What do precognition, retrocognition and prophecy have to do with mediumship according to Spiritualism?
Spiritualism believes that the true understanding of mediumship comes from not only experiencing it in one way or another but by studying it completely as well.
There are two basic approaches to studying mediumship: one is from a religious/philosophical point of view and the other is from the scientific point of view.
Many early Spiritualists investigated mediumship in both ways, including Sir Oliver Lodge who felt that sincere investigation was both a right and a duty of the serious student. Three of the more well-known phenomena being studied are: retrocognition, precognition and prophecy but the manner of study and the perceived basis of these phenomena differ greatly between science and Spiritualism.
In retrocognition the medium has knowledge of events that transpired in the past without using any of the normal five senses or ordinary memory. Science has not studied this enough to determine a basis or source for this phenomenon that is satisfactory to them but Spiritualism recognizes that retrocognition cannot occur without clairvoyance.
Since clairvoyance is “extended sight” without the use of the physical eyes, it could account for retrocognition in several ways including “sensory blending” in which the medium experiences a merger of time-past, present, future-and can then present a reality that can be described to others. “Traveling” clairvoyance is a change in the center of perception involving changing from present into past. Another explanation of retrocognition might be “subjective” clairvoyance which involves impressions of pictures or images upon the brain and could involve the medium psychically “seeing” images of the past.
Clairvoyance could also account for another widely studied phenomenon: precognition. Precognition is the knowledge of future events without the use of current sources of knowledge or the normal physical senses. This does not include premonition, prediction or forecasting which are often mistaken for precognition but involve some knowledge basis of present events that might turn out a certain way given certain circumstances. Precognition has been a part of human life since the beginning and many recorded examples of it exist in historical writings including the Bible.
Science has studied precognition extensively and is somewhat in agreement with Spiritualism that clairvoyance may well be the basis for it as well although science terms it as extra-sensory perception (ESP).
Basically, there are three ways that precognition occurs: as a clairvoyant experience, as a psychokinetic (PK) experience or in dreams. In the study of ESP many instances of precognition have been recorded but the entrance of “time” makes it difficult for scientists to study precognition in their acceptable scientific ways. Because Precognition basically sees the effect of something before its actual cause, scientists believe that psychokinesis could be involved; perhaps the medium is really influencing a future event with their mind and not really “seeing” it.
Precognitive dreams account for over 60% of precognitive experiences. These dreams are either very realistic, presenting the future event in an accurate way or they are symbolic and the images must be interpreted in order to find their precognitive meaning. Precognitive dreams generally occur very close in time to the actual event and often portray the event itself very accurately but the details leading up to the event are wrong or distorted somehow.
Prophecy has its basis in precognition but adds the extra quality of contact with higher principles of existence and the ability to speak religious or philosophic truths which are of interest to larger groups of people; even perhaps to all of humanity at times.
Spiritualism believes that clairvoyance is also involved in prophecy in several possible ways. The medium may tap into the continuum of cause and effect and be able to observe the effect before the cause using their own psychic gift or they may clairvoyantly receive the information from a spirit entity or even from Infinite Intelligence itself.
Although science and Spiritualism differ in their studies of these phenomena, they do seem to agree on one thing: the person who wishes to regularly demonstrate any of these phenomena must have the basic ability or gift of clairvoyance but must enhance that ability with knowledge and practice. True mediumship is only obtained when you are able to present the information received to others in a useful and understandable way.
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