What should I know about development?
"In the beginning God created the heaven. And the earth was without form in the void and darkness was upon the face deep and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. And God said let there be light and there was light and God saw the light and it was good."
Who is a good candidate for development?
Anyone who has an open mind and is prepared to accept new ideas, this is not to say that the candidate should be gullible and easily lead. An open mind can also be a strong mind. Creative and arty people are often found to be good psychics and mediums because they are used to working with the part of our brain that develops creative thought. A good candidate is one whose school report would have read; "This child spends far to much time in class day dreaming." Now you know what it was for! It can be a positive Spiritual attribute rather than the negative opinion of the educational establishment.
Who can sit for development?
Anyone can sit for development, providing they are of sound mind. Physical impediment is no barrier to development; in fact some of the best mediums have been wrecks! However, common sense tells us that it can do no harm to be fit and healthy. A look at any development circle will tell you that those present are likely to be drawn from all walks of life, within the circle, all are equal. Any body that wishes to develop must be prepared to set their own ego to one side, sit with humility and leave personal problems at the door. There is no room for any form of prejudice whatsoever within any development class.
It is not advisable to sit if you feel seriously unwell or are suffering from mental or emotional stress. If you are epileptic it would be best to consult the circle leader about this condition before sitting. If they are agreeable to you sitting, proceed with caution after giving instruction as to what should be done in the event of a seizure should it ever occur. It must be remembered that energy is used and or exchanged within a circle and if you are unwell this can affect the well being of that circle.
You should not sit if you are being prescribed strong medication that is likely to affect your emotional balance or ability to make decisions. This would also include non-prescription drugs.
You should not sit if you are suffering from or being treated for any form of mental illness, neurotic conditions or fearful.
At all times you must be of sound mind and able to make balanced judgments and exercise self discipline.
How do I know if I am developing?
If you are reading this, it may have already started to happen! If you are more intuitive than most or you can see or sense things that others may not, these are also good indications. In the circle you will become more aware of bodily sensations through allowing yourself to become more sensitive to them. You may be aware of physical conditions and emotions from other circle members. Spirit communicators may also project similar sensations and you become aware of their presence. This will become familiar and should not be confused with possession as depicted in horror films and should not be frightening, though, perhaps a little strange at first.
What is the purpose of developing?
To promote Spiritual awareness and provide evidence of survival of the human spirit.
Harry Edwards encompasses this difficult question very well in his 'Guide for Development of Mediumship.' He says that it is entirely wrong to sit for development if you are doing it to satisfy personal ego, be different from others and "put on a mantle of mysticism". He also says that you should not do it in the desire to heal the sick, help the bereaved and obtain counsel and speak to Spirit people.
At first the second part of the statement sounds harsh, as many people are motivated by the positive aspects of these things and desire to bring benefit to others in this way by working or volunteering in the community to do good and charitable deeds. However, he goes on to say that mediumship has a purpose. That is, "to demonstrate that Man is more than a physical being and that he is part Spirit" and that this aspect of ourselves transcends what we call death. He describes the physical life as an "apprenticeship for a greater and fuller life and that through this knowledge, mankind will receive the impetus to adopt an enlightened code of values that will outlaw, war, poverty and those things that ignoble our present way of life." A philosophy that we should all aspire to.
Thus, it can be seen that his answer transcends the obvious and difficult question of "why should I sit for development?" Effectively, the positive side effects of bringing benefit to others comes with the higher Spiritual purpose. The developing medium becomes a participant in a "divine plan for the furtherance of good. This purpose is superior to race, religion and colour. If you are of a particular religious faith, there is no reason that this cannot be incorporated into its observance".
Spirit is the unifying force that binds all that is of creation together as one, everything is connected.
How quickly can I expect to develop?
Development should be pursued as an individual, do not aspire to be someone else, no matter how evolved they may appear for this will lead to disappointment. You can never attain parity with such a person because they are not standing still, but always moving forward. Pursue your development at your own natural pace and be prepared to try different things and change direction when required. At times this may mean leaving one group to join another, this does not mean that something is wrong, it may be the natural order of things in that your development has gone as far as it can in the first circle. You may for example develop trance communication; this would be very difficult to expand within a fledgling development circle, as it requires intensive development and time.
People do develop at different rates, for some it can come quickly, others may find that it takes years and some may find that development is not for them after all and fall by the wayside. It is often the case that personal development may be set aside in the interests of one member of the group who has a particular gift. This sort of self-sacrifice and dedication can be found in circles that exist to develop a Trance or Physical Medium. A good example of this is the group that sat for twenty-five years for the development of phenomena and then found that it had all been in preparation for the arrival of a younger medium. A bit like tending the garden in preparation for the flower being pollinated by a bee.
In early stages of development it is advisable to keep notes of things that come to you both inside and outside of circle. This will enable you to analyse the things you have done and spot any trends or repeat patterns, such as reoccurring images that may be symbolic in some way. It will also enable you to establish what disciplines work for you and which do not. Making notes enables you to keep track of the things that you have tried and what areas require further attention and work. If desired a brief outline of the notes could also be kept in a diary as this records the chronology of your development.
Psychic and mediumistic development is likely to require great patience and dedication. It is not suited to those who are used to the instant gratification that is so often demanded in modern life. If your attitude is that of "I want it and I want it now." it is highly probable that you will not progress without moderating that mentality. If you approach it in truth as a genuine seeker, have an open mind and love in your heart you will be richly rewarded if not you are likely to be greatly hurt. You should never attempt development alone without trusted and experienced individuals to look after you.
Edwards, H - A Guide for the Development of Mediumship, Con - Psy Pub.
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