Spiritualism is a theme that runs throughout The Resurrectionist. Spiritualism is the belief that people can communicate with the spirits of former human beings and is a subject that has fascinated me for many years. Our main protagonist, William Stark, has his first encounter with Spiritualism when Justin leads him to the old Victorian house where he meets Monika and Corbin for the first time and the group attempts a seance. Will is uncomfortable with the idea but reluctantly goes along with it.
Records and accounts of Spiritualism have been recorded throughout history. Spiritualism is believed to have peaked during the 1840's to 1920's. Unfortunately, people also saw dollar signs in Spiritualism and it's decline can be attributed to those fraudulent souls looking to exploit people for their personal gain. There is also the myth that working with spirits or spirit communication is somehow the "work of the devil," which causes a lot of misconceptions and false beliefs.
Spirit communication is a gift and an ability that humans can develop through meditation and practice. Spirits communicate differently than humans. Obviously, a spirit does not have vocal cords to speak with but they can communicate by projecting images, feelings, and thoughts onto the minds of human beings. My understanding of how the process works is that higher and more evolved spirits will never tell us directly what to do, they will however offer guidance and steer us in a positive direction if we are open. The communication will always be indirect and left open to our interpretation due to the spiritual law of free will.
The best example I have read on this process is to think of someone who has been in an accident and had damage to the speech centers of the brain. The person might communicate in broken or jumbled sentences, it is then up to us to listen carefully and fill in the blanks ... spirit communication is never 100% accurate but can be very close. Another way to think of it is to remember the telephone game we played as kids, how one person starts with a message and whispers it to the next person and they in turn whisper it to their neighbor. In the end you might get something close to the original message but it might not be exact. This is where meditation comes into play. Meditation helps us learn to calm and balance our minds so that we prevent our own thoughts from coming into play. In order for the telephone game to be successful we must work hard to listen, quiet our minds, and not interfere with the message being told to us ... this is the basis for spirit communication.
There are some dangers and concerns that need to be taken into account when meditating and attempting spirit communication. The apostle John writes in his letter to Paul that one must "try the spirits whether they are from God." Just like the world we live in there are many personalities, some are positive and loving, some not so much. It is advisable to always begin any mediation practice with a prayer of protection from lower spirit influences. No spirit is allowed to interfere with our free will unless we give them permission.