820’s Joseph Smith’s contact with an angel inspired the foundation of Mormonism.
- In 1842, a Scottish surgeon, James Braid, used hypnosis and in the state of New York.
- Andrew Jackson Davis, a Spiritualist and prophet published Principles of Nature – Her Divine Revelations in 1847. Many other of his books were inspired, and sometimes dictated, by named people from the spirit realms.
- In 1848, Margaret and Kate Fox, whilst still teenagers became famous mediums by responding to spirit raps in their new home in the state of New York.
- At the same time, and also influenced by the work of Mesmer, was a French educationist, Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail who later took the name, Allan Kardec. Allan Kardec conducted research using several mediums who were asked a large number of questions about the spirit realms and these results were codified into several books beginning with the first published book in 1857. He coined the word ‘Spiritism’. Brazil has four million adherents to Spiritism and hospitals, schools and centres are devoted to spiritual healing and teaching.
- The first combined international conference of the British Union of Spiritist Societies and the Spirit Release Foundation was entitled: Working with SOUL in Illness and in Health. The theme was the unification of several branches of science that also highlight the importance of the spiritual dimension (which is often ignored or dismissed by scientists). Dr. Marlene Nobre, the President of the International Medical Spiritist Association of Brazil was accompanied in her role as co-chair by Dr. Andrew Powell, a psychotherapist and member of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Founder of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group. These two experts have brought together nine British and Brazilian specialists, seven are qualified doctors, some of whom are therapists, and some are Spiritist mediums. Approximately 150 delegates attended the conference. These delegates were from a variety of different disciplines and professions, including those from the complementary, holistic and other health fields and included those working in the area of spirituality, such as mediums and healers.
- Throughout time and throughout the world all kinds of deities, angels and spirits have provided necessary ethical instruction and all types of spiritual healing and guidance. Jesus used the laying on of hands, acceptance, forgiveness, calmness and a sincere approach, moral guidance and a commitment to recovery. He also used an ancient form of exorcism to banish harmful spirits.
- Before the days of allopathic medicine, health needs were the prime concern of spiritual teachers. In second and third world countries today, there is often no free health service for the average person and many ancient methods are still used by practitioners, and found to be very effective for many common ailments. In addition, these old ways are cheaper, do not involve animal experimentation, have fewer side effects (known and unknown), and do not contribute to chemical pollution of the planet.
It is rather strange that modern psychiatry considers spiritual, mystical and ecstatic states to be evidence of a mental disorder, especially when we consider the importance of religion at strategic times in our lives and the enduring nature of religious belief. Even those in the peak of health and happiness sometimes have extraordinary “peak experiences” that could be diagnosed as ‘psychotic’ by the psychiatric profession.
It is thought that those with a religious belief are both happier and healthier than those with none, yet the spiritual dimension is ignored and denied by the majority of psychiatrists and psychotherapists. If we were able to create ideal conditions for those presently diagnosed with mental illness, perhaps we could help them to cope better and lead more productive and meaningful lives.
Thank you, Wendy, for this important and interesting information. After reading what you’ve written about spirit contact, I called my sister and research assistant, Debbie Ihburg Smith, and we agree that we are going to start a new series of columns on this subject. Be sure to visit these websites for more about this fascinating subject and upcoming conferences: http://www.buss.org.uk/ & http://www.sma-us.org/content/about-spiritism-0.
About Wendy Stokes: In addition to writing books and magazine articles about channeling, healing, divination, dreams, shamanism, and past lives, Wendy also has a website, blog, and Facebook page; and offers workshops and courses on healing, divination, and mediumship. Wendy donates her royalties to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust for the protection of endangered species.
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Here are some past columns you might enjoy: