Light After Life

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Video of the Week now showing on the Portal is: 'Beyond Our Sight'

am I a Spiritualist?

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Post by mac on 14th February 2019, 04:51

After mentioning special-interest Facebook Pages and the SNU's website I realised I needed to get up to date about the latter. While wandering around the SNU website I stumbled on a 'Spiritualism Q&A' which I just had to inspect.

One question was 'How Do I Become A Spiritualist' to which part of the answer was: "Once you have decided that you wish to be a Spiritualist, you will be taking on or changing to a new religion." Is that what others see as becoming a Spiritualist? It's certainly not the way mac became a Spiritualist and I sure as hell didn't take on a new religion or change from another!

Being a Spiritualist - I double-dare anyone to suggest I'm not! - does not involve me with religion or the SNU. Now if I wanted to become a union member I would expect to conform to union rules as with any other union I might join - but being a Spiritualist does not need anyone to adopt or reject a religion or join a union! very happy

The SNU presents things somewhat more prescriptively than I do when I speak to folk..... Wink
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Post by Candlelight.kk on 14th February 2019, 13:57

mac wrote:....

One question was 'How Do I Become A Spiritualist' to which part of the answer was: "Once you have decided that you wish to be a Spiritualist, you will be taking on or changing to a new religion." Is that what others see as becoming a Spiritualist? It's certainly not the way mac became a Spiritualist and I sure as hell didn't take on a new religion or change from another!

Being a Spiritualist - I double-dare anyone to suggest I'm not! - does not involve me with religion or the SNU. Now if I wanted to become a union member I would expect to conform to union rules as with any other union I might join - but being a Spiritualist does not need anyone to adopt or reject a religion or join a union! very happy

The SNU presents things somewhat more prescriptively than I do when I speak to folk..... Wink

I absolutely agree with you there, mac. I personally regard 'Spiritualism' as a philosophy, a way of life.

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Post by Candlelight.kk on 14th February 2019, 15:51

An interview here with Steven Upton, an 'ordained minister' of the Spiritualists' National Union, giving his ideas on what being a Spiritualist is all about, and it is definitely a religion as far as he is concerned:

'We spoke to a Spiritualist about healing, talking to the dead and the most common messages they hear'
http://home.bt.com/news/features/we-spoke-to-a-spiritualist-about-healing-talking-to-the-dead-and-the-most-common-messages-they-hear-11363988166976

Steven Upton is one of the leading exponents and teachers of trance healing in the SNU.
Extract from the interview (talking about the healing aspect of Spiritualism from his point of view):
“Statistically, 66% claimed to receive either a major beneficial change or a complete fix of their problem from a single sitting. The other third report either no apparent change or a temporary one that then relapsed.
I had a trance healing session with Steven Upton when visiting the Arthur Findlay College one of the days during the College's 2008 Open Week. So many interesting things to take part in all through the day, it was a fabulous experience, especially as I was at that time sitting regularly in a closed trance circle (development class) with the medium Mercedes Garcia, at the SAGB and so at the time had a particularly enthusiastic interest in the trance aspect of Spiritualism. Have to say, I was rather disappointed with that sitting; I guess I was one of the 33% mentioned above, with "no apparent change" to report.
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Post by mac on 14th February 2019, 18:39

Candlelight.kk wrote:An interview here with Steven Upton, an 'ordained minister' of the Spiritualists' National Union, giving his ideas on what being a Spiritualist is all about, and it is definitely a religion as far as he is concerned:

'We spoke to a Spiritualist about healing, talking to the dead and the most common messages they hear'
http://home.bt.com/news/features/we-spoke-to-a-spiritualist-about-healing-talking-to-the-dead-and-the-most-common-messages-they-hear-11363988166976

I can certainly accept that Modern Spiritualism is a religion (though I'm aware why it had to be constituted as such) just as I accept its teachings is a philosophy for my incarnate life. I'm less persuaded it's a science. But I do not subscribe to any accepance of, or adherence to, 'The Seven Principles' determining whether I'm a Spiritualist! Overall, though, I quite liked the general tone of the interview and found little with which I'd disagree.

Steven Upton is one of the leading exponents and teachers of trance healing in the SNU.

I have never heard that term 'trance healing' and don't understand the difference between it and plain-vanilla spiritual healing.


[quote]Extract from the interview (talking about the healing aspect of Spiritualism from his point of view):
“Statistically, 66% claimed to receive either a major beneficial change or a complete fix of their problem from a single sitting. The other third report either no apparent change or a temporary one that then relapsed.

I wasn't aware of those statistics. If they were consistent year-on-year for spiritual healing generally I'd be impressed by them, particularly as it may be the most unresponsive conditions that land on a healer's doorstep.

I had a trance healing session with Steven Upton when visiting the Arthur Findlay College one of the days during the College's 2008 Open Week. So many interesting things to take part in all through the day, it was a fabulous experience, especially as I was at that time sitting regularly in a closed trance circle (development class) with the medium Mercedes Garcia, at the SAGB and so at the time had a particularly enthusiastic interest in the trance aspect of Spiritualism. Have to say, I was rather disappointed with that sitting; I guess I was one of the 33% mentioned above, with "no apparent change" to report.

It's gotta be tough when someone enthusiastic, not a sceptic or cynic, is in the group it doesn't work for. I'd be disappointed too. As I remarked earlier I wasn't aware of 'trance healing' as such although given that healing is a form of mediumship I suppose/ trance healing mediumship is simply another form of trance mediumship .

My only experience of the SAGB was a single visit made with my wife after the death of our baby son. We had a sitting with a medium who gave us nothing but drivel from beginning to end. Despite that we weren't downhearted as we were being supported by a medium friend at that time and the SAGB visit was as much for my experience as it was for information - good thing it was!

I was awed at being there, at the old building that had meant so much to the Spiritualism scene for so long. It also meant a lot to me, a virgin Spiritualist, just to be able to visit this important place and have a sitting - even though that was dreadful! And in the cafe in the basement I remember seeing this guy in the gloom, someone I recognised as Tom Johanson, an important guy at the time, I think. I knew him from articles in PN. Wink God that seems an eternity ago.....
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Post by Candlelight.kk on 14th February 2019, 19:06

mac wrote:
It's gotta be tough when someone enthusiastic, not a sceptic or cynic, is in the group it doesn't work for.  I'd be disappointed too.  As I remarked earlier I wasn't aware of 'trance healing' as such although given that healing is a form of mediumship I suppose/ trance healing mediumship is simply another form of  trance mediumship .

It was actualy the private 'trance healing' session with Steven Upton that I was disappointed with, not my time in the circle at SAGB! I absolutely loved it there. From the very first moment I felt 'at home' and felt this is what I was meant to be doing. Unfortunately, I was unable to continue because I was hit with my second diagnosis of breast cancer (I had just got the official 5-year "All Clear" from the first time round), and with the length of time involved having treatment and even though I declined the recommended chemotherapy treatment, I still had to have the radiotherapy sessions etc following surgery, meant I sometimes had to miss sittings over a period of time. The whole point of being in a circle like that is dedication, and to be doing it on a regular basis, which unfortunately I wasn't able to keep up with at that time. It wasn't fair on the others in the group either, to have one of their members missing out on so many occasions, so I very reluctantly had to put all of that on hold for quite a time.
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Post by mac on 14th February 2019, 21:38

Tom Johanson


I had earlier needed to check the spelling of Johanson and on later finding a link to a website featuring him and Coral Polge I took a look. Above is a link on the website to a short video made in 1981 - jeez that's such a long time ago but I did enjoy seeing Tom at work as a healing medium.
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Post by mac on 14th February 2019, 21:50

Candlelight.kk wrote:
mac wrote:
It's gotta be tough when someone enthusiastic, not a sceptic or cynic, is in the group it doesn't work for.  I'd be disappointed too.  As I remarked earlier I wasn't aware of 'trance healing' as such although given that healing is a form of mediumship I suppose/ trance healing mediumship is simply another form of  trance mediumship .

It was actualy the private 'trance healing' session with Steven Upton that I was disappointed with, not my time in the circle at SAGB! I absolutely loved it there. From the very first moment I felt 'at home' and felt this is what I was meant to be doing. Unfortunately, I was unable to continue because I was hit with my second diagnosis of breast cancer (I had just got the official 5-year "All Clear" from the first time round), and with the length of time involved having treatment and even though I declined the recommended chemotherapy treatment, I still had to have the radiotherapy sessions etc following surgery, meant I sometimes had to miss sittings over a period of time. The whole point of being in a circle like that is dedication, and to be doing it on a regular basis, which unfortunately I wasn't able to keep up with at that time. It wasn't fair on the others in the group either, to have one of their members missing out on so many occasions, so I very reluctantly had to put all of that on hold for quite a time.

Oh I followed what you'd meant - it's very clear how enthusiastic you were about your mediumistic development. Was it in connection with the cancer that you went to see Upton?

I confess I'm far from persuaded about the overall efficacy of spiritual healing. Oh sure there can be, and have been, spectacularly successful interventions (not necessarily achieving a cure but providing significant improvement in someone's condition) but without statistics we just don't know how effective healing is in general.

Do you sit as a medium now, kk?
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Post by mac on 14th February 2019, 23:08

As we've had a wet day and I'm stuck indoors I've taken the opportunity to look at the SNU website and have been suprised to see what a bias towards healing there is.

One menu tab was titled 'Healing and Mediumship' but contained nothing about mediumship.

A website page heading is for approved healers but I was unable to find anything equivalent for approved mediums. There was even a searchable page with push pins on a Google map showing the location of ministers and healers but again no mention of mediums unless somehow I've simply missed seeing it.

I'm not a member hence can not query any of the officials but it's left me wondering what the SNU is about..... Rolling Eyes
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Post by Candlelight.kk on 15th February 2019, 00:13

mac wrote: Was it in connection with the cancer that you went to see Upton?
No, when I visited the Arthur Findlay College for the first time I was in good health, and sitting weekly in two development circles at the SAGB - every 2 weeks in the Trance circle with Mercedes, and the in-between week in the Intermediate Development class with Alan Acton. (It was actually the year leading up to my second cancer bout, I had been four years cancer-free at that stage).
I'm not really sure what I expected from the Steven Upton session, but I just remember *nothing* happening, feeling rather uncomfortable sitting very still on the chair for that length of time (half an hour or so) listening to Steven every now and then drawing and outletting some very heavy sighs of breath - and it was rather off-putting also to have this other lady sitting on a chair in the corner of this tiny room opposite us, just watching. (I had already learned from my Mercedes circle that you ought not to sit for trance by yourself; there should really be at least one other person, if only to witness and record what happens, if anything, as when a medium is in deep trance (there are 3 levels) they of course know nothing about what may have occurred during their trance state and have to rely on the account of witnesses or recordings.

On my second visit for Open Week at AFC, the following year, I had a bad knee on that day and also for a few days before that - nothing serious, just a bit painful with movement, probably a strain or a nerve. I had had a very full and interesting day, attending various demonstrations, workshops and lectures, and the highlight for me and my friend who was with me was yet to come, as Tony Stockwell was going to be doing a demonstration at 7:30 that evening and we were hanging on for that. As all the day's events had finished there was some free time to spare before Tony's dem. I heard that walk-in healing was being done by various healers in The Sanctuary throughout the day, so I just thought I'd go and investigate, more to fill in the time really, and I was interested to see if anyone might just be able to ease off the pain in my leg, or at least give me an idea what was the cause ... When I got there, they were actually just finishing up for the day (I think there were about 4 or 5 healers who had been working there), but as I had appeared so disappointed, one of them (no idea of the name) said he would fit me in as the last one of the day. I sat down on a stool in front of him, and he asked me if I had had healing of this sort done before, and I explained that yes I had (at the walk-in healing at SAGB) and I knew what it was all about. He asked me then if there's any particular area I would like to concentrate on. I said yes there is (thinking of my hurting leg) but that I would rather not tell him what that area is, as I hoped that the healing would be directed to where it was needed anyway.
When finished, I asked him to tell me what was the ailment he had been concentrating on. He said oh I am sure you know we are not allowed to diagnose ... I said yes I'm aware of that, but you're not diagnosing by just telling me what area the healing was being directed to. He could see I wasn't going to give up with this, so then he said okay, all I'm going to say is there is a particular problem in this area here (pointing and making a circle in the air with his hands towards and around the left side of my chest.)
Well, I left there pretty much disgusted, thinking yer man was obviously pretty hopeless; I remember saying to my friend when she asked how did I get on - Nah, he was no more a healer than my cat ... and I still had the dodgy knee.
Just before I went to AFC, I had had what was supposed to be my last mammagram check-up, as it was now five years since my breast cancer treatment. I was given the official "All Clear" at that check-up, but they had arranged one further overall final check-up in about 6 weeks time. At that 'final' appointment in June they discovered a cancerous tumour, this time in the other breast (the left one - the precise area where yer man had pinpointed!)...

mac wrote:I confess I'm far from persuaded about the overall efficacy of spiritual healing. Oh sure there can be, and have been, spectacularly successful interventions (not necessarily achieving a cure but providing significant improvement in someone's condition) but without statistics we just don't know how effective healing is in general.

Do you sit as a medium now, kk?

I did start back for a time at the Development Circle at LSM (the independent Spiritualist Church - my 'local', where Gordon Smith is now the president and the development circles are run by mediums under his initial tutelage. Obviously, he is a pretty busy guy and travels all over the world doing workshops and demonstrations, so can't always be there to head the development circles, but every now and then when he was down in London we would have the privilege of his taking the circle - and when new development circles start up there, they are always with Gordon at the head to start off.

Sadly, I have had to yet again give up the regular group sittings, as together with the chronic degenerative disc disease, I now have other ongoing ailments added on top which means my mobility has become evermore restricted and so sitting in a chair or indeed being in any restricted position for any length of time has become just more difficult. I just can't manage to keep doing it on a regular basis.

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Post by Candlelight.kk on 15th February 2019, 00:24

That was a lovely video of Tom Johanson. I've not heard of him before. I wonder if the monk / very well known UK psychic he spoke of at the beginning of the video was Glyn Edwards (an excellent trance healer/medium who was a former monk). https://www.psychicnews.org.uk/articles/Glyn-Edwards-passes-to-spirit-world

I attended one of Glyn's all-day workshops some years back at the SAGB. It was a very magical and memorable day for me. Glyn was an excellent tutor and a really lovely man. Tired now and it's very late, but I will come back to tell about the fabulous, unforgettable experience that I had that day ...
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Post by mac on 15th February 2019, 04:39

I shall look forward to hearing about the session with Glyn Edwards you've mentioned, kk. Smile

Interesting what you've said about the healing session you thought was bogus - it's easy to think healing will target the obvious problem, the one you're in pain from - been there, done that.....

I follow now what 'trance healing' is about but I hadn't heard of it previously. I understand that a healer may be 'under the control' (poor choice of words) of a discarnate healer and may be slightly in trance when working but I didn't know about apparently deep-trance healing the way you've described. Guess there's still more for me to learn.

I found it a little odd when I saw Tom Johanson because he was watching us, me and my wife. Nothing exceptional about that but we were hardly folk you'd take even a brief look at let alone sit watching us. Odd too that I knew who he was. Neutral

I'm glad you enjoyed the video - I did too. Maybe it was Glyn Edwards who Tom referred to - I remember his name but I only knew of him what I'd read in PN.

Did your development progress to the point where you could sit as a medium, while you were more mobile? Sorry if I haven't expressed myself well.
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Post by Candlelight.kk on 22nd February 2019, 14:34

Getting back to the Glyn Edwards workshop. It was a day-long packed workshop covering various aspects of mediumship, run by Glyn Edwards. My first and only time to have met Glyn. There were about 30-40 people in attendance and throughout the day we took part in different activities. His workshops were about "understanding your true potential and the excellence of that potential."

From the Glyn Edwards Spiritual Awareness Foundation, which honours the teachings and Spiritual direction of Glyn Edwards:
Glyn was particularly known for the quality of his mediumship and his ability to demonstrate it almost effortlessly in front of large audiences.
He was also respected for his understanding of, and insight into, different areas of mediumistic unfoldment and his ability to enable students to recognise for themselves the individuality of their mediumistic potential, and to help them establish it as a real means of their own Spiritual awareness.
Glyn also had a very wide and deep experience of physical mediumship (Materialisation, Direct Voice, Apport Mediumship, Levitation) and all forms of activity within the trance states in physical mediumship. He was also a trance medium through which a large body of information both philosophically and evidentially had been a means for a furtherance of his own mediumistic potential.

As Glyn wrote in 2015:

‘To achieve this, you must play your part because these are not courses that offer a quick way, but that require commitment , openness, and willingness to discover what is true and real about the potential within you.’

‘It will rest in your hands as to whether the excellence of your potential unfolds and blossoms. Your input, your attention and your willingness to focus are essential to the success of these courses.’

During one part of the day, Glyn instructed us to form into pairs in the room, and for one of the pair to attempt to give a reading to the other person. The person receiving the reading was not to give any comments or reaction whilst the reading was going on, and only when finished they would give their feedback to the reader.
The reader was to just convey to the sitter opposite what they were getting, as they got it, if anything.

I had done this sort of exercise before as part of development classes I had been in, where generally I would get a very fleeting image of a person to start with, usually to the right of the sitter and slightly behind them. Then information would flash up above their heads, usually in the form of one word spelt out in capital letters, like a name, or a date, always very fleeting. I remember the very first time I did it (at the development class), getting this fleeting image of a man's face to the sitter's right - and with it came just a feeling that it was her father. I remember describing the face and saying to the sitter I have a feeling this is your father - and immediately I said that the word 'GRAND' flashed up before my eyes, printed in capital letters and very large. So, I corrected that by saying, no - it's your grandfather, and then the word ROBBIE flashed up very quickly and then disappeared as fast as it had appeared. Turned out it was indeed her grandfather and his name was Robert, known to everyone as Robbie, so at that stage that was the way I was used to getting my information up until then.

So, I was being the reader first this day and the lady opposite me was a complete stranger to me, neither of us had met before. I asked if I could just hold her hands for a moment while I closed my eyes and in my mind asked if there was anyone in spirit that wishes to contact this lady. When I opened my eyes, I actually got a little bit of a fright because sure enough, to her right and slightly behind was the very life-like face and shoulders of a lady with all the features so meticulously detailed - and it was not just a fleeting flash. The image stayed there the whole time while I was describing her. A name came in capital letters above the image's head, which I relayed to the sitter and as I said the name a tingle shot through my head right down to my toes. The image was still there, and became even clearer and animated, and a smile came across her face! Then a date was printed in front of my eyes, very large (I remember the date printed up was just a few days off from that day - and then the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY 83 flashed fleetingly in front of me. I said to the sitter, her birthday was on the date I had seen - and again, as soon as I spoke the words the tingle rushed through my body from top of my head right down to my toes. The lady's image disappeared and I then got this very strong feeling that I wanted to dance - I actually felt as though I was physically moving my legs and feet and dancing (although it was confirmed afterwards that I didn't move at all as I said to the sitter I can't keep my feet still, I just feel I want to dance).
Next the vision in front of me changed and to my left were shelves and shelves filled with books. A hand appeared from the right - just a hand, but very large and started taking out books from the shelves and putting them in a pile on the floor. Then the hand picked up the pile of books from the floor and handed them to me. This pile of books was very large in front of me. I actually felt as though I was there and could smell the pages of the books! It was weird. Then - the scene in front of me changed to a front garden, it felt as though I was standing at the front door of a house looking up the garden path with a small gate at the end. (I'm relaying all this to the sitter as it happens ...) Then, very large to the front of this scene and slightly to the left, was a face of a young boy, who I described in detail to the sitter. I felt this boy was about 12 years old, with a brown face, big brown eyes and shiny black sticky-up hair, like it had gel in it to mould into a style to make it stick up. Because of its clarity and size, and the fact that this face had appeared in the left-hand corner of my vision and so very large and close (to me), I felt that this boy was still living. I said this to the sitter while describing him - and the tingle shot into my head and vibrated down through my body again. This boy then walked down the garden path, opened the gate and closed it behind him and stood outside it looking back at me and then he started to cry. I felt a strong urge that I just wanted to put my arms around him and give him a hug to comfort him. That was it. I got no more.
Feedback time from the sitter: She said the lady was a very good friend who had passed just about 3 months ago. She was 82 when she passed and her 83rd birthday was coming up - on the date I had given.
She told me that the boy was her friend's next-door neighbour, a young Asian lad (very particular about his hair, which was always kept in what was apparently the latest hairstyle!) who had helped her a lot around the house when for a time before her passing she had become housebound and he used to do things for her like getting messages from the shop for her and making sure her garden gate was closed. He apparently missed her dreadfully and hadn't stopped crying since she died. She said she was going to make a point of personally passing on that hug to the lad.
She then told me that her friend had been a medium herself, who loved dancing, and that she had a huge personal library of books. Before she died she had given her all her books about mediumship, and instructed her with the request of making sure that the rest of the books, after choosing all those that she would like, should not be destroyed, but distributed to charity shops and secondhand book shops - which she had done. She was so pleased at what I had described as the shelves of books and the hand sorting out the pile with some of them - which was, she felt sure, the mediumship books that she had set aside for her - and she said she was so pleased that she had acknowledged the books because she knows that she had carried out her wishes about the rest of them going to charity etc. She was very pleased with her message altogether, big smile on her face.
I, though, on the other hand, was now feeling quite ill, woozy - can't really explain, it was as though I was completely drained of energy, I felt as though I had cobwebs all over me and was trying to pull them off and clear them away. I know that sounds crazy but the only way I can explain it.
Glyn at this stage had started to speak to all of us as a group, and stopped in mid sentence to ask me if I was okay. I explained as best I could how I was feeling, and he said that was because my communicator had come very close and worked through me in a very physical way. Hence the draining of energy (during all the paired-up readings, he had been going around the room keeping a close watch on everyone in the group).

I feel sure that the fact that this lady's communicator had been a medium herself, made it easier for me get the message through clearly to her friend. She would have known exactly what to do and how to do it, not just getting the message to her friend, but doing it in a way that I (the mediator, the person who had to interpret the message and pass it on to the sitter) could accept and understand. The tingling also was an acknowledgement, a confirmation that what I was passing on was correct, so I could know for sure that it wasn't just my imagination.

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Post by mac on 22nd February 2019, 19:21

That's a fascinating accout, kk - happy days, eh? Do your health issues now totally prevent you sitting as a medium?
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Post by Candlelight.kk on 23rd February 2019, 22:47

mac wrote: Do your health issues now totally prevent you sitting as a medium?

To an extent, yes. I can't really commit to anything on a regular basis these days; just have to take every day as it comes. Sitting for mediumship in a closed circle entails dedication and regularity. The dedication I most certainly have, but physically, I am restricted from doing a lot of things; I simply cannot commit to any kind of routine schedule and it would just not be fair on the others involved. Even sitting in a demonstration for an hour can be a problem - any position, sitting, standing or walking (or indeed, lying down) for any length of time ... it's an unfortunate situation that I just have to accept. sigh
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Post by mac on 24th February 2019, 00:34

Candlelight.kk wrote:
mac wrote: Do your health issues now totally prevent you sitting as a medium?

To an extent, yes. I can't really commit to anything on a regular basis these days; just have to take every day as it comes. Sitting for mediumship in a closed circle entails dedication and regularity. The dedication I most certainly have, but physically, I am restricted from doing a lot of things; I simply cannot commit to any kind of routine schedule and it would just not be fair on the others involved. Even sitting in a demonstration for an hour can be a problem - any position, sitting, standing or walking (or indeed, lying down) for any length of time ... it's an unfortunate situation that I just have to accept. sigh

Oh that's sad, kk, and is what I feared you'd say. Crying or Very sad

    Current date/time is 24th June 2019, 19:35