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Genuine Mediumship or The Invisible Powers by Swami Bhakta Vishita


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Some students of this book who have noted in the foregoing pages certain references to the conduct of the sitters in the circle may ask themselves the question: "Why are the SITTERS so important, when the power is really exerted by the spirits through the MEDIUM?" In fact, such questions, often uttered in the spirit of adverse criticism, are frequently propounded by sceptics to spiritualists, and it is well that the answer should be correctly given. As a matter of fact the understanding of such answer will mean the possession of some important facts concerning the phenomena of mediumship, and without which the investigator will possibly wander far astray from the main road of truth concerning such phenomena.

The Part Played by the Sitters.

All of the best authorities on the subject of spiritualism are practically agreed concerning the important part played by the sitters in the circle in all manifestations of spirit power. As J. J. Morse says: "There are three factors concerned in mediumship: (1) the spirit controlling; (2) the mental atmosphere of the medium controlled; and (3) the mental atmosphere of the people surrounding the medium." And as A. Morton has said: "The requirements for honesty on the part of mediums are equally binding upon investigators; they must have honesty of purpose if they expect to attract honest spirits."

Result of Bad Sitters.

And Wallis has said: "Although the spirits may be intensely anxious to demonstrate their power, they are sometimes repelled from those whom they seek to approach by the bristling and discordant conditions of mind that prevail among the sitters, who disperse with a feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment. If the sitters only knew it, the so-called failure was directly traceable to the destructive thought-atmosphere with which they surround themselves and the medium. Too frequently they do not prepare themselves for 'the hour's communion with the dead,' and their mental attitude is anything but conductive to success. They do not put away the thronging thoughts, anxieties, and worries of their busy lives, but carry them right into the seance chamber, yet expect good spiritual results. Both sitter and medium may very easily destroy the indispensable conditions of spirit-manifestation, and the medium's honesty, not his want of growth, or of knowledge, is called in question by the investigator who knows, and perhaps cares, nothing for the occult laws he has violated, not obeyed."

Mental Atmosphere of the Medium.

Likewise, it must not be forgotten that an important factor in the production of mediumistic phenomena is that which Morse, in the above quotation, has called "the mental atmosphere of the medium controlled." In many cases the spirit powers are present and ready to manifest freely, and the mental atmosphere of the sitters is likewise desirable and sympathetic, but still the manifestations are but faint, irregular, and generally unsatisfying--the weak link of the chain being found in the mental state of the medium, and consequently in the mental atmosphere arising from the same. Such undesirable mental states and atmospheres may be said to arise principally from two general causes, as follows: (1) Desire on the part of the medium to produce sensational or brilliant results, and (2) Doubt on the part of the medium concerning the genuineness and validity of the communications. Let us consider each of these in further detail.

The Mediumistic Mind.

If the medium is filled with the idea or notion of producing brilliant or sensational results, he will in all probability so disturb the placidity of the receiving surface of his mind that the latter will fail to register or record the impressions being made upon it by the spirit vibrations. It is similar to the case of a placid bosom of a deep lake which, normally, will reflect clearly and distinctly the images of the surrounding scenery cast upon it from the light waves; but which, if disturbed by strong breezes, will exhibit merely a distorted, disturbed, incomplete, and untrue reflection of the surrounding scenery cast upon its surface. A strong desire of the kind mentioned will tend to agitate and disturb the normal placid condition of the mental reflecting surface of the mediumistic mind.