Looking back in history, one can find authentic examples of mediums with remarkable trance mediumship abilities, which were extremely rare at that time and are even more elusive in modern-day trance mediumship. The evidence that came from them was remarkable and when one part of a story could not be verified, you could be sure the information would be confirmed much later after serious inquiry - bringing it full circle and completing the evidential pyramid.
The teachings espoused by the trance medium could only be described as far beyond the understanding of the human soul trudging through the material journey. The wisdom put forth would challenge the human spirit and cause one to reconsider what could be perceived as truth. The medium in the trance condition brought forth substantive evidence and teachings from the realms of spirit. Challenging us to think deeper, sowing seeds of knowledge and wisdom and helping those suffering grief. It challenges the very way we see the material world.
The Trance Condition Then
When a medium was entranced by the joining of vibrations of spirits on the other side, there was no denying the quality of the entrancement. The level of the trance condition was deep enough that the mutual relationship between medium and spirit was undeniable. The spirit, under a mutually beneficial relationship of a divine order developed over many years, would learn how to work with the medium and get to know how to entrance and control the vessel as the medium was known. This relationship was tasked within the higher realms of spirit which also meant that not only does the medium require long term development but so, too, does the spirit who has been tasked to work with the medium for a particular need using the trance mediumship faculties.
One such medium, who was probably the most tested medium of her time by the now known Society for Psychical Research (SPR), was a lady who was known as Gladys Osborne Leonard. Her spirit control ‘Feda’, had to go through long-term development as did Gladys. Their relationship developed over considerable time in order to maintain the high vibrational level that was needed to achieve the equally high level of spirit communication.
The level of evidence that came through the many sittings and demonstrations was incredible - far beyond what is experienced today. Evidence that not only completed a story and answered questions but also included lessons from the other side. Loved ones received evidence that was considered astounding and scientific individuals such as Sir Oliver Lodge even changed direction in their belief because of the remarkable evidence received. Rev. Charles Drayton Thomas had over 500 test sittings with Gladys under testing conditions and kept immaculate logs of each sitting.
Gladys was always very amiable and cooperated with many SPR scientists and though some had questions, the validity of her standard in mediumship was revered globally. The many tests that she took part in would be unquestionable today because there are few mediums that could even reach that level of skill.
There are many other examples of past pioneers whose developed abilities brought forth amazing spirit evidence including a unique aspect known as cross correspondences. This phenomenon was set to change what we know about spirit intelligence. Let’s look at that now.
So what are the cross correspondences? This term was coined by the SPR in the early years of the organization and was the phenomenon of automatic writing and transcripts that was received independently through entranced mediums under the control of spirit intelligence. The remarkable aspect was that though some of the information received would seem innocuous to some, there was a connection between other writings, statements, and individuals that were not connected to each other in any way.
Furthermore, the information was received at the same time in different locations across vast differences without any real relationship between the mediums. This would suggest a level of intelligence and intellect coming from the spirit personalities controlling the medium or vessel.
The conclusion was that such ‘correspondences’ were being deliberately created by certain recently deceased loved ones to convince them of life after death. The way this phenomenon would be conducted without prior relationship would mean there would be no other plausible explanations other than life after death was real. The level of trance and spirit intelligence was beyond reproach - concluding only that spirit intelligence was able to bring real verifiable evidence of life after death on many levels and not just from one communicative source to another. Now, let’s look toward the modern-day.
Trance Now - The Egoistic Trance Condition Devoid Of Substance
What is accepted as deep trance in this modern-day, is devoid of any real level of spirit intelligence and certainly not any evidence that would stand up to the rigorous testing of the likes of “Lodge”, “Thomas” or “Myers”. One must contemplate that either the mediums are full of ego and feed on the adulation received, or that there is real ignorance as to what real trance mediumship is and the mechanics that would be accepted. Could there also be a negative aspect to it where the claimed entranced medium is ignorant and looking to fill their own material needs through misguiding others?
There is, of course, another side to the story in that perhaps those who claim they are deep trance mediums, really believe they are being entranced and giving spirit guidance. The reality, however, is very different because what people often consider and accept as trance has no real evidence at all; nor does it have any real substance to offer as there is often no real evidence of the other side to be had - instead we have fanciful subjective interpretations.
One only has to look at the type of evidence from past trance mediums such as Piper, Leonard, Barbanel, Flint, and many others. Often the words of wisdom that are given through a medium who claims deep entrancement, is merely interpreted wisdom from their own font of knowledge and studies. There is no real capacity for the same level of wisdom teachings from the times of Silver Birch. Many individuals can reach the various, measurable brain wave states and have demonstrated this fact many times, but inhabiting or possessing spirit intelligence is generally not evident- nor exemplified in that state.
Other Trance Mediumship Example States
Yogis, meditators, and other such individuals can also reach these states without possessing spirit intelligence. Whilst it is important to reach that state, it is only one tiny piece of a greater jigsaw puzzle. There are many other pieces that have to be found and placed in the picture. The relationship that has to be developed to reach the level of intelligence of a higher order takes time and development and when this intelligence is witnessed and experienced, there can be no question as to the validity of the spiritual intellect.
The Dangers Of Mediumship
There is also a dangerous aspect that one could give oneself over to all too easily- an obsessive condition involving lower-level intelligences. However, this topic will form a follow-up article that will dive deeper into this possibility.
There are wonderful mediums that give information which is inspirational in nature and at times make contact with loved ones in spirit but in reality, this can be considered as an act of mental mediumship. In reality, there are very, very few deep trance mediums that manage to display the kind of trance mediumship demonstrated by our real pioneers of the past. It is of course possible and probable that it can be developed, but for now, a great many experienced mediums or under-developed young mediums, are claiming deep trance mediumship with no real understanding nor displaying any real aspects of evidential mediumship such as we have seen in spiritualist history.
The problem lies in the types of teachings and examples that are being accepted by developing mediums or the general public. As an example, deep trance mediumship was recently witnessed by an online group where participants with any reliable knowledge and understanding of the deeper mechanics, could not accept at any level that spirit was entrancing the medium. Where then, do we go from here?
There needs to be serious development and study into the trance condition and science of a balanced nature needs to work hand in hand with the mediums of today in order to replicate and perhaps go deeper into the tests we have seen from past para-psychological experimentation. Trance mediums of a high caliber are few and far between and the amount of drivel being revealed as trance mediumship with no substance is even confusing our new developing mediums of the day.
Science working hand in hand with those who have some real level of trance development should be able to be comparable and replicate the rigorous tests of the past and perhaps even break new ground.