Spiritualism and Science
How is Spiritualism a Science?
Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
This study may lead to finding the cause and the effect of the nature of the experiments which support a real and rational conclusion through evidence. The conclusions reached may not be final and must remain open to the light of new evidence, which may compound or disprove the theory. This is true of all sciences. Therefore Spiritualism in its’ scientific aspect is open to continuous research in all areas.
Applying logical thought and reason to Spiritualism helps us to realise that there is a Science at work. It is a science in which we can all take part by giving consideration in the simplest of terms, or by more complex study.
Everything that occurs operates within ‘Natural Law’. In terms of observing and considering anything that happens we can be sure of two things, there will be a ‘cause’ that creates an ‘effect’. Natural laws apply to everything, including, the non-physical attributes of our selves. Our mind, thoughts and emotions can cause us to act and react in words or actions and may, for example, have an effect on others. It can be seen that ‘a cause’ results in ‘an effect’, and that effect can be the cause of another occurrence and another effect, and so on. This helps us realise that Natural Laws control everything that happens and that spirit communication is not dependant on religion or philosophy. Mediumship is a science with controls (natural laws) that determine how the information is transferred and the process is repeatable, providing evidence of survival of the person’s intelligence beyond physical death.
The word Psyche is from the Greek language meaning ‘Soul’, hence Psychic is ‘of the Soul’. We, as physical beings, have a soul so we all have psychic abilities to some degree, however, it must be borne in mind that our abilities vary across many activities. A psychic can sense and interpret information about a person or object, but cannot, communicate with the Spirit World.
Mediumship is the transfer of information from the spirit of a deceased person via a medium to a recipient. A medium is psychic but is also capable of communicating with people in the Spirit World through the further development of their psychic faculties. Communication with the Spirit World using mediumship is a means of enabling Spirit People, some of whom are our family and friends, to communicate with us to ensure us that they:
- Have survived physical death,
- Have retained their personality, character, mind, memories, etc.
- Have continued to learn and develop in the Spirit World
Mediums cannot call up a particular Spirit person to communicate with us because, like ourselves, they can choose whether to communicate or not. Mediums do not all develop every form of Mediumship. Each medium’s abilities and qualities vary, because everyone is individual in their personal attributes. ( Read about: Guidance for a Private Sitting...)
Mental Mediumship involves the medium perceiving information via their psychic senses from a spirit person. This can manifest in several ways; they may receive visual (clairvoyance), auditory (clairaudience) or sensory information (clairsentience) including smell or taste. On occasion mediums simply know something by virtue of the information having been received in their mind without any form of sensory manifestation.
Spiritual Healing involves the use of healing energies being directed by Spirit people, via a medium, to assist a physical person to become healthier at all levels of being.
Physical mediumship is the ability of the Spirit people utilising the energy of a medium and others present, to create effects that can be witnessed by everyone present, whether they are mediumistic or not. This type of mediumship was much researched in the 19th century by various people, including eminent scientists such as Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Fletcher Barrett and Sir William Crookes. The experiments that they carried out with mediums convinced them of the authenticity of the phenomena.
In January 1991, A group comprising seven scientists, who were psychical researchers, and seven mediums was set up as a research group. It was titled Psychical Research Involving Selected Mediums (PRISM), and the research group was named ‘Council of PRISM).
The group developed and carried out a series of scientific experiments under strict protocol to determine the amount of information given by mediums to recipients being acceptable or not, with regulated requirements in place concerning the mediums and audience. Statistical analysis showed that the ‘intended recipients’ acceptance levels were higher than non recipients, the odds against chance being a million to one.
PRISM maintain they have a repeatable experiment, providing the protocol is adhered to and good mediums are used. Their results were submitted to the Society for Psychical Research, and were published in their journal (JSPR) contained in the following papers:
- Paper 1 is in JSPR volume 65.2 number 863
“A preliminary study of the acceptance by non-recipients of mediums statement to recipients.”
- Paper 2 is in JSPR volume 65.3 number 864
“A double blind procedure for assessing the relevance of a medium’s statements to a recipient.”
- Paper 3 is in JSPR volume 68.1, number 874
“Results of the application of the Robertson-Roy protocol to a series of experiments with mediums.”
21st Century thoughts:
Modern scientific theory continues to expand and encompass more that just the physical aspects of our Universe. It has moved from looking at the origins and vastness of our Universe to looking at the smallest particles that hold our physical world together through the scientific principles of 'Quantum Theory'. Today there are many who see answers to the unseen worlds and the 'divine' natural law present in the resulting research and equally those who would disagree with the 'divine' presence and express it merely as natural law.
Science and Religion may always be uncomfortable bed fellows and for the Spiritualist, we accept that we will one day have some further answers and evidence, may be not in this phase of life but certainly at some point in the next.