To begin, I would like to point out that those who accept the Seven Principles of Spiritualism are free to interpret these principle in their own way. This is my interpretation of reality and Spiritualism. It is offered to provoke thought and conversation as well as a deepening of understanding.
For many of us our first awareness comes sometime after our birth in physical bodies. We spend much of our lives focused on our physical development, and in later years, perhaps on how our bodies fail to do what they were able to do before. For these reasons it is little wonder that we tend to adopt a materialist outlook on our own existence. This outlook or ontology is reinforced all around us. There are those, like Richard Dawkins, who take this so far as to dismiss any possibility of an existence beyond our physical life. What you see is what you get, even if what you see in the mirror is less that what you would have liked. From this perspective (which could be described as atheism – or a religion of nothingness), we are physical bodies only - heaven if there is one is located in the brain and that the experience of heaven is akin to ecstasy in earthly delights-sex, drugs, rock and roll. This materialist outlook has been summed up by eminent scientist, Dr. Stephen Hawking.
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark. --Stephen Hawking
According to Dr. Hawking, you are born, live, die and then you cease to exist. He is right, this belief does induce fear. Indeed, the fear of death is the ultimate fear that those who adopt the religion of materialism face every waking minute of their physical existence.
The afterlife has been largely marginalized into the realm of religion. Many religions, including Spiritualism, speak about us passing over - where the spirit leaves the body and moves to the Spirit world.
Many of the early Western religions speak of a heaven, where acceptance is conditional, like a gated community, where only those who are deemed worthy may enter. Those who are less worthy must go to a much less desirable place.
Spiritualists believe that we create our own heaven or hell by virtue of our thoughts, words and deeds. We believe that we can do this on earth and in heaven. We believe that we continue to grow and progress after we make our transition, if we so choose to pursue that growth. After death, the physical body is left behind while the soul continues to exist in a different dimension that we call the spirit world. The individual personality continues unchanged by the event we call ‘death’. The common thread interwoven into all of these beliefs is that heaven is somewhere that we go to upon death.
But then how is mediumship possible?
What if our spirit, that part of us which is eternal has always existed in heaven and never leaves heaven? What if we shifted our consciousness when we identified with our physical bodies upon birth? There have been many stories of mediums who have reported seeing spirit from a very young age. There is a common belief that children generally possess the innate ability to see the spirit world until they are convinced by their parents to identify only with the material world. Perhaps the truth is that only our awareness shifts away from heaven as we age and then returns to the spirit world when we unfold our mediumistic abilities or no longer possess physical bodies upon death.
What if our spirit, that part of us which is eternal has always existed in heaven and never leaves heaven?
If spirit communication or mediumship is simply the matter of shifting our awareness to our spirit in heaven, then mediumship is really simple. The spirit of the one who has passed comes close to the spirit of the medium in heaven. The challenging part for the medium is then the ability to maintain the focus of their awareness with their own spirit to bring about the communication. When the medium is successful to maintaining their awareness in heaven, he or she is then able to see, hear, feel, and know the thoughts of the spirit communicator.
Another implication is that if everyone learned how to shift their awareness to heaven, there would be no need for mediums. Indeed, this means that anyone and everyone has the ability to communicate with their loved ones in heaven. In this way, mediumship, like heaven, is not a gift that is bestowed upon only those who are especially worthy of such a gift, it is the birthright of everyone who walks on this planet. It is the essence of our nature as beings who co-exist on earth and heaven.
If we never left heaven, then perhaps heaven will call us not only when we die, but calls us every moment of every day on earth. Our spirit in heaven calls us to be compassionate and loving. It calls us to a life of service and caring for others. It calls us to share what we have to ease the suffering of others. Spirit calls us to unfold our innate potential to make our earth a better place for not only other human beings but all life on this planet. It is a quiet gentle voice which is present to console us when we despair and always encourages us to take the next step in our journey of unfoldment. It is the voice of our conscience which reminds us when we have stepped off the path. In this way, creating heaven on earth is only a matter of a shift of conscious awareness and adopting a closer relationship with our spirit in heaven. This is the inspiration which is the foundation of our spiritual community – the Eternity Connection.