Medium Stephen Wakeling Answers Your Questions
Date: 8 September 2012
Thank you for your enquiry, which rather than a singular question presents an assortment of doubts and statements on the subject of the authenticity of mediumship, as it is portrayed in the present day.
When I receive questions, I always take time to think and contemplate upon my reply. With your particular points and statements, more consideration has been needed before providing my answer. I am a little suspicious with this type of questions/statements, especially from a person who says they have little, or no, knowledge of spiritual matters. Yet you go into great depth on subject matter, which already possesses prior knowledge. The numerous points set within a question, using specific terminology: there is suggestion of a person’s prior insight and understanding. Accordingly I become rather perplexed to say the least. As a result, I am taking your enquiry from a literal perspective. Accordingly, I will answer within the parameters of my own comprehension and understanding. Nevertheless, I categorically make one point! I am only answerable for my own actions. As such, how another medium conduct themselves and how they use their gifts is their own personal responsibility. Consequently in no way, will I take a stance, or enter a debate, which could be misinterpreted to be judgement of the actions of others.
Let’s commence with your first point. This is your comparison between the mediumship of John Sloane’s evidential spiritual information, given many years ago to Arthur Findlay. The contrast is one which is unrealistic, so let me make this consideration. In all things, there are people with greater capacities and skills, which excel that of others. Take any profession, sport, art, commerce, spiritual, religious teacher or an exalted guru. In the days of the great Scottish Medium John Sloan, we were fortunate to have a man with a gift that shone like the greatest jewel in the crown of a king or queen. Yes, times have changed. John Sloan lived in a time when expectations were less, and dedication to spiritual unfoldment was met with fortitude of years and years of hard work, effort and deliberation. Even in what now seems like years ago, there were mediums of differing capacities and aptitudes. Perhaps there were those who had lesser gifts and using your words, could well have fallen into the trap of being called charlatans and fakes. John Sloan was a ‘master’, one of very, very few. Yes, there have been others since, the truly gifted Gordon Higginson former President of the National Spiritualist Union (SNU), a personal friend of both my teacher Jack Corbett and I. There are wonderful evidential spiritual mediums around today. Yes, a few genuine gifted individuals, who wholeheartedly dedicate their physical lives to the betterment of this world, in support of mankind by providing evidence of survival beyond this life. These few individuals are dedicated to helping others through grief, pain, anguish and sorrow, so they can realise that in a future day they will meet again their loved ones who have now moved into the ‘World of Peace, Harmony and Light’.
It is sad when your points denote a shallow view of those who work tirelessly for the support of the bereaved. To believe there is nothing beyond death, is a simple and easy option. It is a difficult alternative when we dedicate our lives to helping others to grasp the reality that we are all spiritual by nature, and this life is part of a greater life. The knowledge we spread to those who wish to listen is not religious in nature, it is the realisation that at the point of physical death, we take the smallest of steps, one which takes everyone out into eternity. For the genuine medium, seeking to provide the opportunity for another person to grasp their ‘own proof’ from a message from a loved-one, now in ‘light’, is a most arduous task. Sadly, the genuine have to bear the responsibility of those who either are not gifted, or have not developed their mediumistic capacities. In this day and age, there is the lure of fame, notoriety, fortune and the detractions for egocentric expression. Everything is subject to change; we live at a point in time where values have altered considerably from the age of the Victorian and Edwardian, some good and some not. Life-styles and expectations are constantly affected by the lure of materialism. Undeniably the pace of life is so much faster, and we all appear to be in a rush. People, who seek to develop mediumship, tend not to put the time into their spiritual unfoldement, most certainly not the same in those blissful days of long ago. The mass media offers many distractions; all having an effect upon our divine gifts. Moreover, I have to admit there are those who just wish for the gift of mediumship, often for the wrong reason: ‘self’. The true course of a spiritual medium is to support others and not one’s own ego. It takes years and years of dedication to open the spiritual faculty, so one is competent of having good spiritual intercourse, and able to transfer acceptable clear spiritual information. The essence of mediumship is to help others to grow and gain balance through the ever-changing rhythm of this world, gaining spiritual verity, understanding and truth.
We are now seeing the modern sideshows of ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night; to me, all distractions not too dissimilar to a circus built upon fear, darkness and nonsense. Why you may ask? We have nothing to fear from a person who comes to us from the great light, the only thing to fear, is fear itself. It would seem from your text that you have not seen the better mediums. Nevertheless, there are excellent spiritual mediums throughout the world, some more known that others. Yes, there are those who are on the television and radio. This does not mean they are not genuine; you only have to look at Gordon Smith, without doubt a truly gifted person whose gift stands at the pinnacle of today’s list of mediums. Perhaps he would not claim to be another John Sloan. When one reflects on how many artists there have been like Vincent Willem Van Gogh, classical philosophers of the calibre of Socrates, or comic actors like Sir Charles ‘Charlie’ Chaplin, alas, not many. For that reason, we should remember the same exists for any profession, one which even resonates through the corridors of mediumship. Oh, if only for another John Sloan or Gordon Higginson......................
You mention the ‘Barham Effect’. I am not sure to what you refer perhaps HMS Barham. The battleship from the Queen Elizabeth-Class that was sunk in World War Two by the German Submarine U331, and links to subsequent debates about the trance mediumship of Helen Duncan. Unfortunately, you give me little information, so I must pass on this point in your text. Nevertheless, you mention Houdini, born Erik Weisz, one of many people who tried to prove there was life after death, whist debunking spiritualists. Houdini and his wife Bess had agreed to communicate after his death with a communicated secretly coded message ‘Rosabelle believe’. After his death, and another ten years later, even after an unconfirmed spirit contact from Houdini given by Arthur Ford, Bess decided to call it a day. It was at this point in time that Bess put out a candle at her bedside, which stood beside a photograph of Houdini. What the real truth is, we will never know, but no one, not even iconic individuals, with great fame and celebrity have a divine right to gain proof - yes it exists, though an open, not closed mind, really does help.
Proof is the point you raise. I am not a believer that we mediums give total proof. No matter what information is given, or how many times it is given, we only pass on information. Perhaps like a ‘Postman’ delivering a letter, it is not our letter to read, only to pass along; it is for the recipient to read, digest and action. It is we who accept our own truth. An old saying of my spiritual mentor Jack Corbett was: “some people only believe in what they see, so we are fortunate that we have cold frosty days”. It is only on such days, when we exhale air from our lungs, that we see our breath. One would presume there is a lesson to be learnt here? I attend many funeral services, where I hear time and again a singularly based eulogy, which sermonizes, if you accept a ‘certain belief’, then on judgement day you will move from your earthly shroud, out into the Kingdom of Heaven. All wonderful to hear; I have ‘great respect’ for people who believe in faith and faith alone. Indeed the martyrs depicted through the annals of time give the ultimate sacrifice based in the whole only on trust and faith. This is not the case for many who feel that spiritualism must wholly give ‘proof’; this thinking is irrational because we must all find within ourselves the key to our minds, which helps the link, often a slender one with our loved ones, who now reside in world of light and peace.
Mediums are merely signposts relaying and passing on information, helping others to accept their truth, which ultimately will all be clear at the point of physical death, when we enter into the ‘Golden Light’. The work of the spiritual medium is simple: “To furnish words to dry the mourner’s tears and wipe sorrow from a sea of sadness and despair”.
You point out cold reading, and blatant fishing etc, etc. Again I cannot answer for the actions of others. However, this still does not account for the many genuine gifted spiritual mediums, many who don’t need a piece of paper to justify their divine gifts, yet they do exist. Symbolically speaking there is a doorway between the ‘Two-Worlds’. We who are gifted spiritual mediums receive the slightest of glimpses through the keyhole of the door, which links the two-great worlds and is in effect the ‘Gateway of Eternity’. Whether you believe or not, is simply an individual factor, one that should rest with your own views, understanding and concept of your god, who I recognise as the great architect of the universe.
I note your phraseology directed towards television mediums is rather subjective when you say they are ‘all’ frauds. Rather a sweeping statement. I fully appreciate that fishing for a name is a modern medium technique, which fundamentally is when a person is not sure about a spirit connection. Perhaps if there is a fault, it lies with spiritual training. Over 30 years ago, my teacher trained me in the ‘old-way’, which is simply to rely on your spiritual companions, go straight to where you are directed, open your mind and deliver the message. Have I ever been let down? There is only one simple answer NO!
My final thoughts are that you need to find your own truth and inner-peace. It is easy to cast the finger of doubt and dispersion, rather harder to take it upon yourself to find as is said in the Bible: “Seek and you will find”. A spiritual anecdote I received a few years ago may help: “Mediumship is the capacity to receive and disseminate spiritual information and to transfer this into sense, using common sense by taking away any nonsense”. Unfortunately, factors lie within your questions, which cloud the true message of the genuine spiritual mediums, which is: “You cannot die”. We just move into a high-setting, out into our divine heritage the homeland of eternity, peace and happiness.
I wish you well on your journey of love and spiritual awakening. Please be aware there are no placards carrying full names though there was an Irish medium Albert Best, whose speciality was to provide street names and addresses. Sadly, he moved out into light quite a few years ago. If we knew all of the answers, we would not be here for this world, ‘the schoolhouse of learning’. Each of us sees only a part of the tapestry of the spirit, one can’t imagine the beauty when one day all of the pieces are brought together, crafted by the hand of the divine creator. For this I am afraid we all will both have to wait a little longer.
In Light and Peace