The spirit world
Last updated 2009-09-07
The spirit world
Spiritualists teach that the spirit world exists all around and through the material world that human beings inhabit, but in a different dimension, or on a different plane.
Spiritualists believe that everyone goes to the spirit world, but that those who have done wrong go to less pleasant parts of that world – because they will gravitate to spend time with other spirit beings who behave badly.
Spirit beings can work to improve themselves and thus move to a more pleasant level of the spirit world.
Spiritualism differs from many ideas of reincarnation in that a spirit being can work to improve itself while remaining in the spirit world; it doesn't have to return to the material world to improve.
Spirit beings are people who have physically died and moved to the spirit world.
Spiritualists believe that people do this regardless of their allegiance to a particular faith or even their lack of faith.
Spiritualists believe that spirit beings can 'show' themselves (or in some way make themselves known) to people in the material world.
Messages from recognisable personalities, from relatives and friends in the spirit world show that death does not significantly change a person. Interests, knowledge, affections held before death remain with them into the next existence. Information gained during these years of communication has consistently confirmed that spirit people minister to us. They guide and influence our thoughts and actions.
Spiritualists' National Union
Spirit beings can continue to develop and improve in the spirit world, becoming wiser and better than they were in the material world. This enables some Spirit-beings to take on the role of guides and teachers to help people in this world.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
T S Eliot, Little Gidding (No 4 of Four Quartets)
A medium is a person who Spiritualists believe is able to see, hear or sense beings in the spirit world, and who carries messages from the spirit world to this world. The ability of mediums is said to be the result of enhanced natural powers, not supernatural gifts.
Spiritualists say that a medium is especially sensitive to the vibrations of the spirit world.
To become a medium Spiritualists say you have to develop a high level of sensitivity, understanding and attunement of yourself, and to some extent control the mind. Mediums go into a meditative state in order to shut out the everyday world.
Contrary to popular belief we cannot call up the dead. A medium is a person who has the ability to form a link with spirit. Spirit choose to link with us.... it's up to them who they send - I can't call up your mum, your aunt your brother or whoever else - it doesn't work that way.
Alan Baker, President of the Havant Spiritualist Church
Mental mediumship occurs when a spirit sends messages through the mind of the medium. This can producs phenomena such as:
Physical mediumship occurs when a spirit materialises or speaks through the medium.
This may involve phenomena such as rapping and levitation, spirit voices and the production of ectoplasm. (Ectoplasm, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is 'A viscous substance which is supposed to emanate from the body of a spiritualistic medium, and to develop into a human form or face.')
A medium may work in a trance state in which a spirit 'takes over' the medium to communicate directly with the people present.
Mediums are not fortune-tellers, but Spiritualists believe that the messages sent by spirit beings may give some idea of the future:
An inhabitant of the Spirit World can, to a degree, predict future events with greater or less accuracy, according to conditions. This is done by reasoning based on observation of past and present conditions and events, and is more accurate than is the same process as used by us, because the Spirit reasoner is not hampered by a physical body, nor by the conventional and set ideas that go with the limitations of such a body.
National Association of Spiritualist Churches
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