Spiritualism: is there life beyond life?
By Claire Price
Healing for the soul or spooky mumbo jumbo? What’s your view on spiritualism? Claire Price went to meet some of the more medium-minded in Poole to find out what spiritualism is really all about.
Waterstones book shop in Poole might be a rather mundane place to discuss the spirit world. But according to medium Mark Stone, that’s precisely the point.
Spirits don’t lurk in haunted houses or dark corners, he says. They are all around us - in the supermarket isle, at the bus stop and even at home.
I had gone along to the evening to hear a series of talks on different aspects of spiritualism – earth-bound spirits, mediumship and healing.
Forget ouija boards, crystal balls and ghosts. Spiritualism, according to these speakers, is much less scary than we think.
Mark Stone has been a medium since the age of 16. He works at the Light Awareness Centre in Winton, near Bournemouth.
According to him, we train our children out of understanding the spirit world.
“Children are much more perceptive to the spirit world than we think. But if they draw mummy with green hair and an orange face, we tell them they’re wrong. Yet they might be seeing an auric field that we’ve lost the ability to see.”
The spirit world, says Mark, is on a finer vibration than a radio wave but it works on the same principle. It’s all around you and - with patience - you can tune into it too.
“Spiritualism is great because you can prove it,” he adds. “I’ve heard things from the spirit world that are so specific, it’s more than just a shot in the dark.”
“Mediumship allows loved ones to show us that they’re still a part of our lives, even though they have moved on from this life. Although some of my mates think I’m an absolute fruit loop for saying that!”
While attendance at orthodox churches is steadily declining, at spiritualist churches it’s growing. The services follow a similar pattern, with prayers, a reading and an address.
What differs is its use of mediumship, which gives members of the congregation messages from beyond the grave.
“A lot of people are coming to spiritualist churches searching for answers about life,” explains Mark.
“Spiritualism isn’t just about life after death – it’s about life now. We help people ask themselves what their spirit within them wants to do. They don’t have to subscribe to anything or believe in anything.”
What the spirit within us actually is remains open to question. Wilma Davidson, author of 'Spirit Rescue' suggests it might be a spirit that has lived in another body before.
“I believe in reincarnation because there is just so much proof for it,” she tells me.
“Just recently we heard of young twins who were heard speaking to each other in Aramaic long before they had learnt to talk.”
What if you still find it hard to believe? Mark doesn’t think that’s a problem.
“I always think skepticism is good – don’t believe everything you see, read and hear. Have it proved for yourself. Go along with an open heart. You never know what might come out of the experience.”
Whether you’re a convert or a curious observer, BBC Dorset would like to hear your experiences of spiritualism. Let us know what you think.
last updated: 30/10/07
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