When I first started reading about mediumship and spirit communication some 20 years ago, I struggled to understand what it was all about. The old researchers and other authors who observed the various phenomena usually assumed too much when it came to the reader's understanding of what they were talking about.
It is clear to me now why the overwhelming evidence for the survival of consciousness after physical death produced by some very respected scientists and scholars of yesteryear has been filed away in dust-covered cabinets when it should have been embraced by both science and religion. It was simply too complex and few had the time to sift through it all and make sense of it. Most people aren't prepared to understand second year college algebra without taking first year algebra, but that's what many people do in attempting to understand spirit communication. I suspect that is what Professor Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, did when he looked into the subject. In an article titled "The Mystery of Consciousness" (Time Magazine, January 29, 2007), Pinker states that "attempts to contact the souls of the dead (a pursuit of serious scientists a century ago) turned up only cheap magic tricks."
If the good professor had started with this excellent introductory book by Roy Stemman, a veteran journalist, he might not have jumped to such a conclusion, although it is clear that there are some scientists and scholars who have their minds made up beforehand when it comes to paranormal phenomena and nothing will change their views. But for the open-minded person who is really interested in learning more about the subject, I cannot think of a better book to start with than this one. As the subtitle of the book states, it offers "a Comprehensive Guide to the Extraordinary World of Mediums, Psychics, and the Afterlife."
More and more people are being made aware of spirit communication by popular television clairvoyants like John Edward and Lisa Williams, but few of those people seem to be aware that there are - or were - much more dynamic and evidential forms of mediumship, including full materializations, the direct-voice (actual voice of the deceased), and the trance voice. "It generally takes years of patience and regular weekly séances with the same group of sitters before the slightest signs of physical manifestations occur or the faintest whispers are heard," Stemman explains why we don't have very much of that dynamic phenomena of a century ago. "In our fast-moving twenty-first century, with its numerous distractions, there are fewer people prepared to sacrifice their time to develop such phenomena."
Stemman discusses the various types of mediumship, including some of the most evidential cases of spirit communication on record, but he does not stop there as he also writes about spiritual healing, poltergeists, exorcisms, reincarnation and other subjects related to spirit. In his 50-plus years as a journalist, he has had the opportunity to meet and interview some of the famous mediums of the latter part of the 20th Century as well as to observe different phenomena. Thus, he writes from experience, presenting the material in a manner that can be understood by the beginner.
Anyone interested in modern clairvoyance - something which Stemman also discusses - should be aware of the mediumship of old, because it offers so much in the way of understanding the barriers to communication. "...I believe that with every passing decade, and despite the changes that occur in the type of mediumship displayed, we are building a body of evidence that will eventually be beyond doubt," Stemman concludes. "In the meantime, any individual prepared to carry out an investigation of spirit communication can reach his or her own verdict long before science makes up its mind."
Science always lags behind the truth. If you want to get to the truth before science does, you might consider beginning with this interesting, intriguing, and informative book.