Mental mediumship can be divided in to two main categories, perception and control.
Control mediumship is more commonly known as trance mediumship. The medium has the ability to allow the mind of a Spirit person to blend with their own to such an extent that they can assume a certain degree of control over the medium. As this is through the mind, the medium will always to some degree influence what takes place. It is easier for the Spirit control to use what is there than to bring through something that is completely original. It is only with the more developed trance mediums that this takes place.
We can allow the Spirit people to control us for a number of different purposes: healing, speaking, writing, painting or for the production of physical phenomena (for more on physical phenomena go to the Physical Mediumship page).
Healing mediumship in the trance state allows the Spirit doctors to use specific energies to a degree that is not possible in the normal state of consciousness. The relationship between the medium and the Spirit control will have a direct and proportional effect upon the quality and effectiveness of the healing energies.
Speaking or allowing a Spirit control to speak through us whilst in the trance state gives us access to divine inspiration on an ongoing basis. Over the last 150+ years we have had an immense amount of philosophy, guidance and encouragement from those that love us and want to help us to live more spiritual lives.
Writing whilst being controlled is called automatic writing. The Spirit author controls the medium’s hand to write, sometimes in their own handwriting, or in mirror writing. It is possible for the more developed automatic writing mediums to have both hands simultaneously writing by two different Spirit controls.
Painting in the trance state is similar to writing in that the hands are controlled. The end result can be quite spectacular in that pictures in the style of the great masters can be produced with great speed.
The main purpose of mediumship is to provide evidence of survival. The most common way this is done is through this type of mediumship, perception. The medium perceives information through their psychic senses, the general term is clairvoyance. However, Spiritualist mediums use the term clairvoyance in a more specific way (clear-seeing), for they also use the terms clairaudience (hearing) and clairsentience (sensing or feeling).
In this way they will gather information from someone in the Spirit World and relay it to someone here. Usually it is someone you have known like a close relative. This is done either in a public demonstration, during one of our church services, or as a private sitting with the medium where they can go into far more detail.
It must be accepted that we cannot prove life after death. What we can do is provide a body of evidence that for the individual concerned, becomes personal proof. By communicating with someone in the Spirit World a medium can pass on a sufficient amount of information about them to provide that evidence.
The medium’s first job is to identify who they are communicating with. They will do this by providing enough information about them to eliminate everyone else you have ever known.
However, if all of this information is about them before they died, then it does not prove that they have survived. So, the second job is to give some information of events that have happened since they died. We call this ‘knowledge of recent events’ and it gives us evidence of ongoing existence.
If you already know all of the information that has been given, then it could have come from your own mind, and again does not prove life after death. There needs to be a piece of information that you do not know the answer to. If you then research it and find out that it is also true, it provides further evidence.
To complete our communication there also needs to be a pertinent message, or reason for coming. This may simply be to say “I love you”, or could be something far more detailed.
When you have all of the above elements in place we have to ask ourselves “what is the most likely single source of all of this information?” Spiritualists hold it to be from those we have known who have survived the event called death and simply want to tell us so.