Every soul on earth has a direct connection with the spiritual world. Thus, everyone, including you, has their own personal “spiritual portal”. This portal remains attached to you wherever you may go, a bit like an infinitely flexible pipe with one end attached to you and the other end anchored in Spirit. Whenever you say a prayer, both the prayer and the unconscious reply from Spirit make use of this portal.
Mediums communicate with their spirit guides through their portals, and the “spot” in Spirit where their portal is anchored determines the nature of the spirits that the medium first channels. The medium is likely to form his or her opinions about the afterlife based on their perceptions of the spiritual society where their portal is anchored. A medium isn’t necessarily confined to channeling spirits from his or her anchor point in spirit, but their guides and teachers generally come from that group, and thus opinions on doctrinal and structural issues can vary widely.
Most famous mediums whose primary focus is on bereavement agree on the pleasant conditions encountered by the spirits of ordinary people who have recently passed into Spirit and have “crossed over”. Some see little evidence of negativity any place in the spiritual realm and a few emphatically deny that any form of negativity exists in the world of spirit because they believe that the process of death confers celestial knowledge on everyone who crosses into Spirit.
Other mediums, especially those who specialize in investigating hauntings, seem more open to channeling earthbound spirits who, for whatever reason, are bound to the earth sphere (see the next chapter) and exist in a much less pleasant spiritual environment. Mediums frequently disagree about the doctrinal or structural aspects of the spiritual realm that they contact. Some accept the existence of darker realms beneath the earth sphere, and some don’t. Most believe in reincarnation, but some don’t. Some see the spiritual realm in the context of their native religious beliefs, and some reject their childhood religious beliefs entirely.
As you will learn in the next chapter, the spiritual realm is both vertically and horizontally stratified. The vertical stratification is based on the spiritual evolution of the spirits that occupy that particular spiritual level. The horizontal stratification is based on voluntary groupings of spirits (Emanuel Swedenborg called them “societies”) based on characteristics such as nationality, religion or even their personal preferences. Some Mediums prefer to channel one particular group of spirits and rarely stray outside of their preferred group. These mediums are more likely to form their opinions about the doctrinal or structural nature of the spiritual realm based on the opinions of that particular spiritual society.
Thus, a medium’s view of the spiritual realm, as well as his or her knowledge of the environmental and doctrinal aspects of the spiritual realm depends on the knowledge and prejudices of their guides or the spirits they prefer to channel. Spirits are not endowed with any kind of universal knowledge when they enter the realm of Spirit. When someone dies, his or her spirit naturally gravitates to groups of other like-minded spirits with similar earthly backgrounds and their beliefs may be no more informed than the beliefs they held while living their earthly lives.
In addition, the higher a spirit advances along the road of spiritual evolution, the more difficult it is to describe the conditions it experiences because those experiences have no human equivalent. It is easy for a psychic to misinterpret or misrepresent a spirit’s attempt to describe these ineffable conditions. Furthermore, very advanced spirits would have little reason to make contact with living people. These spirits have been in the spiritual realm for so long that all of the souls that they knew on earth would likely have died long ago and would already be in Spirit with them. They would not know anyone alive on earth today, and no one alive on earth today remembers the person they were when they were alive. And remember that the earth is just a kindergarten where souls first learn to get their spiritual footing. You wouldn’t find Einstein teaching relativity to 5 year olds, and you won’t find very advanced spirits giving advice for confused and ignorant earthly people.
The spirits themselves can truthfully describe only the conditions on the planes that they have actually experienced. Because death does not bestow universal knowledge on anyone, a lot of spiritual advice about the conditions on higher celestial planes actually comes from less evolved spirits who offer information based on the opinions they brought with them from their own earth lives. Some may simply make up things to impress the living. This subject is more fully expanded in chapter 19 (spirit lies.)
That’s why this book is based on the views and experiences of a multitude of psychics and mediums, both modern and historical. Since relatively few mediums deal with the darker aspects of the spiritual world, it also references phenomenological evidence such as ghosts, poltergeists and the mystical experiences of thousands of ordinary people.
Mediumship and psychic insight have been around since the dawn of man. The types of psychics are discussed in detail in chapter 16. You can also learn quite a bit about the relationship between psychics and their spirits, as well as the difficulties they encounter if you skip ahead to chapter 24 on the Fox Sisters and the Birth of Spiritualism.