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Special Article taken from the Book

Spiritual Teachings and Universal Truths

Copyright © 1998 by Raphael. All rights reserved.

 

The Correct Procedure for Conducting a Holy Séance
and for the Development of Mediums
.

 

       (1.) When a group of sincere seekers of God and the Truth has decided to unite in an effort to get into communication with the good spirit world, the first thing to be determined upon is the place at which its meetings are to be held regularly.  This place should be chosen so as to ensure the greatest possible privacy.  You too, when conducting the more important of your worldly affairs, are careful to provide against intrusion and this is more essential when the question at issue is the establishment of a purely spiritual bond, which would be much more susceptible to disturbing influences than would any worldly undertaking. 

     (2.) The best time for such meetings is in the evening after eight o'clock, when the day's work with its worldly cares and worries is over and people can devote themselves to calm reflection. 

     (3.) Generally speaking, sťances should not be held more than twice a week. 

     (4.) Before the meeting, the premises should be thoroughly aired to rid them of all vapor, tobacco smoke and stale air, because the spiritual energy power of the participants is greatly lowered by a polluted atmosphere and in consequence, the spiritual energy radiation, which is so important to the spirit world, is obstructed. 

     (5.) To keep the air pure a large bowl of fresh water is placed in the room; this absorbs a part of the air that becomes contaminated in the course of the sťance. 

     (6.) Upon the table at which you will sit are placed for each of you a few sheets of paper and a pencil. 

     (7.) Immediately before the opening of the sťance you must not have conversation about material or worldly subjects, but must concentrate your thoughts and dismiss all purely worldly matters from your minds.  Remember that it is for the purpose of serving God that you have met. 

     (8.) The place chosen by each of you at the first meeting should be regularly occupied by you thereafter, because the spiritual energy radiation that varies with each of you must gradually be brought in a certain equilibrium.  For this reason those of you who are present should seat yourselves alternately according to sex, because the spiritual energy of the male is preeminently positive, while that of the female is negative and to offset one with the other is the best way of establishing an energy balance.  However, this alternate seating arrangement is not imperative, it merely facilitates the balancing of the spiritual energy for producing an effective current.  A change in the order of seating after this has been adopted should be made only in response to an order to that effect from the spirit world, transmitted by a trained medium or by a medium undergoing training. 

     (9.) If there is a musical instrument like a piano or an organ in the assembly room, it is best that the meeting be opened with a spiritual song, sung to instrumental accompaniment.  For want of anything better, a recorded hymn or song may be played.  The singing and playing of a beautiful song inspires your minds with harmony and turns your thoughts to higher things.  Such music is also a good safeguard against the influence of the world of evil spirits, which will try to force their way into your meeting for the purpose of obstructing and disturbing your efforts because evil is discord and does not feel at home in surroundings in which the harmony of lofty thought and sentiment finds expression in song and words.  That was why, as the Bible relates, the evil spirits departed from King Saul whenever David played the harp before him and sang psalms. 

     (10.) After the singing and/or the playing of the song is over one of you must say a simple prayer of your own composing.  Should you be too bashful to deliver this without the aid of notes, you may write it down beforehand and read it out loud with due reverence.  Every one of you who attend these meetings should take your turn at offering a prayer. 

     (11.) Following the prayer, one of you must read a truthful passage from the Old or the New Testament, which must be discussed by everyone present.  The aggregate time given to the song, the prayer, the reading and the discussion should be half an hour. 

     (12.) At the termination of the discussion, all of you must join hands, the light being dimmed as much as possible, each of you laying your right hand over the left hand of your neighbor.  This is called "forming a chain", and is necessary in order that the spiritual energy force of each of you may be united into a single current, just as separate lengths of wire must be connected whenever it is desired to pass an electric current over a line.  It must always be kept in mind that the ability of the spirit world to perform its work at a sťance depends on the strength of the spiritual energy current and that the efficiency of the spiritual energy is greatly enhanced by dimming the lights. 

      The formation of the chain also has a highly symbolic significance, because just as you join hands and thereby become linked outwardly into one unit, so you must be of one mind and one soul among each other.  You must love one another as spiritual brothers and sisters, help one another, forgive each other's faults and banish from your minds everything that might disturb the internal harmony of the group. 

      It was for the reasons I just mentioned that the early Christians used to join hands when they gathered together for worship.  They in this way sought to typify unity of mind, but primarily they strove to create a powerful spiritual energy current in order to enable the good spirit world to deliver its messages. 

     The "chain" should be maintained for fifteen minutes.  During this time you all must strive to keep your minds concentrated, to exclude thoughts of all worldly subjects and to have nothing but good thoughts.  To this end you may engage in introspection, review your own past in this life, your shortcomings, your relationship with God and with your fellow humans, your sins of omission and the like.  You should give thanks to God for all the blessings you have received, praise and exalt Him, and reverently ask Him to be allowed to communicate with the good spirit world.  You may include in your prayer anything that will promote your spiritual welfare. 

     (13.) When the time allotted to the "chain" has elapsed, the leader of the assembly asks that it be broken.  Each of you should now pick up the pencil before you and lay your hand with the pencil in it lightly on the sheet of paper in front of you.  When doing this you must have the strength of mind not to write of your own volition, all the while keeping your hand relaxed so that it will yield to any motion which may be imparted by the spirit world. 

      At the first few sťances the available spiritual energy force is usually very small in amount and the obstacles encountered by you are very serious.  Everything is still too new to you.  You will find it difficult to keep your thoughts collected and you might fall into a state of tense expectation.  It is precisely this tension which most of all prevents the liberation of your spiritual energy, as I will explain later.  In addition, you are like a new, unused magnet, which develops strength only through repeated use. 

      However, it might happen that your mediumistic development is much further advanced than you yourself realize.  If this is the case then it may be that the workings of the spirit world will manifest at the very first sťance.  You may feel a pulling at or stiffening of the hand which holds the pencil and which then begins to move.  You must not give the slightest resistance to this impulse, but must allow the hand to yield. 

      At the first few sťances nothing more convincing may be executed with the pencil by the spirit world than some straight lines, curves, circles or other elementary attempts at writing, before a letter, a word, or a sentence is formed.  This is because the spiritual energy force released by all of you present is not yet powerful enough and primarily because the spiritual energy power of the medium in the making is still in its initial stage.  Practice in writing will progressively strengthen this power. 

      If the workings of the spirit world are manifested in this or in some other way, the great obstacle, originating in the tense attitude of those of you present will now make itself felt.  Some of you will watch with the greatest intentness to what is happening to the other person. 

      Tense expectancy, however, always represses your spiritual energy radiation, just as if you were listening intently to someone, you would involuntarily hold your breath.  This diminishes your spiritual energy current and adds to the difficulties of the spirit world, this would be similar to the way even the best engineer cannot make his machine run properly if deprived of all or of a large part of his energy. 

     Fear, fright, distrust, doubt and all other forms of inward opposition exert upon the spiritual energy current an effect as unfavorable as that produced by mental tension.  If you, having such feelings, take part in a spiritualistic meeting, you not only fail to release any spiritual energy force yourself, but you interrupt the current liberated by the others.  Mediums can tell at once when there is someone present who acts like an extraneous, obstructive body and are justified in demanding your exclusion until you have adopted a different mental attitude.  Whenever at your spiritualistic gatherings, there is a lack of harmony of thought and feeling, there can be no homogeneous spiritual energy current and the successful outcome of your meeting becomes problematical, if not impossible. 

      This explains why "scientific" committees that experiment with mediums often meet with little or no success.  The mediums, who as you know, are the sources of power for the manifestations of the spirits, feel discouraged and nervous when surrounded by an atmosphere of distrust.  They realize all the while that their investigators consider them capable of committing fraud and that they have no faith in the thing itself.  Sensations of this kind are bound to check the release of energy on the part of the mediums, if not to prevent it altogether. 

      That is a law of Nature and incidentally, it is the same law as that which causes the blood to leave your cheeks when you are seized with fear and to rush to your inner organs, making you turn pale.  What happens is that your spiritual energy as it retreats inward, draws the blood to your heart. 

      How unjustly do scientists so often judge a medium's failure to meet their tests.  They would do better to consider the obstacles placed in the way of mediums as sources of power for the spirit world, more particularly by the scientists themselves, who need only remove these obstacles in order to obtain a satisfactory demonstration of the ability of spirits to make themselves manifest. 

      It is true that the good spirit world very rarely engages in communications which do not deal exclusively with the purposes of good but which serve merely to satisfy scientific inquiry, if not sheer curiosity.  The latter is the province in which the low spirit world is especially active and in which, unfortunately, it often causes great harm. 

      Those of you who attend good spiritualistic sťances should constantly remember that it is your duty to banish all doubt and distrust from your minds and to await what may happen with the utmost patience and composure. 

      Whenever during the course of a sťance you feel an inner impulse to write down a thought that arises within you, you must do so.  In time you will learn to distinguish between your own thoughts and those which are inspired, because the thoughts instilled by the spirit world will force themselves upon you insistently as you try to dismiss your own and will keep on recurring, try as you will to disregard them. 

      If anyone present should feel dizziness or heaviness in your limbs, if your head is turned from side to side, or if your body should perform motions inexplicable to you, it is a sign that the spirit world has taken you in hand.  These motions of your body are most evident in you who will become "deep-trance mediums".  The back and forth, up and down contortions of your body are connected with the release of your spirit from your body.  Your physical symptoms exhibited during this process are often alarming to those who witness them because they are a sort of death struggle, though there is no pain, discomfort or danger to you.  All alarm on this account is groundless, because everything happens according to established laws. 

      The most difficult period of a deep-trance medium's training is the stage that is known as the "semi-trance" or "part-trance".  Your own spirit has not yet been completely liberated and has not left your body, while a different spirit is already making use of the same for its manifestations.  Your spirit, being still present, hears the words spoken by the different spirit and you are easily led to believe that these words and thoughts are your own.  This brings about the danger of misunderstanding the entire proceeding and of regarding the manifestations as self-deception.  Also, it may easily happen, that your own spirit breaks into the communications being delivered by the different spirit, a proceeding that naturally awakens doubt among the others present. 

      It might seem at first glance that the different spirit would do better not to attempt to deliver its messages until your training was complete, thereby avoiding unpleasant consequences like those just described, but the reasons which impel the different spirit to communicate through those of you who have reached only the "part-trance" stage are so important, that it will sooner accept all the disagreeable happenings than postpone its communications until you have completed your training, because it is precisely during the early stages, when no fully trained medium is available at the meetings, that you require instruction and enlightenment on too many points to permit a postponement until a later date.  What you are taught at the very beginning is so important to you that the imperfect manner in which the messages are transmitted is regarded as a much smaller problem than would be a total neglect of instruction. 

      Your transition from the "part-trance" to the "deep-trance" stage is generally of relatively short duration provided that you will make efforts to progress within yourself and to combat your human failings.  As soon as you have reached the "full-trance" phase, you are entirely unaware of what the different spirit is saying or doing. 

      For those of you who are seeking in good faith to communicate with the Hereafter, the most serious obstacles of all are the ones put in the way by the evil spirit world, because in this case as in all others, Evil does its best to prevent the accomplishment of Good.  It neglects no means of trying to divert you from your purpose, beginning by instilling into you the idea that the whole process is one of self-deception, auto-suggestion or hypnosis and doing its best to dissuade you from engaging in matters which will expose you to ridicule. 

      The evil ones will have accomplished much if they succeed in arousing serious doubts in you or another as to the truth, genuineness and worth of your cause.  For this purpose they also often exploit the most trivial superficial pretexts, especially minor errors and shortcomings, which are bound to happen as long as you are human. 

      The evil spirit world likewise tries to terrify you who are being educated as clairvoyants, by showing you the most abhorrent monstrosities, grimacing likenesses of the Devil and other sights of that sort, in order to induce you to discontinue your training and to abandon your cause. 

      Naturally, people who devote themselves to a low form of spiritualism are spared these demonstrations, because spiritualism of this type is a connecting link with Evil, which consequently has no reason or desire to divert mankind from its pursuit. 

      It is when the evil spirits are active that all of you and more especially the mediums are put to the test.  A personal test is applied to each and every one of you and always at your weakest point.  Only those of you who can pass this test are granted the gift of mediumship.  If you fail, you will either abandon your search altogether, or you will fall completely under the control of the evil spirits.  To prevent this all of you should pray to God for help and strength in order that you may resist the temptations presented by the evil spirits.  If you are sincere seekers of truth, He will without a doubt answer your prayers. 

     (14.) As to the duration of the sťances, generally speaking, one hour should be enough.  As soon as the spirits begin to manifest themselves through the medium, they usually decide when the meeting should be adjourned.  Since God loves order, His spirits are spirits that love order. 

      This is made evident in a wondrous manner at all spiritualistic meetings held under God's protection by the invariable attendance of a controlling spirit who conducts everything.  This spirit decides what you must do to facilitate the training of the mediums and tells you how to promote your own progress, what faults to correct and what virtues to cultivate. 

      The controlling spirit often decides upon the passages from the Holy Scriptures which are to be read at the beginning of the sťance and occasionally alters the order of your seating as may be required for obtaining an increase in the release of spiritual energy.  He or she furthermore determines which spirits are to be admitted into the mediums, the nature of the messages they may deliver, and how long they may stay in the mediums. 

      The controlling spirit may also admit evil spirits into them, so that you who are present will come to know such spirits by their dispositions and actions and thereby acquire practical experience in how to conduct yourselves in their presence.  Nothing, however, pleases the controlling spirit more than to admit spirits that are in deep distress but whose disposition remains fairly good into the mediums in order to give these spirits an opportunity of being advised and directed to turn to God by you who are present.  This is a great kindness that you in attendance at such meetings can do for your suffering brethren in the Hereafter.  Sometimes the controlling spirit will later on explain the reasons for the admission of the various spirits. 

      At every meeting the controlling spirit is the first of the spirits to arrive and always with a greeting that makes a reference to God.  He or she is the spiritual guide for all of you, who admonishes, warns, criticizes and instructs.  In particular, both during the course of the medium's training and afterwards, the controlling spirit emphasizes the need of an ever-greater belief and trust in God.  The closer your soul approaches to God, the greater you share in the power that emanates from Him and the greater and more wonderful the gifts which He bestows upon you for the benefit of mankind.  The aim of every sťance in which God's spirits are active is, "Nearer my God to You!"

      In the early stages of your development as a medium, when the first written messages from the Hereafter are received, it is usually only your departed relatives and friends who are allowed to communicate with you, provided that they are on the road to God in the Hereafter and do not belong to the evil spirits.  They too will earnestly urge you to believe in God and will not weary of telling you that in communicating with the good spirits, you have chosen the right path.  They will also express their regret that this path was not pointed out to them while they were among the dwellers on Earth. 

      As your training makes further progress, the messages from departed relatives and friends cease entirely and the higher spirits make themselves manifest. 

      This, however, presupposes that you strive for spiritual perfection and that your intentions are pure.  If you who attend such gatherings should be lacking in good intention, or should lose interest, and if you should fail to heed repeated admonitions addressed to you by the good spirits, you will be excluded from future gatherings by order of the controlling spirit.  This is necessary, not only because you yourself are making no progress, but because you are a detriment to the rest, forming as you do, a rallying-point for the evil spirits which follow you to the meeting and exert their evil influence upon the others present.  Furthermore, the spiritual energy force is adversely affected by the discord that you introduce into the assembly as a result of your inward obstructive attitude. 

      Gatherings held for the purpose of communicating with the spirit world without the supervision of one of God's spirits do not enjoy His sanction.  They may have all the external features of a divine service, nevertheless, the entire trend which spirit communication takes under these conditions will not be toward God.  They contribute nothing toward the purification and uplifting of your soul.  Wherever the Divinely appointed control is lacking is not the place for the spirits assigned to the service of you who seek salvation.  To save your souls is the only lawful purpose of spiritualistic meetings. 

      Consequently, although many of the so-called spiritualist churches of today go through the outward form of offering prayer and singing hymns at their gatherings, the real object of what takes place at these is far removed from serving any divine ends. 

      The people acting as leaders or collaborators of these churches are generally gifted with clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience and through these gifts are able to communicate with the spirits which accompany the members of their congregations.  The spiritual energy radiation of these spirits establishes contact with the same of the mediumistic people, male and female of these churches, who thereby not only obtain a personal impression of the spirits present and of their connections to the people in attendance, but are enabled to receive the messages brought by the spirits for the good of their friends among the living. 

      The chief feature of these ecclesiastical assemblies is the delivery of messages relating almost exclusively to worldly fortune and trouble, to material success, and this is the principal reason for the attendance of the majority of the participants.  They look upon such churches as information bureaus, where on payment of a given admission fee, they can learn something about their own worldly future from the spirits of departed friends or relatives through the clairvoyants connected with the church.  For this reason, the leaders of churches of this type are careful to see to it that no one leaves the service without having received a message of the kind mentioned. 

      Inasmuch as God's spirits keep away from meetings of this character and exercise no control over them, the low spirit world is left free to do as it pleases.  Even if the spirits, which do attend them, are not necessarily evil ones, the communications delivered are little benefit to the salvation of the soul. 

      If it should happen further that the clairvoyants who officiate at these churches are also "part-trance mediums", they act like open windows through which the low spirit world can enter at will, since there is no controlling spirit on hand to keep them out or to maintain order.  The spirit messages are jumbled together in a fashion that cannot fail to be repugnant and which is bound to reflect most unfavorably on good divinely sanctioned spirit communication.  Unfortunately, because of the "religious" cast given to the service at these churches, the impression is created that spiritualism as it is practiced there is of the kind that is pleasing to God.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

      The leaders of these churches have a heavy responsibility toward God for anything that may happen at their meetings.  It is their duty to devote their gifts entirely to the service of God, unselfishly and regardless of worldly considerations.  They must pray for "spirit-control", which will gladly be granted them, and having received it, they must obey it implicitly. 

      If they will do this, their meetings will become divine services in fact and will contribute to the edification and the spiritual welfare of their congregations.  Then the higher spirit world will become active and the low spirits will be denied access.  If the meetings are held according to my directions, they will bring you untold blessings, including great spiritual instruction, much joy and true peace of soul and mind. 

          (15.) Every meeting must be closed with a brief prayer of thanksgiving spoken by the group leader and if possible with a song.

 

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