Growing up in the 1950s, I felt lost amid the materialism and shallow sunniness of the postwar culture; I longed for some overarching meaning. Then I came across books by two novelists, Jack Kerouac and J.D. Salinger, that opened my eyes to an entirely new way of looking at the world. I had not known that books could do this. These novels made life seem a much more mysterious and rich experience than I had imagined. At heart, they were books about spiritual journeys, and they made spirituality seem hip and wonderful. They also introduced me to the Buddhist concept of "right livelihood," thereby ultimately changing my life, for in time I gave up a lucrative career as a missile engineer to become a novelist and teacher of literature. Today, these novels have become spiritual classics, timeless books that provide special wisdom and insight for readers grappling with life's thorniest philosophical dilemmas. The novel as an art form originally came into being as bourgeois entertainment concerned with everyday matters, such as money, success, and ambition. Paradoxically, its very concreteness, which requires the novelist to create plausible characters operating in a credible world, makes the novel an ideal vehicle for exploring spiritual themes and presenting unorthodox worldviews. The best-selling novelists of our time seem not to understand this; but over the past century or so, the form's masters have put this opportunity to especially good use. Their handiwork includes, among others, the following 10 spiritual classics (including a novella, a short story collection, and one novel-like sacred scripture). I cherish these volumes as old friends and teachers; your summer reading experience will be greatly enhanced by packing one or more of these treasures in your travel bag.
For those who prefer, a reading may be recorded and mailed or emailed to you free from making a lengthy phone call. This too, is also popular with my overseas friends. Taped readings are free from being interactive, but they are scheduled for a particular moment in earth dimensional time, and you are asked to direct energy to the session in your meditation on that gifted moment and any questions you may have for spirit as well. Recorded sessions and readings include e-mail follow-up.
Like common playing cards, the tarot has four suits (which vary by region: French suits in Northern Europe, Latin suits in Southern Europe, and German suits in Central Europe). Each suit has 14 cards, ten pip cards numbering from one (or Ace) to ten and four face cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Jack/Knave). In addition, the tarot has a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit. These tarot cards, without occult symbology, are still used throughout much of Europe to play card games.
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14. You feel the presence of Spirits – You sense that there *could* be a spirit, but you’re not sure. Maybe you feel like someone is watching you, but it’s just you and Fido hanging out, snacking on popcorn and watching Game of Thrones. You may feel a sudden wave of emotion, such as sadness or anxiety associated with the presence. (clairsentience)
Magicians have a long history of exposing the fraudulent methods of mediumship. Early debunkers included Chung Ling Soo, Henry Evans and Julien Proskauer. Later magicians to reveal fraud were Joseph Dunninger, Harry Houdini and Joseph Rinn. Rose Mackenberg, a private investigator who worked with Houdini during the 1920s, was among the most prominent debunkers of psychic fraud during the mid-20th century.
The article about this phenomenon in Encyclopædia Britannica places emphasis that "… one by one spiritual mediums were convicted of fraud, sometimes using the tricks borrowed from scenic "magicians" to convince their paranormal abilities". In the article it is also noted that "… the opening of the wide ranging fraud happening on spiritualistic sessions caused serious damage to reputation of the movement of a Spiritualism and in the USA pushed it on the public periphery".
In 1876, William Eglinton was exposed as a fraud when the psychical researcher Thomas Colley seized a "spirit" materialization in his séance and cut off a portion of its cloak. It was discovered that the cut piece matched a cloth found in Eglinton's suitcase. Colley also pulled the beard off the materialization and it was revealed to be a fake, the same as another one found in the suitcase of Eglinton. In 1880 in a séance a spirit named "Yohlande" materialized, a sitter grabbed it and was revealed to be the medium Mme. d'Esperance herself.
One of the hours of the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours has spiritual reading and prayer rolled into one: the Office of Readings. It begins with the praying of three psalms/canticles from Scripture, and it concludes with one Scripture reading and one reading from the Church’s tradition. It could be from a saint’s writings, an ecclesial document, a selection from one of the Church Fathers, or a sermon from one of the great preachers in our tradition. You might not have otherwise picked up St. John Chrystostum’s homilies on Our Lady, a portion of Lumen Gentium, or a selection from St. Therese’s Story of a Soul! Praying the Office of Readings provides a healthy dose of Scripture and offers short introductions to 2,000 years of spiritual heritage.
The biblical basis is St. Paul's advice "Attend to reading" (1 Tim 4:13) which meant that Timothy his disciple should "apply to the reading of holy books, not in a passing way and for a short time, but regularly and for a considerable time," said St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Catholic Church on Moral theology. St. Bernard of Clairvaux said that "spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won."
The Danish medium Einer Nielsen was investigated by a committee from the Kristiania University in Norway, 1922 and discovered in a séance that his ectoplasm was fake. In 1923 the Polish medium Jan Guzyk was exposed as a fraud in a series of séances in Sorbonne in Paris. Guzyk would use his elbows and legs to move objects around the room and touch the sitters. According to Max Dessoir the trick of Guzyk was to use his "foot for psychic touches and sounds".
Each time I link with spirits, they usually appear to be exactly the same as when they were here. People seem to think that those who pass somehow turn into these exalted beings, yet they have the same personality and quirks on the Other-Side as they did before. They’re still upbeat, humorous, strict, or relaxed over there. However, I do believe that spirits progress over time, raise themselves to a higher level, and evolve.
A great starting book in this area is Ralph Martin’s The Fulfillment of All Desire. He makes the case for the Catholic faith in an accessible way—relying heavily on the writings of the spiritual masters of our tradition. Another profitable path to pursue is reading biographies of Jesus Christ. They deepen our understanding of Scripture, the Mass, and develop our personal relationship with Him. Pope Benedict XVI recently wrote a three-book series entitled Jesus of Nazareth. Although it has some theological insights that might challenge a reader unschooled in theology, he has many profound reflections that would be valuable to anyone who read it. Fulton Sheen, Frank Sheed, and Romano Guardini also wrote excellent works on the life of Jesus.
Do your homework when choosing a medium either for teaching or for having a reading performed for yourself. You might want to attend a few readings before deciding to go ahead and practice mediumship yourself. How long have they been practicing? Do they come recommended? Do they belong to an online community where they are rated? Did they have any formal training? There are official organisations and colleges that train mediums if you care to research them, you could study at one yourself! Always thoroughly check and ask for recommendations before joining any group, teacher or organisation.
And here’s the thing – you may already consciously know the message or insight you receive in a Tarot reading, in which case, the reading can be a heartening confirmation of what you already know. Or, you might be completely unaware of the message until you see it reflected in the cards, in which case you are now empowered to take action based on your new awareness.
At the same time, if the psychic medium says that Frances is here, and your mother’s name is Francine, don’t say you have no idea what they are talking about. Or if the psychic medium says that your father is wearing a police uniform but your father wore a security uniform, remember that you don’t have to be a psychic medium to mix that one up—anyone could make that mistake. Keep in mind that the clarity of communication may be more like an AM radio station than a telephone. Small inaccuracies are expected. Don’t hold the psychic medium to exact measurements.
Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860. Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.