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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.