THE FUTURE OF SPIRITUALISM
The hopes of the early pioneers of Spiritualism, that in a hundred years time, all intelligent people would accept its truths, have hardly been realised. The followers of the major religions still hold to their beliefs while materialists, who believe that life ends at death, have increased in numbers, lead by scientists like Dr Dawkins and philosophers like Satre and Camus.
With S.N.U. churches declining in number and attendances falling in some churches, one has to ask the reason, when we have such an amazing and provable truth that gives meaning and purpose to life.
Admittedly there have been some successes. Mediums may now legally demonstrate in theatres and on television, as well as in churches. Many people do not know the reason for the two little windows built into the back of some older churches, where a watch was kept to warn of the arrival of the police. When John Edward visited Australia, 30,000 people paid up to $100 each to see him but attendance at spiritualist churches did not notably increase as a result.
The general climate of opinion is not favourable to any religions and church attendances are falling world-wide but, I suggest we should look at the reasons affecting Spiritualism in particular if we wish to reverse the present trends.
Death in the family has always been a natural stimulus to facing the question,'Is there a life after death?' Such deaths are much less common nowadays. In 1950, the average expectation of life was 56 years – it now nudges 80 years and far fewer babies and children die young than previously.
There is said to be a shortage of first class mediums, and I can think of only three whose arrival will double our church attendance and whose private reading are booked long before they arrive. I think people are no longer wiling to spend ten or twenty years 'developing' as they did years ago. Before the arrival of television and radio, life at home could be very dull in the evenings, and to go to a circle once a week gave an interest to life. Now TV holds many in its grip and we have to compete with 'East Enders', and, 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'
Do the 'Seven Principles' of Spiritualism need to be revised or updated? The most evolved teachers we have had, have emphasized that Love is the greatest power in the universe, yet the word does not even appear in our principles, or, indeed, in some practices I have seen.
I remember when we put on an evening for children who had escaped from Tibet by trekking through snow-bound mountains. Although people came to give and not to receive, the church was full and people stood at the back. I think they were motivated by unconditional love for children they would never meet.
New Age thinking is said to be more popular with the young than Spiritualism and New Age websites out number Spiritualist ones, although the 'Leslie Flint Foundation' site, the amazing Helen Duncan site, and my own site, where spirits can be heard speaking, do get steady visitor numbers.
There are other factors which spread the idea that there is a life after death and communication is possible between the two worlds. The same television which discourages some from sitting for years to develop has many programmes which takes mediumship as their basis. Last week I counted seven such programmes and this week Tony Robinson with 'The Blitz Watch', airs the story of Helen Duncan, the gifted physical medium, martyred because of her accuracy, in the interests of security before the opening of the Second Front in WW II.
In the January edition of Saga Magazine, which is the U.K.'s best seller, there is a most appreciative article about the Findhorn Community, which it admits was founded entirely as a result of Spirit communications through Eileen Caddy and Dorothy McClean. They praise it as a world authority and the world's number one eco-friendly community, with half the eco-footprint of any similar community in the developed world, with representation on the United Nations Values Committee and NGO Executive Committee.
What does the Spirit World think? The White Brotherhood say that we are making progress and are actually ahead of where they expected Spiritualism to be by now. When King George VI spoke through John Turner, he felt that our truth would be taught in schools eventually, but not for some centuries. (I was lucky enough to teach 'Life After Death', officially, to the 600 pupils in the Upper School of a Comprehensive School for five years before I retired.)
We have to remember the different branches of Spiritualism. We have the S.N.U. With its Seven Principles, The Greater World, with its Christian emphasis, the Spiritists who follow Allan Kardec and accept reincarnation as do the many Spiritists in Brazil. In Vietnam are millions who follow Caodaism, founded in 1926, which accepts spirit communication and reincarnation, with traces of Buddhism and Taoism, while millions across the globe practice ancestor worship which often includes spirit communication in some form.
Reverting to the U.K., the S.N.U. will push ahead with its new structure and its international Website, and many of the 32,000 Spiritualists registered at the last census will work to spread the truth. In spite of what some people feel, the great strength of the S.N.U., in my opinion, is its continuing central organisation and structure which provides expert education and experienced guidance in legal and financial matters. In America when Spiritualism blossomed and overtook the orthodox churches in numbers, under the onslaught of the press and the older churches, it all fell away, as the individual church founders retired or died and the churches closed. A continuing organisation is essential to keep the movement going until the present materialism wanes as we are assured it will.
There are many other factors working to educate the public. In London, the 'Spirit Release Foundation', founded by Dr Alan Sanderson, trains people to release patients from obsessing spirits . Details can be seen on their website which has excellent case studies of spirits released to move on to their proper place in the Spirit World. After Konstantin Raudive recorded 70,000 spirit voices speaking on the 'white noise' on radio, Sarah Estep recorded many more thousands in the USA. The Electronic Voice Phenomena has spread to 20 countries and can be heard on EVP on the Internet.
A powerful influence is Michael Newton, whose books, 'Journey of Souls' and 'Destiny of Souls' have sold world wide. As a master hypnotist and counsellor as well as a deep space astronomer, his techniques of regression have shown that in every human being there exists a memory of their previous life in the spirit world which his method can reveal and he is now teaching teachers across the world how to do this work. His studies confirm everything that spiritualism teaches without any use of the mediumistic gift.
Most people have heard about the Near Death Experience where people leave their bodies and experience blissful feelings, see a brilliant, loving light and meet deceased relatives. All these influences are gradually spreading the idea that there really is an existence following this one, so while churches may not be spreading at the moment, the truth is permeating slowly outside them. As the poet Arthur Clough wrote,
“For while the tired waves vainly beating,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, come in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward look, the land is bright.”
Some may say, 'Does it matter? After all, everyone finds out about Spiritualism after they die, no matter what they believed!' A White Brother said to our group,
'It is essential that a foothold, as it were, shall be gained among mankind, for his sight is blinded the glitter of his folly, and because he is so dazzled, he cannot see or recognise the guiding hand which is offered. Thus do we call you together who came for this purpose.'
I have a feeling that Spiritualism needs to be more profound if it to spread world-wide. Can we answer such questions as,' Does the Universe have a purpose? And what is the ultimate destiny of mankind?' I believe we can and I do think we have evidence that we are destined to be co-creators with God and that we can extend the field of science to a point where it can blend with Spiritualism to provide the most satisfactory philosophy so far achieved by mankind.
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