“Space and time are not the conditions in which we live, they are simply modes in which we think”
– Albert Einstein
You can turn on the TV and watch feisty Theresa Caputo (the “Long Island Medium”) or see John Edward’s show “Crossing Over”, as they use their controversial gifts to connect with the spirits of the dead. For generations amazing mediums have been “parting the curtain,” through which we can glimpse, those who have crossed over to the other side.
Energy is never lost. When a person dies the soul energy ( life-force, chi, spirit) simply transforms from the physical. Virtually every religion and almost every culture believes the soul survives death. Throughout documented history there have been people who were able to communicate with the dead. Someone that communicates with those who have died is called a medium. In the digital world there are many psychics, intuitive’s and mediums who seem to have this gift and are sometimes able to reach loved ones that have left the physical world.
In the mid-to late 1800’s there was an international focus on a wide range of after-life phenomena. Seances, automatic writing, tapping, table turning,and channeling were widely practiced as a means to communicate with the dead. A religion/movement called Spiritualism grew around the basic concept that spirits were able communicate the living.
Scientist Dr Charles Richet from France, English naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace (Charles Darwin’s cited partner in the development of the theory of evolution) and John Worth Edmonds the American Judge all wrote about and researched parapsychology. Renowned physicists Pierre and Marie Curie and Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor or the telephone) were participants in many seances. A well documented body of scientific study, as well as, a healthy dose of skeptic testing was done.
During this time, Emma Hardinge Britten was traveling the world as a renowned medium and an advocate for the Spiritualism movement. Emma was famous for her conversations with the ghost of a crew member of the steamer “Pacific” which sunk with all hands. The owners of the boat threatened legal action against Emma, but her version of the tragedy as told by the ghost could not be disputed.
Lenore Piper was perhaps the most tested American medium. She was able to relay messages from the dead while she was in a trance-like state. After years of exhaustive testing in America and England all of her debunkers agreed that Lenore had no way of knowing the names and intimate details that were given to her by the ghosts of departed loved ones.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the English author, of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, was an early investigator of seances. He was arguably the best selling author in the world, by the time he became convinced that Spiritualism was fact. His worldwide lecture tour and books on Spiritualism spread the idea that when someone departs from the physical they remain alive in the afterlife. He was largely responsible for bringing focus to the many mediums who were doing amazing work in the United States.