Messages


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms.

Messages

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Messages are the communications received from the spirit world through the agencies of mediums. Messages can be received in various ways: through a medium’s clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.; through rappings, automatic writing, slate writing, independent writing/voice, table tipping, talking boards, and so on.

The test of a message is its veracity. Many times the information received is not previously known by the sitter and must be investigated. Finding that it is accurate is authentication that the message comes from spirit. There is occasionally criticism by those not familiar with Spiritualism that the messages received are invariably trivial. Yet it is the triviality that provides the greatest proof of life after death, for minor personal details are provided by spirit that could never be known except to the individuals concerned.

Much depends upon the ability of the medium, for many messages are symbolic. A medium may try to interpret the symbolism and do so incorrectly. It is therefore best if a medium simply relays what is seen, heard, or sensed, without trying to interpret it. Professor James Hervey Hyslop (1854–1920) believed that the nature of the medium’s mind might also present a difficulty in clear communication. He gave the example of a spirit being a good visualizer and the medium not being so. Any pictorial message then given might come through very imperfectly.

Psychical investigator Dr. Richard Hodgson (1855–1905) examined the medium Leonore Piper and described three kinds of possible confusion, “(i) the confusion in the spirit; whether he is communicating or not, due primarily to his mental or bodily conditions when living, (ii) the confusion in the spirit produced by the conditions into which he comes when in the act of communicating, (iii) the confusion in the result due to the failure of complete control over the (automatic) writing, or other mechanism of the medium.”

There have been cases of messages that apparently originated from living people, though they were unaware of the transmissions at the time. In most cases this occurred when the living person was asleep. John Worth Edmonds (1816–1874) was the first in America to suggest the living origins of some messages, in his Spiritual Tracts (October 24, 1857). Allan Kardec, the spiritist, was the first to propose the same idea in France.

Sources:

Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
References in classic literature ?
The impertinence of Lady Lundie's message is no more than I should have expected from her," she said.
So D'Arnot wrote a message on the bark, in English.
Your native shrewdness, my dear Watson, that innate cunning which is the delight of your friends, would surely prevent you from inclosing cipher and message in the same envelope.
On her left hand she bore a hawk, a proof to Don Quixote's mind that she must be some great lady and the mistress of the whole hunting party, which was the fact; so he said to Sancho, "Run Sancho, my son, and say to that lady on the palfrey with the hawk that I, the Knight of the Lions, kiss the hands of her exalted beauty, and if her excellence will grant me leave I will go and kiss them in person and place myself at her service for aught that may be in my power and her highness may command; and mind, Sancho, how thou speakest, and take care not to thrust in any of thy proverbs into thy message.
It had paid out its first million for legal expenses by 1886; began first to send a million messages a day in 1888; had strung its first million miles of wire in 1900; and had installed its first million telephones in 1898.
And while the message was being read, in her eyes persisted the vision of her mother.
Three days later a message was left scrawled upon paper, and placed under a pebble upon the sundial.
If he were less generous he would have sent you a halter rather than this message which I bear.
You know what the withholding of this message you carry may mean," Mr.
The real Banking-house by Temple Bar, the real business of the past day, the real strong rooms, the real express sent after him, and the real message returned, would all be there.
When he returned, the message was written out in lead pencil:--
he cried, "I've just had a message from a cousin of mine in Africa.