The mediums ranged from 15 to 47 years of automatic writing experience, performing up to 18 psychographies per month. All were right-handed, in good mental health, and not currently using any psychiatric drugs. All reported that during the study they were able to reach their usual trance-like state during the psychography task and were in their regular state of consciousness during the control task.
The magician Julien Proskauer revealed that the levitating trumpet of Jack Webber was a trick. Close examination of photographs reveal Webber to be holding a telescopic reaching rod attached to the trumpet, and sitters in his séances only believed it to have levitated because the room was so dark they could not see the rod. Webber would cover the rod with crepe paper to disguise its real construction.
Cold reading also explains why psychics have consistently failed scientific tests of their powers. By isolating them from their clients, psychics are unable to pick up information from the way those clients dress or behave. By presenting all of the volunteers involved in the test with all of the readings, they are prevented from attributing meaning to their own reading, and therefore can't identify it from readings made for others. As a result, the type of highly successful hit rate that psychics enjoy on a daily basis comes crashing down and the truth emerges – their success depends on a fascinating application of psychology and not the existence of paranormal abilities.
In all cases you should explain your motives clearly to the psychic, clairvoyant, spiritual guide or medium you are consulting. Spiritual readings are generally more interactive than psychic readings since they offer better insights about your inner self. A good spiritual reader will encourage users to ask questions and to question themselves so that they could experience the reading on a more personal level.
Read slowly and with attention. "'Nourish your soul,' says St. Augustine, 'with divine lectures.'" To be nourished, he said, one must chew and well and ponder well, and apply the teachings to oneself. "And when what you have read has made a lively impression on you, St. Ephrem counsels you to read it a second time...Besides, when you receive any special light in reading, or any instruction that penetrates the heart, it will be very useful to stop, and to raise the mind to God by making a good resolution, or a good act, or a fervent prayer. St. Bernard says, that it is useful then to interrupt the reading, and to offer a prayer, and to continue to pray as long as the lively impression lasts."
During a seance, a medium may be the method by which messages are relayed from the spirit world to the guests at the event. While some mediums may enter into a trance-like state, others may be completely awake and fully lucid while passing messages along. Sometimes, particularly if there are a group of fairly magically-aware people at the table, messages might be coming through all over the place, in no particular order. It can feel like the spirit world version of a chat room, with everyone just being bombarded right and left with messages from the other side.
Senses used by mental mediums are sometimes defined differently from in other paranormal fields. A medium is said to have psychic abilities but not all psychics function as mediums. The term clairvoyance, for instance, may include seeing spirit and visions instilled by the spirit world. The Parapsychological Association defines "clairvoyance" as information derived directly from an external physical source.
This is the last in the five-volume series of autobiographical novels called "The Children of Violence," which trace the life story of Martha Quest. The first four books portray Martha's youth and young womanhood among the English settlers in colonial, racially divided British Rhodesia. In this book, Martha leaves Africa and is living in postwar London, a bombed-out city where the walls of buildings are not the only boundaries that have come down. The line between good and evil was much clearer under the African sun; here Martha enters a world where such distinctions are lost at a dizzying pace. Her friend Lynda undergoes a personal breakdown, prefiguring Martha's own dissolution. Lessing's genius is to see that this time of social fragmentation and personal disorder can be welcomed as the prelude to a spiritual rebirth. This book moves from politics toward spirituality and reflects Lessing's honesty and concern.