© Eva Pierrakos 1978
In the course of my many years of mediumship, experience has made it clear to me how little this phenomenon is really understood. Even though the majority of our Path members may not be called upon to fulfil a task as a functioning medium, I consider it important to understand whatever possible about this topic, if for no other reason than the fact that many of the laws and prerequisites pertaining to mediumship also apply to opening one’s personal channel to Divine Reality, to one’s Higher Self.
I will briefly discuss certain basic factors and facts of mediumship that are generally known among parapsychologists, psychic researchers and functioning mediums, but which are not known, even vaguely understood by people who have not delved into this realm. But more importantly, I will discuss laws, facts and factors about mediumship that are, to my astonishment, totally ignored, negated, or, at best, only peripherally and superficially paid attention to by the “people in the know.” In all the literature I perused in the course of these years, I have never found certain aspects of mediumship—among the psychic research and parapsychology material available—which I consider the most important underpinnings of healthy, reliable, divinely inspired, safe and realistic mediumship. Nor have I found sufficient emphasis and understanding of this so important topic in the writings, descriptions and biographies of the world’s best known and most serious mediums.
This general ignorance is dangerous and may lead to charlatanism, fakery, conscious or unconscious fraud; to derangement, delusions, mental breakdowns; to meaningless manifestations that may serve, for a while, to tickle one’s sense of sensationalism; and finally to reluctance to pursue this particular task at all. No wonder the general public is suspicious and resistant to accept mediumship as a phenomenon that deserves to be taken seriously. The problem is that a number of talented mediums start out with genuine manifestations, but cannot maintain the connection as a result of their ignorance and/or their resistance to fulfill the necessary requirements. So what happens next is that the connection dwindles and is then faked in order to maintain the illusion. This process may not always be conscious.
First 1 would like to describe some general facts about mediumship that may not be known to everyone. I will then speak about the facts I have found missing in all accounts, the scientific, as well as the spiritual approaches to mediumship. And let us not forget there are also a number of facts, laws and conditions that are not yet understood at all and may never be fully understood.
There are many types of mediumship, as well as various degrees of “separation” between the conscious self and the manifesting entities. Before going into the variations of mediumship and their significance, it may be helpful to first discuss this “separation,” for there exists a great deal of confusion about this aspect too.
According to my own experiences and insights, I have come to the conclusion that mediumship proper is the manifestation of an inner opening to realms beyond our own, but this opening is not yet integrated with the rest of the personality. It has been said by some that even the best of mediumship is a “positive schizophrenia.” It is therefore understandable that many spiritual schools of thought are against the cultivation of mediumship. They postulate that total integration between the higher realms and the personality is the goal. And they are indeed correct. They only overlook the fact that as long as mediumship is understood in its true meaning, as outlined here, it is a temporary stage that must eventually lead to total integration. And if it is pursued in the proper spirit, it is an opening that will in fact facilitate this total integration. The established opening is an initial inroad that can bring us the wisdom, the understanding, the guidance we need in order to grow gradually into this total integration. To deny this opening because it is only a partial one and not yet the total desired state seems foolish. This partial, walled-in opening can bring help, guidance, truth, not only for the mediums themselves, but also for many others. But again, it is essential that the laws and prerequisites are clearly understood.
The opposite attitude from that which negates the desirability of mediumship all together is also quite frequent, especially among spiritualists, on the one hand, and para-psychologists and psychic researchers, on the other. Both claim that mediumship is the most desirable goal. And the more disconnected the conscious mind from the mediumistic manifestation (deep trance), the more desirable it appears. It is as though the greater the disconnection between conscious mind and mediumistic manifestation, the more this is assumed to be a proof of the genuine nature of the transmissions and phenomena.
In my own experience I have come to see that the more my own development progressed, the less deep the trance was. While at the beginning I could never have given a session or interpreted a dream on my own, after some years the trance for individual sessions became completely superfluous and finally obsolete, except for specific cases who were stuck, or for people whom I didn’t know. The Guide has told me many times that when total integration will have taken place, the lectures will come to and through me directly. And, in a way, this is beginning to happen already. For the inspirational process in which they come through me in writing is certainly far more conscious and integrated than the trance state before had been. For me this is not a loss, but a gain. Years ago I would not have felt that way, for I was influenced, to some extent, by the view that it was better to be in a relatively unconscious state, disconnected from the personality.
In all spiritual and mystical accounts one is warned against becoming too fascinated with mediumistic or psychic manifestations. In their very fascination lies the danger of taking the person away from the real search and the real good. This, and many other dangers, laws, important facts, need to be fully understood. This is why all knowledgeable authorities on this subject warn people not to practice mediumistic activities by themselves. It is very easy to get lost, to overlook and to veer off into dangerous sideroads. One should always have a teacher who is very knowledgeable in this respect and who has his/her feet planted firmly in reality.
Let us now list a few of the most known mediumistic phenomena. First of all, we need to distinguish between the cruder, more physical forms of mediumship, and the more subtle ones. The former are almost never a manifestation of higher spiritual spheres. Whatever their purpose they may possibly serve to make people aware of the existence of other realms of reality, beyond our own, whether used scientifically or not. The latter may or may not be a channel to divine reality and guidance.
Direct Voice (the voice of the discarnate entity heard outside the medium)
Apport (materialization of objects)
Subtle energy phenomena:
All ESP, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, mental telepathy, etc.
Inspirational writing (sometimes the line between these two is thin)
Healing (different types, such as magnetic or spiritual)
Trance Mediumship (here many degrees and types exist, from the deepest trance in which the medium is totally unconscious, to a light trance)
The above are the most frequent manifestations, but there are other types of mediumship, not so frequent and therefore not really relevant to this paper. It is important to keep in mind that many of these categories often overlap. For instance, it is not always easy to draw the line between automatic and inspirational writing; or between clairaudience and inner inspiration.
Mediumship training exists in Spiritualist Churches. But from all I have seen, read about and learned, this training is totally inadequate and leaves out the basic requirement, which is one’s personal growth, development and self-awareness.
Less Well-Known Facts (or perhaps even not known at all)
The interconnection and interrelationship between conscious and unconscious aspects of the medium’s psyche and the manifesting spirits is vastly underrated, or distorted in a manner that creates an unrealistic either/or duality. Those who tend to deny spirit manifestation all together, explain away all and every manifestation with the medium’s unconscious. Those who embrace spirit communication underrate the importance of subjective inner material of the medium and feel defensive when this aspect is mentioned.
It took me many years of learning, of trial and error, until I realized these facts. It had to be done the hard way since there was no adequate route charted which I could follow. It became clear that only such a path as we have been given, a path of total self-facing, self-confrontation, purification and transformation, a path that can never stop as long as one is alive, is truly a safeguard against delusion, confusion, misunderstanding and sometimes even most dangerous communication with the world of darkness. It is erroneous to assume that one must be bad, wicked, vicious, to fall into the trap of evil spirits. Vanity, power drives, self-justifications—in short many trends that all human beings share to some degree in their lower self at the outset—can suffice to make one prone to advice and messages that are far from divine truth.
Perhaps the most dangerous and confusing aspect about this entire topic is that rarely are the messages cut from one cloth when a medium starts out. And this phase may last for many years, depending on the medium’s gullibility or self-honesty and ability to discriminate with a modicum of impartiality. The messages are often an incredible mixture of levels. When I started out I received messages that expressed banalities and cliches; communications and predictions that were most sensational in that they proved they could not possibly have come from my own unconscious because the knowledge of these facts has never been in me (events that had not yet come to pass, often most unlikely, or circumstances about people I had never met and of whose existence I didn’t even know). In other words, this category had the value of squelching all doubts, at least for a moment, but it also tickled one’s sensationalism and therefore represented a temptation to stay stuck on this level. In between, spirits manifested who were obviously mischievous, although this could not be seen immediately. Discarnate entities can be liars just as human beings can. Such spirits can sound very convincing, put on a good show, claim they come from divine spheres, while they flatter the vanity of the medium and other participants and hold out promises. This can be done quite subtly. Still other manifestations are deceased relatives and friends who come with messages and assurances that they are still alive. And only only much later, after much testing and learning and fulfilling certain prerequisites which I will discuss, does an occasional voice of sublime truth and wisdom shimmer through all those other veils.
The complication is that the origin may change in the middle of the sentence in such a way that it constantly challenges one’s sense of discrimination and objective observation. What underlying causes determine the nature of the manifesting spirits, their level of development? And how is one to handle each and every transmission? How is one to encounter the various spirits? What should one’s attitude toward them be?
I am convinced that there is a strong link between the manifesting entities and the medium’s conscious and unconscious attitude, intentionalities, traits and qualities. Personal attitudes and intentions serve like a magnetic field that attracts like—although often in much stronger, perhaps even exaggerated form. In other words, if the lower self of the medium expresses, say, some dishonesty, the lying spirits will express this trait infinitely stronger. Many mediums, as well as other people, make the mistake to assume that the medium is like a telephone, some inanimate apparatus with whom one just needs to push the right button.
This is why the Pathwork is even more essential for mediums than it is for all human beings who wish to liberate themselves of pain and suffering. Or perhaps I should modify this statement by adding not only mediums, but everyone who wishes to establish contact with one’s inner channel to God, with the Christ within. For the same rules apply here. One may ask, how is it then that there are individuals who are deeply religious and sincere and receive beautiful messages through their personal channels? Yet they have never undertaken such a path as this, other than simply trying to be good people. The answer lies in the fact that whatever messages and truths they receive may be valid and genuine, in correspondence to their good will and sincere faith. They may not attract evil spirits because they may have overcome some of their lower self in previous incarnations. But the messages may be very limited because the state of mind of the person has not expanded sufficiently to allow deeper and more extended wisdom through. So even though we do not deal with mediums proper here, the law of attraction still holds true. One’s channel cannot bring forth what the mind is not open for, even if it is ignorant of the specific modality of the message in question.
Since the divine wisdom is unlimited, we must attempt to widen our minds to receive this unlimited wisdom, and this can be done only by the slow and laborious process of this pathwork. There are many mediums who start out very promising, but not knowing these laws, and perhaps not wanting to find out (for anyone can find out if they want to, I was not given some privileged secret information, I had to struggle for it), they got stuck on a level that is far from desirable. This usually creates tremendous inner struggle and conflict. The medium begins to sense there is something wrong. The transmissions lose in freshness; they become less genuine, more platitudes appear, until, upon closer inspection, one begins to wonder why contact with discarnate beings at all. What comes through in no way differs from what exists in the minds of human beings. Such information is often interspersed with pious admonitions, pseudo-wisdom, and outright banalities. The first excitement and fascination of having established contact with a world beyond still lingers on, and one is loath to give it up. It is a difficult step to admit that maybe what happens now is highly questionable. Then the real dilemma starts. Was it all imagination and fantasy? Did it all come from one’s own inner resources? Is there nothing, after all? This disappointment is often too hard to bear, and the medium proceeds to cover it up; to pretend all is well. In order to succeed, it is necessary to become more gullible, to question nothing, to explain away whatever incongruities or banalities or outright falsities may have manifested. One can’t afford to question anymore, especially when other people became involved. Too much seems at stake.
The problem here is that an unnecessary dichotomy exists in the unconscious or semi-conscious mind of the medium in this predicament; either all is true, perfect, divine super wisdom, or nothing exists beyond the personal mind. This same duality may also lead a few to give up completely and to foreswear all psychic, mediumistic activity, to deny spiritual reality as a hoax. It is therefore extremely important to give people some guidelines about this extremely complicated subject, so that they may know how to go about it and cope with the various stages, phases and manifestations that can be expected.
Basic attitudes and rules:
1) Whenever mediumistic manifestations appear, no matter what the circumstances may be to begin with, it is imperative to surrender oneself and this particular activity totally to the will of God and put oneself under the guidance of Jesus Christ. Christ is the great protector against the forces of evil. And once an opening to subtle worlds has been established, one is every bit as open to the forces of darkness as one is to divine powers. It is up to us to discriminate and to protect ourselves, which we do by consciously and deliberately calling for Christ’s protection. When I started with automatic writing, every writing session was headed by my own handwriting “In the name of Jesus Christ.’’ If the thought is formed deliberately and frequently that whatever happens is to serve the will of God, such sincere thoughts have a tremendous power that accelerates as this attitude is deepened and more firmly established.
At the same time, this is not enough by itself. If the other prerequisites are not being fulfilled, the protection and help cannot come through.
2) It is extremely important to keep a wide open mind which has room for every contingency. It must be remembered that we are dealing with a phenomenon that is still very obscure, that we have a lot to learn and should be careful in forming definite opinions about the nature of the transmissions. Spirit communications can exist from the lowest to the highest realms, both might be concealed and are a challenge to our sense of discrimination. Furthermore, one’s own unconscious can manifest directly, as well as indirectly as a magnet for corresponding spirit entities. The approach should be one of open exploration in which answers as to origin often have to be shelved. This attitude will protect the medium (and participants) from gullibility, which is a tremendous opening for negative forces, as well as from a total denial of opening deeper channels to worlds beyond ours. I shall discuss several laws about mediumistic manifestations as they have revealed themselves to me below.
3) The absolute and serious commitment that mediumship requires a most serious approach and attitude. Alongside with putting it as a task to be fulfilled for God, is the necessity to pursue one’s personal path of self-purification with absolute honesty, dedication and a willingness to examine and overcome every possible resistance. Otherwise the channel cannot be kept open.
Mediumistic Manifestations and Some of Their Laws
There are certain generalizations that can be made about the levels of manifestations and phases one goes through, but as in all generalizations, exceptions and variations exist. So these generalizations should be taken as a possible map.
At the very beginning there may be a momentary divine manifestation of truth and beauty that communicates the task to be fulfilled. But this level never remains manifest. It is always alternated by many different kinds of lower levels, which don’t appear obvious right away, as the alternation occurs. The “change over” may be quite subtle.
The possibilities of manifesting realms and spirit entities vary in the following ways:
a) A deceased relative. Such a person can be helpful and give constructive guidance but is not to be confused with higher spirits. No matter how good and advanced the relative may be, he or she is still too close to earth life not to have his/her own blind spots. So one should beware of deifying such contact either because it soothes the pain of having been parted or because some of the guidance is good and seems spiritually valid. The attitude should be more as toward a respected human being who may know some things we don’t know but may be more ignorant in other things.
b) Erring spirits who need help from us. Rarely do they come right out and ask us for such help. Most often they first pretend to be helpers to us; or they try to give us some sensational phenomenon; or they tell us outright fibs. If we are gullible we will never find out that we can help them. Only when we offer help consistently and refuse to be taken in by them will they relinquish their pretenses and often quite humbly and gratefully accept what we have to offer them. Deceased beings are not automatically superhuman in wisdom. They may neither be devils nor angels, but as confused and ignorant, as suffering and searching as human beings are. No matter how interesting the phenomena and proofs of true spirit contact may be, we should not get too involved and fascinated with that aspect but attempt to find out who these spirits really are and then, if this is appropriate, help them. This phase can be an important phase of the medium’s development.
The way to go about giving this help is to first probe and find out whether the manifesting entity is really happy and liberated. If the entity is in any kind of darkness, uncertainty or pain, the contact with them has to be reversed. Instead of being their pupils, they have to become our pupils. We can advise them to pray, to ask for light, to follow the light when they see it. And above all, with all the knowledge we have gained on this path, we can give it on to those spirits and help them to find out in what area of their being they need purification, insight and self-confrontation. We can become their helpers. This will prove to be tremendously strengthening and will establish a realistic, proportionate approach to this whole topic.
c) Mischievous spirits who are unwilling to accept help. If after probing and offering help they persist, there must be a firm attitude toward them. They must not be allowed to control us. They have to be told in no uncertain terms that we will not be dissuaded from serving God’s will. that if they are unwilling to accept our help, they should leave, no matter how seductive their promises, predictions and sensational “proofs” may be.
d) Outright evil spirits, who may at times appear and attempt to dissuade the medium from fulfilling the divine task by threats and intimidation. Here it is essential to keep in mind that God’s power is infinitely greater; that if we put ourselves under Christ’s protection, there is nothing evil spirits can do to us, except what we have to learn anyway due to the unpurified nature within ourselves. The firmer we stand and assert these facts, the less we are intimidated, the more we laugh at their threats, the less power will they have. We must never forget, the final word is with us. We choose whether to commit to God or to be intimidated by the dark forces and their emissaries.
Practice from the very start examining every sentence every meaning and to discriminate. This cannot be emphasized strongly enough. The origin of a message may change in the middle of a sentence. The wording may be couched in such a way that this is not immediately noticeable. If this is expected and approached from the very beginning, it will be a challenge, rather than lead to confusion and disappointment.
No matter how developed or how undeveloped a spirit manifestation may be, it is still in some manner commensurate with aspects of the medium. These aspects may be conscious or unconscious and they may exist in a much modified form. The manifesting spirit may express these aspects in an exaggerated way, much stronger than the magnetic point may be. Knowing this helps the medium to discover his/her total being and personality.
When spirit entities give famous or glorious sounding names, caution is advised. Anything that might lead to a personality cult is strictly avoided by genuine divine emissaries. This is why the Guide never answered questions about his name. He always pointed out that his name, his history, are immaterial. Only what he says should be paid attention to. In other words, not who, but what. No spirit of truth demands blind obedience and acceptance of what he says. I have known mediums who have claimed that Jesus Christ spoke through them and who would refuse to see the utter nonsensicalness of some messages under the guise “Jesus said so.” The Guide always invites us to adopt this very healthy attitude in which we neither accept nor reject blindly. He gives us material, no matter how metaphysical, that can always be borne out if we go deep and far enough within ourselves. In other words, if we are truly willing and dedicated to find our inner truth, any statement the Guide makes can be verified.
There is an important rhythm that may often develop in the course of a medium’s development. If the mediumistic development is ahead of the spiritual development of the medium, if the purification process lags behind, it is necessary to temporarily discontinue all mediumistic activity until a proper balance has been established. This represents a big test for the medium who may often be very unwilling to let go of this newly found fascination. This unwillingness may make the medium blind to the signs, and force the mediumistic activity ahead. This must have very deleterious effects that may impair the task completely unless one catches up at some time. I had to discontinue for one and a half years in my activity of automatic writing and devote this time exclusively to my path, to my personal growth and purification, even at the exclusion of any professional activity. I was not told immediately about this plan, but was explained the meaning later after guidance in this direction had given me the proper course.
When determining when, how long and with whom to sit down and have mediumistic sessions and receive the transmissions, it is important that the medium be in control, rather than blindly following what could be any voice—benign or malicious. By keeping a certain order, no divine transmission will ever be prohibited. For example, I found it helpful to set up “sessions” two or three times a week that lasted for one hour. In this way, no depletion of energy can occur. Yet one should keep open for changes and advice that may come from one’s guardian spirits or guides that may make an occasional such change advantageous. If this is so, the spirit of truth will give a plausible explanation that can be thought over and appraised. If there is ever any doubt about these or other matters a spirit may advise on, asking for God’s will and staying open for His guidance will bring the truth.
If mediumistic sessions last for hours and hours, it is not furthersome and may be physically and emotionally harmful. We sometimes expect that our divinely assigned guides will tell us about everything, but they do not. They expect us to learn, often the hard way, and use our own sense of inner wisdom. They often allow us to make mistakes.
If after a mediumistic session the medium feels depleted, it is a sign that there was something off that awaits our examination. If all is well, one feels exhilarated, energized, lifted up.
Facts and Factors That Should be Kept in Mind
If the medium sincerely surrenders to God’s will in his/her mediumship, special guidance is being given. There are so-called control spirits who see to it that only what is lawfully right and can therefore be used constructively by the developing medium is allowed to manifest through the channel. The free will and choice of the medium determines how many and to what degree evil spirits can come through. The medium’s positive intentionality and active decision to use puzzling, difficult and confusing manifestations in an attitude of honest self-search, humility, courage and dedication will determine the nature of the mediumship and its development and execution. Divine guidance may at first seem obscure, but as the medium prevails in all the tests, this guidance becomes increasingly noticeable.
When the mediumship is stuck, there is always something to be explored in the psyche of the medium he or she is blind to. It is a good gauge to search for deeper and more remote levels and to overcome whatever resistance may exist. Look at every possible prejudice, personal stake, vanity, pride, desire, fear or lower self trends. They may block the way.
Any kind of mediumistic activity should be undertaken in the presence of at least one other person who is knowledgeable about these things. It is dangerous to do alone, for it is too easy to get lost in the maze of one’s blindness, in the fascination of establishing contact with discarnate entities. A divine emissary will never give material that flatters the vanity of the medium or the participants. He/she will be in truth and love, which are one. The truth will not hurt when given with love, unless the recipient is utterly blocked and resistant. A divine spirit will not satisfy idle curiosity and give predictions only in the rarest exceptions. Predictions create anxiety and usually fulfill no good purpose. Divine spirits do not manifest in order to eliminate human doubt. No matter how spectacular a manifestation may be, it never really succeeds to eliminate the doubts from within. It may momentarily do so, but if doubts are not being removed through the labor of inner purification work, even the most spectacular manifestation will be doubted later.
Divine emissaries will not answer something or discuss a topic that the medium himself/herself could have talked about. Often mediums use their spirit friends in order to become more convincing to their audience. If they would say it themselves (whatever it may be) they would not be listened to, they fear. And this may indeed be so, at times. This may lead to a subtle fakery in which the self becomes more invalidated, while the separated mediumistic part becomes overglorified. This corresponds then to a separation between the self-glorification, that is projected onto a spirit, and the self-devaluation that is submerged under the self-glorification of being a medium, through which the personality seeks to gain its worth.
One’s innermost motives of being a medium must be stringently and repeatedly examined. It is often preferable if the person becomes a medium only after the Call has come forth through some unbidden manifestation, rather than wanting it to begin with.
The developing medium must exercise to put his/her own mind out of the way and allow for transmissions that may not correspond to the will, conscious knowledge or desire of the medium. Again following the will of God is the underlying essential attitude that keeps the mediumship safe and clean. The medium must make room for unexpected developments in his/her life and the task that is connected with the particular mediumship. When the trials and errors are being met creatively and constructively and the tests are being won, this development always by far surpasses in wonder, in fulfilment and beauty what one’s wildest imagination can come up with. But the sincerity to serve without personal gain must be the strongest motive in the medium. Total dedication to this must be proven again and again, through many tests. No one should start who is not totally and utterly willing to do this, even if sacrifice seems to be necessary. Mediumship is not a parlor game, nor simply a profession one chooses as one chooses any other profession. It is deadly serious and can become literally deadly (if not physically so, although that too has happened, then spiritually so) if it is undertaken in an attitude that takes it lightly.
If mediumship proceeds properly, as mentioned at the beginning, it will become increasingly integrated into the conscious personality as time goes on. It will show, above all, that the execution of this mediumship serves the Greater Plan of God, expresses the Christ Consciousness and furthers the development, purification and self-realization of all those who come in contact with the medium. Since this is a high order, it must be expected to be a long, long journey. No one should start out and expect within a short period a highly developed spirit without any challenges, blocks or bottlenecks. If they (the blocks, etc.) seem absent, they merely seem that way. They are always there. Reliable mediumship and an unbroken manifestation of a divine emissary occurs after years of training, most serious dedication and the fulfilment of many tests.
Many of the above statements don’t apply to making contact with one’s personal channel, but some definitely apply there too. I think it is easy to see which statements should be heeded for contacting one’s personal channel. In doing so, one will avoid hardship and dangers. Again, the repeated commitment to follow God’s will, the asking of pertinent questions in the Spirit of Christ, will keep the Light aglow, even if there are momentary, necessary dark periods from which we need to learn.