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THE SPIRIT WHISPERERChronicles of a Medium
By John Holland
HAY HOUSE, INC.Copyright © 2010 John Holland
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Rise of Mediumship
"How many of you are the different ones in your family?" That's the question that I ask of all my audiences at every lecture and demonstration. More than 80 percent of any audience is likely to raise their hands as they nod their heads in acknowledgment. But what do I mean by different? Let me try to explain. If you're the sort of person who questions whether there's more to life than what is directly in front of you, then you're a little different from the rest of society. If you've had your own spiritual experiences, are somehow drawn to metaphysics and New Age, and have a keen interest in psychic phenomena; or if you know your soul is trying to reaching out to you to follow its guidance, then again you're a little different.
I was always the different one in my family. I was extrasensitive and knew things as a child that I couldn't possibly have known or guessed. I'd know who was about to unexpectedly visit or which relative was ill. I'd often know what people were about to say just before they opened their mouths. I'd see spirit people in my bedroom and always wondered whether I was dreaming. Yet none of thisfazed me at the time, for those experiences had been there since I was born. How could I be afraid of what has always been a part of me and my life? So let me ask the question again: Are we really different or are we simply just awake? If you're reading this book, then you probably know there's more to this life and are tired of sleepwalking through it.
I'm sure that many people who come to my lectures do so out of curiosity. They may be unfamiliar with what mediumship is all about and exactly how I can help them. One of the questions I'm often asked is: "Exactly what is a medium?" Throughout the ages, there have been numerous definitions. Typically, a medium acts as a connection or a conduit between this physical world and that of the Spirit World. I simply tell people to imagine me as the "middleman." As a medium, I've had my fair share of being criticized, tested, idolized, and yes ... even laughed at. All this doesn't bother me as it did in the past. I have a job to do, and I will continue to assist and to help validate that we are all in fact eternal beings with unlimited potential.
No matter how you look at it, we have an enthusiastic and eager willingness to embrace the possibility of life after death. Since man first began to walk the earth, he has constantly strived to understand the nature of his own existence. I feel it's an ongoing desire that resonates deep inside our hearts and souls. I almost defy anyone to say he hasn't wondered about this at some point in his life and asked himself the question: Do we really continue to live on after death?
According to the science of physics, nothing is lost in the universe. We are eternal and have always existed as spirit. We existed before we were born and will continue to exist long after our physical bodies die. So with that said, then it's true, "You cannot die for the life of you!" The real you will continue to live on after you leave this physical world, and I believe that it's my job as a spirit whisperer to help validate just that.
The Spirit World Breaks Through
In my first book, I wrote an incredible story of how those on the Other-Side showed up for the first time in one of my psychic readings. It was a day I'll truly never forget! It seems like a lifetime ago that I began to do this work. I don't feel that I'm the same man who wrote Born Knowing! After all, so much has changed, and I've learned, grown, and developed beyond all my early expectations; I just simply had to get out of my own way.
I'm going back to the beginning here, more than 17 years ago. I was working as a psychic and not a medium in those days. Little did I realize that those on the Other-Side had their own plans for how I was going to work in the future. There's quite a big difference between practicing as a psychic and a medium. There's a wonderful saying that goes: "All mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums." Let me explain that more fully. A psychic reads your aura (your past, present, and potential future), whereas a medium gets information directly from those on the Other-Side.
It was while living in Los Angeles in the 1990s that I was involved in a serious automobile accident. To this day, I'm convinced, as I said previously, that it was this very accident that put me on the path that I now walk. Sometimes it does take a drastic life change to truly begin living! After the accident, the psychic abilities I'd experienced as a child, the same ones I'd pushed away at a very young age, were now back, but this time they were a hundred times stronger. When my abilities started to surface, many of my friends were encouraging me to give readings. All my old demons started to tug away inside. I hesitated and fought a running battle with myself rather than making the choice to just do it! Even though I knew I was being guided, I didn't want to be called names again or be pointed at. I didn't want to have to deal with skeptics, and what most people don't realize is that the responsibility of this work can be overwhelming at times. After all, others' lives are at stake.
Finally, after a lot more study on psychic phenomena and understanding how my own abilities worked and functioned, I was more confident to move forward on a journey that I knew I had to take. The continued support of my friends helped enormously, so I made the decision to start reading for people, but only as a psychic.
Slowly people began to hear about me, and an artist named Maury, who'd heard about me from a friend, came to see me for a reading. She wanted to discuss certain areas of her life, and as she sat down, she explained that she'd been feeling as if there were a number of different roads springing up in front of her. She asked me if I could give her some guidance on the direction that was for her highest good. I don't really recall the exact moment that things started to happen, but one minute we were talking about her design career, and the next I felt as if something had shifted in the room - and it had. These days with all my years of experience, I refer to this shift as "the quickening." It's hard to explain what happened in simple terms, but it felt a bit like everything was just going a little faster, as though someone had turned up the switch. More significantly, it meant that Maury and I weren't alone anymore ... not by a long shot.
As I looked at Maury again, I suddenly noticed that sitting right beside her was an elderly woman with an incredibly warm smile. I saw her there as clear as day. I felt the uncontrollable urge to tell my client immediately, but I didn't really know the best way to say it. So I just blurted it out: "Maury, there's an older woman sitting beside you, and there's something strange about her clothes - nothing matches. Oh! And yes, she keeps talking about a diamond." Maury let out a scream, I screamed, she hugged me, and I hugged her!
I calmed down a bit, reminding myself to take a moment to breathe. I could clearly hear this old woman's voice in my head. She was relentless, saying the same thing over and over again: "She'll know who I am. Mention the diamond! Mention the diamond!" This was all so new to me. I'd never done a reading like this before. Of course, as you'd expect, I did exactly as she asked. I just pushed on, and found myself talking so fast that I didn't even stop to check in with Maury to see how she was reacting to this tidal wave of messages. I didn't have to wait long, though, because all of a sudden she let out a loud gasp for air and just burst into tears. It took me by surprise, and I got up to console her, asking, "So, who is this woman?"
In a broken voice, she said, "John, it's my Great-aunt Ada, who raised me. She was color blind, yet she insisted on choosing her own clothes. Our family never knew what she'd show up wearing, and this diamond ring I'm wearing right now was hers, and she left it to me!" She held out her hand so I could admire the ring that was catching the light in the room perfectly.
Maury continued to tell me how she and Ada had a very strong bond, right up to her death ten years earlier. "She loved me and was always so kind to me. I could always count on her. Even though she's gone, I have something to remind me of her. I inherited her diamond ring." Maury sobbed. "I miss her so much."
I sat there slightly amazed myself, not quite comprehending what had just happened. Was this how it was going to be for the rest of my life? Was this my destiny?
As my client composed herself, we sat down again, and I suggested that we continue our journey together.
"Is she still there?" Maury whispered.
"Yes, she's here," I said. "She's smiling, and she's asking me to tell you that she's always close by." Half an hour later, Maury hugged me once again on the doorstep and left with a huge smile on her face.
I collapsed on the couch. I couldn't believe what had happened. I lay there and said to myself, Great. First, I have to accept that I'm a psychic with all that goes with that responsibility. Now I'm talking to the dead!
At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion why this was a turning point, and why all of a sudden I was communicating with spirits who'd departed this physical world. For about two years, I'd been giving psychic readings and in some way, I must have reached an entirely new level of ability. Not only was I seeing these spirits, but they were also communicating directly with me, or should I say through me.
Something equally odd happened with that early reading, which I really want to share. I found out later that Maury couldn't wait to play the cassette tape of our session. She told me weeks later that when I was talking about her design career, my voice sounded perfectly normal on the tape. However, when Great-aunt Ada appeared to "do her thing," the tape just sped up all on its own, to the point where everything sounded like it was on hyperspeed. When Ada's energy faded and she was gone, the tape returned to normal, and Maury was able to hear our voices again. Somehow, the Spirit World was jump-starting the entire atmosphere.
This marked the first time that they were present during a reading. From that point on, they showed up almost every time and started to make their presence known beforehand. It was certainly not that unusual to be driving to a reading or lecture, only to find the backseat crowded with spirits jostling for position to be the first one to speak.
As always, I wasn't ready to accept this without understanding what was going on, and I needed to put some logic around it, if that was possible. I wanted to know why this was happening, and better yet, what I should do about it. There was no time to delay, so I set out to do as much research as I could on the complex subject of mediumship. Almost every book I read was from the UK and constantly mentioned Spiritualism. The questions swirled around inside my head. What is Spiritualism? Is it a faith or a religion? Does science come into it? On the other hand, is it simply a philosophy? Would this faith help me understand what was happening to me?
I knew that I had to find answers to the questions that were plaguing me. As a student, I knew that I wouldn't rest until I'd gained as much knowledge as possible. I was a man with a mission.
The Emergence of Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a belief system that has its foundations in the continuity of life and communication with Spirit through the spiritual ability of mediumship. For many, it's also a religion, a philosophy, and ... a way of life. The Spiritualists' faith has a very calming and healing effect, as it is their belief that we don't die and that our loved ones who have passed on are still very much alive and well in Spirit. Sadly, too many Hollywood movies have portrayed this faith in a somewhat spooky light, giving the wrong impression about what Spiritualism is today.
Spiritualism was actually founded in 1848 in America when two teenage sisters were experiencing strange happenings in their small cottage home in Hydesville, New York. Disturbing noises, knockings and raps, movements of objects, and other supernatural phenomena were occurring day after day.
The Fox sisters, Margeretta and Kate, would often hear very loud bangs and raps coming from the walls, which kept them awake. The noises didn't seem to emanate from any one specific point, so they decided to come up with their own form of communication to see if the noises would respond back to them. The sisters began to clap their hands, and in return, the raps mimicked the same number of claps. They were highly perplexed, wondering if the noises and raps had some kind of intelligence.
At one point, the sisters yelled out, "Knock twice for yes and once for no!" To their absolute amazement, they discovered that the raps were answering them! In earnest, they decided to devise another code so that they could communicate further. They had the idea of using raps to spell out the letters in the alphabet. One rap for the letter a, two raps for the letter b, three for the letter c, and so on. They were very excited because they could actually have a conversation with whatever or whoever was making the noise. They patiently wrote out the whole alphabet letter by letter in their new rapping-type language.
Through this form of communication, they discovered that the noises were actually coming from the spirit of a man named Charles B. Rosna. He was a traveling salesman who'd lived in the sisters' house with another family with the last name of Bell. The Fox family moved in a few years later.
Through a series of raps, Charles told the sisters that he had been murdered, and that all his valuables had been stolen. To the sisters' complete surprise, he told them that he was buried in the basement! Using their newfound special code, he also told them about a tin box that had been buried with him.
Soon the sisters' mom got involved in what they were doing, and she came up with a great idea. She wondered if this spirit of Charles Rosna could not only hear her family, but could actually see them as well. Mrs. Fox tried a little experiment. She would clap her hands a number of times silently and then ask the spirit to bang out how many times she silently clapped. To their surprise, the number of raps came back exactly the same. They all stood there in total amazement, wondering what to do next.
The news of the sisters spread like wildfire. People came from all over to experience the phenomena for themselves. People were amazed by how normal the Fox sisters appeared. They were just two simple young girls who had a basic education and were not particularly religious in any way. From what everyone could see and experience, these girls were, in fact, communicating with the spirit of a man who had died tragically some years before in that very house.
Of course, the story doesn't end there. Sure enough, the basement floor was excavated, and the remains of one Mr. Charles B. Rosna, the traveling salesman, were found. Moreover, just as he'd told the sisters, there was a tin box lying right beside him. The psychic happenings at the Foxes' home encouraged other people to try communicating with the Spirit World for themselves. Many individuals across the country were forming groups in an attempt to communicate with loved ones who had gone on before them. Many discovered that some people were able to communicate with spirits far more than others, and soon, mediumship was on the rise; and Spiritualism, a new religion of faith, had begun.
Over the years, the Fox sisters went on to demonstrate their mediumship and talk about their experiences. They helped others by using their unique form of mediumship in further attempts to communicate with other spirits.
Although Spiritualism was actually founded in America, it also flourished in England. Many of its followers were women, and it was the only religion where females could speak out and be heard. Many members also supported the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.
There are still Spiritualist churches in the United States, but not nearly as many as there are "across the pond," as they say. Mediumship not only caught the attention of the British people, but royalty and even wise scholars like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle developed an interest in the subject. To this day, many continue their quest to learn as much as they can about this fascinating topic.
Excerpted from THE SPIRIT WHISPERER by John Holland Copyright © 2010 by John Holland. Excerpted by permission.
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