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Magical City
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The Meaning of Dreams
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A Premonition 14 Years in Advance
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Spirit - Spiritism and Ghosts

Spirit

Proponents of Spiritualism claim that the dead can express themselves through a medium or materialize in the form of a ghost. Born on the basis of occultism, spiritualism seeks to influence the effects of the spirit world on that of the living. Do spirits really exist? Can the living really come into contact and communicate with the dead?

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Quick history of spiritualism as mass movement

Since 1848, modern spiritualism has been regarded as a mass movement. Displaced glasses and pedestal tables, seances and psychics were the pioneers of a movement that today has 4.6 million followers in Brazil where it occupies the status of religion. Under the pseudonym of Allan Kardec, the Frenchman Leon Hippolyte Rivail compiled in his books The Book of Spirits and The Book of Mediums phenomena of apparitions. Both books still serve as a reference at this time. In the nineteenth century, circles, societies and magazines of spiritism flourished in the United States and England under the impulse of great mediums such as the American Daniel Douglas Home. In 1882, these numerous groups merged to found the Society for Psychical Research to study paranormal phenomena together. Modern parapsychology has its roots in this movement.

Since the Second World War, spiritualism has been experiencing renewed vitality in Europe and the United States. Modern advocates, however, aim for objective, fact-based research. Interested in practice, they no longer turn to romantic ideas and religious dogmas. In his book Die andere Welt (The Other World, 1962), parapsychologist Hans Geisler explains that questions around eternity, the afterlife and the meaning of life must be treated with scientific accuracy and systematic. Examination and experience are in the foreground. Geisler estimates that about 200 million people are involved, actively or passively, in the theme of spiritualism.

The techniques of spiritualism

The techniques of necromancy are multiple and all effective, in their own way. They are about communication, regardless of whether the tables are spinning and the glasses are moving, whether through automatic writing or speech, or experiences with recorded voices. If they are applied correctly, they all end with the same result: communication with the world of spirits and the dead. Success is complete when the session is chaired by a medium, a person with extraordinary energy abilities.

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The question arises of the identification of the contacted entity. One can not be sure of being in the presence of the person invoked. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling in Theorie der Geisterkunde (Theory of Spiritualism) explains that the world is inhabited by spirits that distinguish us as little as we see them. If an unexpected communication takes place, they are as scared as we are. If the contact proves positive, a fruitful exchange is established. It can not, however, be assured of the friendly behavior of an entity. Because, like the world of humans, that of the spirits has its share of dangerous elements. It is undeniable that spawning with the parallel world remains a risky adventure. The following paragraphs describe the most popular necromancy technique, that of moving the glasses.

The technique of glasses

The glasses method is the simplest and most popular technique of spiritism among the uninitiated, because it allows to quickly obtain convincing results. It requires a smooth table, a glass, papers showing all the letters of the alphabet, numbers from zero to nine, and the words yes and no. The glass is returned to the center of the table and the participants all place a finger on it. Once the assembly is highly concentrated, a spirit is called. It may be an entity in particular, a deceased relative of one of the members of the assembly, or another death required for the session. If the handshake is successful, the glass starts to move. The participants ask questions whose answers are given via the movements of the glass towards the different letters. At this point a problem can arise as often the answers are telepathically imbedded in the consciousness of one or more participants. It is then important to distinguish whether it is a real communication with an entity or a message from his own unconscious.

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Ectoplasms

In biology, the term ectoplasm refers to the protoplasmic layer of a cell. In parapsychology, it is the psychophysical substance supposed to rise above the medium, in the form of a greyish veil, when the first contact with a spirit is established. Ectoplasm is considered as an unstable and photosensitive organic substance, emitted by spirits, which allows them to materialize and to carry out telekinetic actions. Often invisible to the naked eye, the ectoplasm however appears on the photographs. Many scientists regard this indefinable substance as a trickery resulting from the manipulation of a gas.

The dangers of spiritualism and necromancy

Parapsychologists very strongly insist on the dangers associated with spiritualism. Many people rub shoulders with this mystery without adopting a positive mindset, most are unaware of the potential for risks and possible repercussions. The author Johann Edgar enumerates the following risks:

Dependence and blind trust

Necromancy is often used as a decision aid in various real-life situations. This practice weakens the faculty of self-determination. Weak people are in danger of subjecting their judgment to these interrogation sessions. Edgar warns of the risk of giving up his free will. Not all minds have good intentions, some are playing with those who question them blindly.

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Anxieties

For many uninitiated, the period following the session, especially if it was poorly conducted, is accompanied by anxiety. This side effect manifests itself especially when a materialization (appearance of a spirit) has taken place. In some cases, anxiety states become unbearable and require medical treatment.

Obsession and possession

By obsession, Johann Edgar describes the negative influence exerted by entities of the parallel world. The subject is literally "obsessed" by spirits and they develop a stranglehold over his life until he is no longer able to act. The higher degree of this influence is possession. There, an external entity seizes the body of its victim and controls completely. Like drugs, these dangers can lead to great social distress and lead to psychiatric hospitalization or even suicide.

Allan Kardec

Allan Kardec (1804-1869), a pioneer of spiritualism, was a pupil of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi before becoming a pedagogue and then a spiritualist researcher. His books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. His work finds an extremely favorable echo in Brazil where was published in 1957 a stamp in honor of the centenary of the first edition of his Book of Spirits.

French physiologist and Nobel prize winner Charles Richet paid tribute to Kardec's leading role in the development of spiritualism: "We must admire Allan Kardec's intellectual energy without reserve. He relies constantly on experience, so his work should not be recognized only as a grandiose and consistent theory, but also as an impressive compilation of facts. "

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