Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spirits: Why Not?! Seeing is Not Believing!

It puzzles me that so many people consider spirits to be nothing but a myth, something you’d have to be fooled to believe in. I’m guessing this has a lot to do with pop culture’s portrayal of “ghosts”. How often do we find movies & videos, books and articles, TV shows, and other media focusing on the miserable plight of suffering spirits and their haunting presence among the lives of the living? They encourage people to see these beings from beyond the grave as either too scary to contemplate or nothing but entertainment for whatever it’s worth to the audience.

We can’t blame all the resistance on popular media though. There are other reasons for the indifference or claims that that spirits simply do not exist. In response to some of those reasons listed here, I might make some suggestions such as these:

With respect to all but the last of the positions above, I would propose flipping things around for a moment of contemplation. What if you start with the details behind the notions and claims that people, in at least some in locations all over the world and throughout all times have seen spirits, heard spirits, or otherwise experienced or documented phenomena that offer strong evidence for the continued existence of individuals once living here in the flesh? Can there not be something to all that?

Yes, it would take some time and willingness to gather and study those details. Yes, you’d have to weed through information garbage to filter out the gems. Yes, you may have to question beliefs that, for you, have been a source of your skepticism concerning spirits. However, if you found the evidence in favor of the existence of spirits to be convincing or even thought-provoking, might it then give you cause to reconsider your perspective?

Of course, sometimes people don’t hold a deliberate disbelief in spirits, or in spirits being among us.  They simply haven’t given it much thought or haven’t had much exposure to information from sources other than contrary teachings or the pop culture I mentioned above. I was one of them, myself! That is, until Spiritism came into my life.

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One of the arguments that surprises me most goes along the lines of, “[Spirits don’t exist because] I can’t see them.”

Really? Of course, we all know the old expression that “Seeing is believing”. Ironically though, that comes nowhere near the way we actually think of the world in this day and age.

Our lives are filled with things we believe to exist or take for granted without seeing them for ourselves. We began learning this at an early age, when our teachers had us look through the microscope. As adults, we could list numerous examples. from the simple to the complex. Furthermore, even when we do “see” something, we know that what we perceive doesn’t necessarily reflect reality! Who doesn’t love a good magic trick? Who hasn’t enjoyed a 3-D movie? Today we’ve gone beyond that to create virtual reality and, even better, the in-development mixed-reality technologies. 

I think we can all agree that seeing is not necessarily believing, just as not seeing is not a direct and just cause for not believing. So when it comes to spirits, I say we scrap those thoughts and instead turn to the one that says, “There’s more than that which meets the eye.”

I’d like to share with you a personal experience that struck me as quite analogous to this concept of seeing or not seeing spirits. Where I work, we recently adopted a new software, which offers many options for customizing the display of project information. Each customized configuration is called a “view”, and it so happens that I create the views for my team.

At first I got frantic calls from panicked users claiming that their data (from the old system) was “gone!!!!!” I would then remind them that it was there but simply hidden through filters. To see it, they needed only to switch to a different “view”.

It occurred to me that the information filters in that software are a bit like the limitations on our senses as incarnate spirits. The inability to perceive spirits is nothing more than a temporary filter. Those who are ostensive mediums have a “view” that allows them to see, hear, or otherwise register the presence of spirits. The fact that others cannot perceive the same does not mean the spirits are not there.

That analogy coincides nicely with Spiritist author Richard Simonetti’s explanations in his book “Mediumship, All You Need to Know””. I would like to provide you this excerpt from that text:

“What is mediumship?
In its simplest definition, mediumship is being sensitive to the influences of the spirit realm. It’s the sixth sense,” which places us into contact with the world of spirits, in much the same way as our senses of touch, taste, smell, seeing, and hearing place us in contact with the world of humans

Does this mean that we are all humans?
All humans have the sensitivities that make the perception of spiritual influences possible.  Not all humans, however, are sufficiently sensitive to produce mediumistic phenomena

What determines this difference?
Let’s imagine someone wearing a suit of armor that impairs their ability to hear and see what is happening around them. This is what happens with us when we reincarnate. We put on a dense flesh garment that inhibits our spiritual perceptions. A medium is someone who has an opening in this armor.”

Is it a physical type of opening? Is it in the body?
Mediumship is a spiritual faculty inherent to all spirits. When we reincarnate it becomes dependent on the conditions of the body. In this regard, we can say that it’s organic because it’s subordinate to a physical structure which doesn’t inhibit all contact with the spirit world.” 

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For Spiritists, rather than questioning the existence of spirits (as we have already been convinced by the evidence and logic), we are hopefully now using this knowledge about spirits, including our own existence as spirits, to take advantage of this incarnation. If, as students of Spiritism, we are convinced by the logical theory but have not yet delved into the practical evidence and explanations, it is important that we study that piece of Spiritism - from Kardec and others as well. After all, this basic notion is fundamental to the entirety of Spiritist principles, perspectives, and approach to life!

To begin with, I’d highly recommend:

     Allan Kardec’s “The Mediums’ Book”: Part One:
         Ch   I - Are There Spirits?
         Ch  II - The Extraordinary and the Supernatural
         Ch III - Methodology
          Ch IV - Theories

     Allan Kardec’s “What is Spiritism”
          Chapter: The Critic / Section: “False Explanations of the Phenomena”

Just a word of caution. In our enthusiasm for Spiritism, we may be eager for others to study and gain from the same “enlightenment”. Let’s remember, however, that not everyone will see Spiritist thought, principles, and information in the same way or find in it the same degree of benefit. Nor does everyone have to! If we share the awareness of Spiritism, it is only to let each individual decide if the body of Spiritist knowledge and information is a good fit for him or her at this time.

Meanwhile, let’s continuously remind ourselves that any information, if not consciously employed for our own betterment, is simply that, information. What we do with it is up to us!

Thank you for reading!
Blessings to all, today and always

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