spiritualism, part 1

It's truly amazing to see how far I had lost myself. I didn't even know it was happening. One day I woke up and I could barely convince myself to go on. 

It's important to remember that. Now when I get frustrated about my path I remember where it began, and I know that so much has changed, and I've grown beyond what I could ever imagine (and I'm still going!!). 

As you might know, I've been attending Plymouth Spiritualist Church (PSC) for the last few months. At first I was going to services every other Sunday (which was all my schedule would allow for), but lately I've been making more of an effort to go as often as I can. I've even taken a few classes through the church, and I'm taking steps to become a member (check back for Part 2 of this post!).

"As the sunflower turns its face toward the light of the sun,
so Spiritualism turns the face of humanity toward the light of truth."

This might seem sudden to you, and it might even seem like something I wouldn't do (depending on when you knew me!), and I can see why you'd feel that way. The first time I went to Plymouth was several years ago. The service was fine—but the Pastor mentioned Jesus (literally just in passing), and I FLEW out of there. I was so scared of drinking the Kool-Aid and finding that I had sneakily been brought into a Christian church. I'm not anti-Christian at all, but I've had lots of pretty negative experiences with their churches (multiple sects/branches).

Despite my fear, PSC's Pastor kept finding her way into my life. She did the funeral service for my Nana. I loved it so much that I asked her to perform my wedding. Through the good experiences I had with her, I warmed back up to Spiritualism, and I started doing research. Fast forward to early 2014, and I was ready to try going back to the church.

Obligatory wedding picture

As you read in my last post, I've been having a great time at PSC and am trying to get more involved. I wanted to share some of the basics of Spiritualism, and some of the experiences I've had at the church. 

Spiritualism was founded in 1848 in Hydesville, NY (now Arcadia). The Fox sisters successfully communicated with a spirit, proving the continuation of life after death. The first Spiritualist church was organized in downtown Rochester in 1906. This original church (PSC) became a member of the National Association of Spiritualist Churches (NASC), an organization which served to solidify the religion's principles and protect against fraudulent behavior. The NASC has a set of nine principles that define Spiritualism:

  1. We believe in Infinite Intelligence;
  2. We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence;
  3. We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith constitute true religion;
  4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death;
  5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism;
  6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." 
  7. We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual, and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature's physical and spiritual laws;
  8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter; 
  9. We affirm that the precept of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship. 

The church focuses on teaching and performing mediumship, as well as spiritual healing. Death is considered a change, rather than an end, and we are encouraged to communicate with those on the other side. Aside from that, there is basically no dogma. Spiritualism can be practiced alone, or applied to almost any other religion.

I still had doubts about the spiritual healing aspect of the church, however. The healing portion is really the bulk of the service, and, while I found it to be a wonderful opportunity for meditation, I didn't see the validity of the healing (I mean, I believe that different people have different truths. I just didn't know if spiritual healing was one of my truths). Finally, I had an opportunity to sit and receive healing. As soon as the healer put her hands on my head, I could feel the energy. I was aware of a warm, tingling vibration in my body wherever the healer put her hands. It was as if there was a cloud of warm energy around her hands, and, as her hands got closer to my skin, I could feel that energy infusing with my own. It was invigorating, and I was, honestly, shocked that I experienced such a sensation.

So, I decided to become a member of the church and learn all I could. For the church to consider your membership application, you must take a class called Pathway to Plymouth. It's basically a Spiritualism 101 class with PSC history mixed in. Due to unforeseen circumstances at the church and scheduling conflicts, the Pastor offered to present the class to me privately. We sat in her office in the church and I learned a whole lot. After class, the Pastor gave me a tour of the church. When we went into the séance room (a small, very dark room, with a round table surrounded by chairs), I could immediately feel tons of energy (it was a very fast vibration in my upper chest). As the tour progressed, I developed an unfamiliar headache. It felt like there was a lot of tension in my temples—like they were being pulled toward each other. I assumed I was a little dehydrated, so I went home and drank a lot of water. I laid on the couch. Finally I took some pain meds. Nothing helped. 

I had to go pick up my partner on the south side of the city that evening. Still headachy, I got in the van and headed out. At one point I had to change lanes, and looked back over my right shoulder. I saw a dark figure (head, shoulders, arms, chest) sitting all the way in the back of my van. As I looked at it, it ducked down behind a seat. I immediately knew that I had seen spiritand that it was a young boy (for the record, there wasn't an intruder in my van). But that's all I knew. 

As I got closer to picking up my partner, I missed my stop, and took the next right turn so I could just loop back around. As luck would have it [/sarcasm], I turned down a dead end street. At its end, I started to do a K-turn. When I was sitting perpendicularly in the middle of the road, my gear shift stopped working. I freaked out. Like crazy.

After receiving a few messages from my loved ones on the other side (I could identify two distinct family members), I was convinced that the mediums working in the church were legit. Now, it wasn't like I was told specific names or places (which I've seen happen, but not in my case)—but I was told things that were very meaningful to me, and it would be unlikely that someone else would have the same reaction (what I'm trying to say is that, for me, I was given all the information I needed to know as opposed to believe). 

It was only after that healing that I knew, for sure, that I was going in the right direction, and that I'd found the right people, and that I have been experiencing real things. It was on that same day that I took a class at Plymouth about meeting my spirit guides. In guided meditation, I actually had a vision—I saw shapes and colors and concepts that I was sure I wasn't actively thinking about. I've never experienced that before. 

Here's a REAL picture of the inside of my car! See that little loopy thing in the upper center of the picture? Yeah, that's the issue here. 

I called my dad. He said I'd probably need a tow truck. I freaked out more. I called my partner and told her my situation. She came running. Once she found me, she explained that this had happened to her a few times beforethe linkage had come undone (or something, I don't know much about cars) and you could literally stick your hand in and shove it back together. We were on our way home in no time. 

I felt instantly that I was supposed to receive a message. Things aren't as bad as they seem. Don't lose your shit when you don't even know the situation.

Most recently, I took a Reiki 1 class with my Pastor. Over the course of an entire day I learned all about reiki, I was "attuned", and I practiced on my classmates. As with the spiritual healing, I was really shocked at how much I could actually feel. Whether I was giving or receiving reiki, I could feel warm or cool energy on my body. I felt more relaxed than I ever have in my life. I went home and did reiki on myself and all my houseplants. It such a humbling experience to do reiki on my plants. I bowed to them, and my put my hands on their pots, and I let the energy flow. When I was finished, I bowed to them again. 

The experience of opening doors has just been earth-shattering. You know, it's a lot like that energy-orgasm I had in college, but spread way out. I keep having an experience that makes me realize that I haven't actually been experiencing all of reality. There is so much more. Guess what? We never die. I know that. I know that because I've interacted with spirits of people I know. Guess what else? We all have the power to heal. All of us! I know this to be true because I've experienced it. I have received healing, and I've given it. It's real, guys.

I know that my path right now is in growing these abilities. This weekend I'll become a member at the church-and I would really encourage anyone else who's ever been even slightly interested in anything I've wrote about today to visit the church. I promise it's not weird, and I promise they're not crazy (mostly. it's no fun without a little crazy).  


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