Beyond the Hype: What to Expect from Mediumship

It took me a long time to warm up to mediumship. For much of my life I have been bothered by marauding entities and the thought of inviting communication with the discarnate made me uncomfortable. Eventually, I decided to break out of my concerns and started experimenting with it. Slowly, I began to see the advantages of intentionally communicating with other levels of consciousness. For one, there is no better way to soothe grief than by being able to be in touch with your deceased loved one. Furthermore, not only will mediumship teach you a thing or two about the complexities of the universe in which we live; most importantly, it will help you overcome the fear of death. “Nobody is born and nobody dies,” wrote Nisargadatta Maharaj; you can take his word at face value, or you can experience this truth for yourself.

In spite of the glamour that Hollywood has bestowed upon mediumship, this is just a psychic skill like any other. As is the case with any form of subtle perception, everybody is perfectly capable of developing it. The key, as always, is to gain control over your mental filters as you learn to listen carefully.  

On the other hand, while mediumship is not difficult to achieve, it should only be practiced after establishing a degree of protection against lower energies. Contrary to common beliefs, it is not enough to open ritual space by calling on angels or whatever high powers may rule one’s belief system. Instead, in addition to applying circumstantial filters to each attempt to reach beyond the veil, the aspiring medium should practice the kind of emotional hygiene that is best described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. If your line of conduct is characterized by precepts such as non-violence; truthfulness; non-stealing; moderation; non-attachment; purity; contentment; self-discipline; self-study; and surrender to the divine, even the meanest astral lowlife will have little to hold on to when they come for your bright-shining light.

Bear in mind that the teaching of “non-attachment” should also apply to your own relationship with the practice of mediumship and its fruits. All too often do mediums get so enthralled at the opportunity to contact the deceased that their view of the universe shrinks beyond reason. If your reality only includes the physical world and the afterlife, you may find yourself scouring the latter for wisdom. What you will find, however, is plenty of opinions.  

Dying does not necessarily make you any wiser. If you did not trust Aunt Alice’s advice while she was alive, you should not do so after her death, either. Of course, you can and should take the opportunity to convey your love to her even as you give her a chance to wrap up her unfinished business. On her end, however, Aunt Alice may want to give you a piece of her mind about what you should and should not do with your work, your spouse, your children, etc. Thank her for her insights but do not for a moment assume that, by virtue of having lost her physical body, Aunt Alice is now blessed with a deeper mystical knowledge. Imagine staring at the horizon from your backyard. After dying, Aunt Alice has climbed on a stool right next to you; how much broader is her view compared to yours?

In conclusion: the practice of mediumship is highly beneficial in alleviating grief and overcoming the fear of death—your own and that of your loved ones. However, since the dimension in which most humans dwell after leaving the physical world is still largely ensconced in the mundane, you should not expect mediumship to answer your deeper spiritual questions, nor should you resort to it for moral and material guidance.

For Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, check out this edition with B.K.S. Iyengar’s commentaries:

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