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Mediumistic Sensitivity

Emma Hardinge Britten said: "Whatever that force may be which
constitutes the difference between a 'medium' and a non-medium, it is
certainly of a mental and magnetic character--that is, a combination of
the subtle elements of mind and magnetism, and therefore of a
psychological and not of a purely physical character. Whilst the
spiritualists of this generation have had no one to teach them either
what spiritual gifts are, or how to use, or how to abuse them,
experience has shown that the conditions under which spiritual phenomena
are produced through mediums are not only helped or hindered by their
mental states, but also by the will, magnetism, and mental states of
those who surround them." E. W. Wallis says: "The same laws govern the
relations between the sensitive and the spirit operator as between the
hypnotist and his subject. Therefore, mediumship is not necessarily
spiritual; it may be of all kinds; there may be psychical relationship
of a high grade and of a low one. There may be messages from beyond that
prove the identity of spirits, and give evidence of the continuity of
life, of the survival of mind, and yet they may not minister to
spiritual growth, nor awaken any exalted desire to be of service to God
and man. There may be psychical sympathy and not spiritual fellowship;
there may be spirit intercourse and not that sweet spiritual communion
which should be the goal of all who seek for evidences of life beyond
the valley of death. It is no longer possible to regard mediumship as a
supernatural endowment. It is, as regards the psychic susceptibility
upon which it depends, the common property of the race, and is therefore
as natural as are the 'gifts' of song or oratory, or the ability to
paint or construct. But as certain gifts and graces are more developed
in some individuals than in others, in like manner the sensitiveness
which is called mediumship is more highly developed (or is capable of
such development) in certain peculiarly constituted persons who may be
regarded as supernormally gifted, yet as naturally so as are geniuses in
other directions."

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