Different mediums connect with spirits in different ways. When I was taking classes in mediumship at a Spiritualist church, the first thing I would perceive about a spirit was a picture of them in my mind's eye. We used the term clairvoyance to refer to visual psychic perceptions. A lot of mediums are primarily clairvoyant but also get other types of impressions. Some mediums primarily get feelings or hear words, but that is less common. Hearing spirits is called clairaudience.
With the visual images that I perceived, sometimes there would be other information attached. I would know what I was seeing, and I would know things about it. It was like an email with attachments. It seemed to me that the easiest way for spirits to get through to me was visually, but once I had the "packet" and knew it was psychic, they knew I'd notice the other information.
When I was in class, one of the hardest thing for the spirits was, I think, to convince me that the mental impressions I received were psychic and not my imagination. The way they would help me realize this was by showing me things from weird angles or placing them off center. If you imagine a house you imagine looking at it from the street in the center of your visual field. Once in class, I saw a house from two feet away and looking along the side of the outside wall. It seemed pretty obvious to me that I wasn't imagining that.
Being clairvoyant has the advantage that you can describe the spirit and the sitter will generally be able to recognize who it is. The spirit can also show you what they did in life. Clairvoyance is great for identifying the spirit. The disadvantage of clairvoyance is that the spirits have to use symbols to give a message. I would occasionally get feelings, and less often smells, and words. When I got words, even though I use the term clairaudient, I felt the words in my mouth as if I was saying them rather than hearing them.
One of the hardest things about mediumship was putting psychic perceptions into words. You have to develop an appropriate vocabulary to say things without offending people and to describe what you see. It was a skill I didn't have much practice at. I had plenty of experience putting things into words from writing corporate e-mails and writing on technical subjects from work life and graduate school, but that was not the same as what I had to do in mediumship. Having to put things into words also gives your analytical brain a chance to color the information with inferences, deductions, and associations which leads to errors in the reading. I think being clairaudient must be easiest for the medium. They just repeat what they hear.
By the end of a reading I would often get a feeling of the personality of the spirit like the way you have a mental idea of the personality of someone you know. One spirit in particular had a really cheerful attitude. Attitudes are contagious when you are perceiving them psychically. Just communicating with him make me feel cheerful. I didn't want the reading to end.
A close emotional bond between the sitter and the spirit or the spirit and the medium usually results in better communication between the spirit and the medium. This is consistent with the findings of parapsychology which have shown that emotional involvement correlates with better psychic functioning.
The problem of coloring psychic information with inferences, deductions and associations is a problem that also came up in remote viewing research. Remote viewers call it "analytic overlay". This is described some of the popular books on the remote viewing research and in the military remote viewing manual available on the internet. The methods the remote viewers have for detecting and dealing with analytic overlay are very good. I think mediums could learn something by studying the systematic and scientific approach that was taken when remote viewing methodology was developed.
It would be interesting to have mediums go through a remote viewing course and remote viewers go to a mediumship class. I suspect a lot would be learned by both groups of psychics and by researchers from cross training. With mediumship, there are spirits working to help the psychic, so it would also be interesting to see if there was some way to measure or identify that there is something different occurring with mediumship than with remote viewing.
It is unfortunate that mediumship has not been studied with the same systematic scientific approach that remote viewing has been and also that systematic and scientific training methods for mediumship have not been developed. There has been a lot of research into mediumship but none that I am aware of into training methods.
It is very valuable that the method of training for remote viewing was developed at the same time a systematic methodology was developed for doing it. That makes a big difference in studying remote viewing scientifically. It would be nice if an analogous system existed for mediumship. When the researchers are thoroughly familiar with the teaching methods and the methods for doing the task, they are better able to design experiments to study the process, find better ways of doing it, and discovering the natural laws that determine how it works.
Spirits get better at communicating the more they do it. In my opinion, this is one of the strongest arguments against super-psi as an explanation for mediumship. This is also why I think scientists who study mediumship should work with a development circle of advanced students. The deceased relatives of these students have a lot of practice communicating through the other class members and are very good at it. A blind study where the medium doesn't know who the sitter is should give very good results. The results could be judged by having a sitter try to distinguish a reading that was for him from a reading that was for someone else. In this situation, it doesn't matter that the students know all about each other's deceased relatives because the reading and judging are done blind.
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